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Laura Ingalls Wilder Books In Order

Publication Order of Little House Books

Little House in the Big Woods (1932) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Farmer Boy (1933) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Little House on the Prairie (1935) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
On the Banks of Plum Creek (1937) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
By the Shores of Silver Lake (1939) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
The Long Winter (1940) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Little Town on the Prairie (1941) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
These Happy Golden Years (1943) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
The First Four Years (1971) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle

Chronological Order of Little House Books

Little House in the Big Woods (1932) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Little House on the Prairie (1935) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Farmer Boy (1933) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
On the Banks of Plum Creek (1937) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
By the Shores of Silver Lake (1939) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
The Long Winter (1940) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Little Town on the Prairie (1941) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
These Happy Golden Years (1943) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
The First Four Years (1971) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle


About Laura Ingalls Wilder:

Laura Ingalls Wilder was born on February 7, 1867 near the small settlement of Pepin, Wisconsin, the second child to Charles Phillip Ingalls and his wife, Caroline Lake Ingalls. At the time of her birth, her older sister, Mary Amelia, was two years old. Over the next several years, Caroline and Charles had three more children, Caroline Celestia, born in 1870, Charles Frederick, born five years later in 1875, and Grace Pearl, born in 1877. Sadly, the Ingalls’ only son, Charles, passed away when he was just an infant.

A Life Spent Wandering

As a young girl, Laura Ingalls travelled widely with her family across the American Midwest, as her father chased his fortune across the country. Charles Ingalls himself was born in New York but when he was just a young boy, his family moved to Elgin, Illinois where Charles grew up. He later moved to Wisconsin where he met and married a demure, educated young woman named Caroline Lake Quiner. An outgoing and affable man with a love of adventure and what Laura described as a restless spirit, Charles was never content to stay in one place for long, and moved his young family from state to state with almost bewildering rapidity.

The Kansas Homestead

Soon after Laura was born, Charles decided to leave Wisconsin and took his family to Kansas, to live in what was then considered to be Indian Territory. They accomplished the long journey by wagon over a period of several weeks, and Charles settled his family on a small farmstead on land he claimed as a white settler, erroneously believing that the U.S. government had signed a treaty giving them settler’s rights. Laura’s younger sister Caroline was born here in 1870. However, soon after her birth, Charles realized that he had actually settled his family on land that was part of the Osage Indian Reservation, and he gave up his claim and moved his family back to Wisconsin.

To Walnut Grove and Back Again

Over the next few years Laura lived with her family in Pepin, Wisconsin until Charles moved the family once again, this time to Minnesota, in order to stake a land claim for a homestead of his own. After a short, initial stay in Lake City, Minnesota, the family moved to Walnut Grove, where Charles finally succeeded in getting the land he wanted to start a farm and build his family a home. Laura was around seven years old at the time, but by the time she was ten, the family had moved once again, this time to Burr Oak, Iowa.

Her time in Iowa was spent in helping her family to run a hotel which her father had been hired to manage. It was here that Laura’s youngest sister, Grace was born. Soon afterwards, Charles gave up his job and relocated his well-travelled family back to Walnut Grove, preferring life in the country to the fast pace of city existence. Laura spent the next two years in Walnut Grove with her family, going to school as often as she could, and helping out on the farm along with her sisters.

A Place to Call Home

In 1879, the family moved one last time, following Charles a few months after he moved to South Dakota to take a job on the railroad. The Ingalls family filed for and was granted an official homestead in De Smet, South Dakota, where Charles and Caroline lived for the rest of their lives.

While in De Smet, Laura was able to focus more of her attentions on her education. Although she attended regular school, she also studied by correspondence course and soon received her teaching certificate. At the age of sixteen, she accepted her first post as a teacher and continued in her profession, despite her stated dislike for it, in order to help her family who were struggling financially. She persisted in her career for two years until she met and married Almanzo Wilder, the love of her life, in August, 1885 at the age of eighteen.

Love and Life as a Pioneer Woman

Laura’s marriage led to a new stage in her life as a mother, homemaker, and eventually a writer. Almanzo Wilder came from a relatively prosperous farming family, and at the time of their marriage, the Wilders were in possession of a lucrative homestead. Their daughter, Rose, was born in 1886, followed by a son in 1889 who tragically died within weeks of his birth.

The family’s run of bad luck only got worse from there, as they ran into a number of serious problems, beginning with Almanzo’s crippling bout of diphtheria. Physically weakened by his long illness, and plagued by years of relentless drought, the Wilders found themselves unable to adequately farm their land, and the young family fell into debt. When a catastrophic fire destroyed most of the property, the family left De Smet and moved to Minnesota to live with Almanzo’s parents and allow Almanzo to recover. The Wilders even went as far as Florida in an attempt to find a climate better suited to Almanzo’s fragile state of health. However, in 1892 the Wilders returned to De Smet, where they remained for the next two years.

A Rocky Existence on Rocky Ridge

In 1894, the Wilders left Minnesota for good and moved to Mansfield, Missouri, where they eventually purchased a homestead which they named Rocky Ridge Farm. While life was still difficult for the Wilders, they managed to turn the farm to good account over the years by diversifying their production, growing apples and fruit, as well as farming poultry and running a dairy.

It was during this period in her life that Laura began her writing career as a contributor to local farming publications on topics ranging from home care and poultry farming to editorials on the changing times and women’s role in society. Between her income from her writing and the farm produce, the Wilders managed to add to their acreage and live a comfortable life.

The Little House Series

In 1929, Rose was a grown woman with a successful writing career of her own and Laura and her husband were financially stable. However, the Great Depression brought huge reversals to the family’s fortunes, and it was this unfortunate turn of events, coupled with the recent loss of her mother and eldest sister, that prompted Laura to write the stories of her girlhood.

His first work, Little House in the Big Woods, was published in 1932, and tells the story of Laura’s life and adventures in Pepin, Wisconsin, before the family moved to Kansas. After its immediate success, Laura went on to pen the second book in the series, entitled Little House on the Prairie, which details the family’s life homesteading on the Osage Reservation as well as their move to Kansas. While many of the characters and details are true, a great many incidents in the books were fictionalized, at the insistence of Laura’s editor and her daughter Rose, who collaborated closely with her mother on many of the books.

Laura Ingalls Wilder wrote seven more books in the series, chronicling her life as she moved from state to state and embarked on her own adventures as a married woman and a mother. She continued to live on the Rocky Ridge Farm until her death in 1957.

An Enduring Legacy

Laura Ingalls Wilder’s stories of pioneer life were immensely popular in their day and their popularity has certainly not diminished with the passing of time. Widely read all over the world, the Wilder books have been repeatedly made into movies, miniseries, and television shows, the most famous of which, Little House on the Prairie, ran for seven years and starred Melissa Gilbert as a young Laura Ingalls. Although there has been some controversy over the authorship of her novels, Laura Wilder’s works undeniably rank as classics of American literature, and will no doubt remain so for many years to come.

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