Pioneer Girl by Laura Ingalls Wilder

Pioneer GirlThe Little House books are fiction, based on memory – this is the original story!
With Pictures! and Maps! (please enjoy the squee. I loved the Little House series.)

Is this for adults or kids? Well, this review is only of the first 1/4 of the book.
Further notes must wait until my teen-aged daughter lets me have the book back. 😉

check-markIs this only for people who squee for the Little House books? No, there’s a lot of historical information that is not in the Little House children’s books, either because a child-narrator does not include such things or because Laura Ingalls Wilder could not find the information from her childhood 50 to  60 years ago.

The books starts a couple of chapters about Laura, her daughter Rose, and living through the Great Depression and needing money. Laura wrote her memories while in her 60s, remembering back to when she was four-sixteen.  (go on, try to remember what happened when you were four.) There’s information about how the manuscript went from publishing house to publishing house. Yadda yadda.

little house mapThen the real deal!  The pages are arranged in 2 columns, with Laura’s original text in the main column and commentary on the side. Sometimes the commentary spills over to the next page. It’s all interesting! Some comments are straight history. Some show where Laura remembered one thing for her memoir, and changed it for the children’s fiction books.  Some was for dramatic purpose.

Some changes were made to make Pa more important: There are several places where Ma or a neighbor woman taught Laura something, and Little House attributed it to Pa-the-patriarch.

little houseSome comments come from a book – no, article – called “Little Squatter,” a commentary from the point of view of the First Nations on how the Pioneers were actually land thieves.  Possibly one of these:
* http://digitalcommons.unl.edu/greatplainsquarterly/23/

* http://www.dammingtheosage.com/little-squatters-house-on-the-prairie-laura-ingalls-wilder-family-trespassers-on-osage-lands/

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