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Book Review: Old Town in the Green Groves

Old Town in the Green Groves by  Cynthia Rylant (5 star review)

Old Town in the Green Groves
Laura Ingalls Wilder's Lost Little House Years

by Cynthia Rylant

176 pages // published in 2002 // Children's historical fiction


Laura Ingalls Wilder wrote nine Little House books about her childhood growing upon the western frontier. But there were two years she didn't write about, two missing years that take place between On the Banks of Plum Creek and By the Shores of Silver Lake.Now, Newbery Award-winning author Cynthia Rylant has imagined what those lost Little House years were like, based on Laura's unpublished memoirs. The result is the first Little House novel about Laura as a young girl in almost 60 years, and a wonderful addition to the classic series.

When the grasshopper plague returns to Plum Creek, Pa knows all the crops will be destroyed again. He decides to take the family east to Burr Oak, Iowa, where he has found work running a hotel. But Laura longs to return to the tall-grass prairie and the unsettled west, to a place where Pa can play his fiddle in the open air and where she can feel free again.

Old Town in the Green Groves continues the story about Laura Ingalls -- a story whose wonder and adventure have delighted millions of readers.

My Review

5 Star Rating

I found this to be a perfectly charming read. It was refreshing to be able to visit the Ingalls family in never-before-read adventures (at least, not included in the original Little House books). This volume is intended to cover the two missing years that transpire between 'On the Banks of Plum Creek' and 'By the Shores of Silver Lake'. Much takes place that young readers (and adult readers alike) would miss out on by reading only Laura's original books.

New life comes into the family, sweet new little baby faces. And tragic death comes too. The Ingalls family has new roads to travel down, and new trials to bear. (On a more humorous note, Laura and her siblings have to bear the annoying Steadam boys... but we rejoice with the little Ingalls when the Steadams receive their due!)

My favorite scene may just be when Pa sends Laura out for a doctor to help Ma during a time of illness. But Pa has forgotten, in the midst of his worries concerning Ma's health, that the creek is overflowing and there's no way for Laura to cross safely. But she accomplishes the task anyways. I could almost see the surprise showing on Pa's face when Laura returned home!

Overall, this book turned out to be an informative and enjoyable read for me. (Assuming that everything written in the story is based on true facts, I ended up learning quite a bit more about young Laura Ingalls Wilder.)

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1 comment:

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