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Library News

Laura Ingalls Wilder's Life Celebrated in Books

Laura Ingalls Wilder signs Little House books at a book signing.The 150th anniversary of Laura Ingalls Wilder’s birth in 1867 is being honored everywhere by fans of her “Little House” tales, including at the annual Wilder Day celebration Sept. 16 at Wilder’s historic home and museum in Mansfield, east of Springfield.

The publishing world is celebrating, too, with several adult books about Wilder coming this fall. You can find them in thelibrary.org/catalog.

The World of Laura Ingalls Wilder: The Frontier Landscapes That Inspired the Little House Books,” by Marta McDowell, looks at Wilder’s relationship with nature – the prairies, wildlife and wildflowers – as she traveled across the country.     

Prairie Fires: The American Dreams of Laura Ingalls Wilder," by Caroline Fraser, offers the first comprehensive, historical biography of Wilder, drawn from unpublished manuscripts, letters, diaries and land and financial records. 

Just for fun, there’s “Caroline: Little House, Revisited,” by Sarah Miller is historical fiction, telling the story of the Ingalls family from the mother, Caroline’s perspective.

You’ll also find these young reader titles branded as “re-illustrated editions” of the Little House Chapter Book. They include: “The Adventures of Laura & Jack,” “Christmas Stories,” “Laura & Nellie,” “Animal Adventures,” “Pioneer Sisters,” and a publisher has reprinted and recovered the out-of-print picture books into “A Little House Picture Book Treasury: Six Stories of Life on the Prairie.”  

If you’re looking for more, there’s also the 2014 “Pioneer Girl,” the annotated autobiography by Pamela Smith Hill. This is Wilder’s autobiography originally completed in May 1930 and published for the first time in 2014 with material that Wilder later used in her Little House series. It was published with the approval of the Little House Heritage Trust.

Library programs celebrating Wilder have passed, but fans of the Little House books can extend their celebration during Wilder Day on Sept. 16. It’s the annual event commemorating Laura Ingalls Wilder at the Wilder Historic Home and Museum in Mansfield, “where the Little House books were written.” Visitors can enjoy the grounds of Rocky Ridge Farm and tour the home. Learn more at (877) 924-7126.

Kathleen O'Dell is community relations director for the Springfield-Greene County Library District. She can be reached at kathleeno@thelibrary.org.

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