Title: The Long Winter
Author: Laura Ingalls Wilder
Series: Little House, book 6
Major Themes: Laura Ingalls Wilder, Pioneers, South Dakota, Winter
Synopsis: An entire town fights for survival when the hardest winter any of its inhabitants has ever experienced cuts them off from supplies for seven months.
I wonder how many times now I’ve read Laura Ingalls Wilder’s The Long Winter. This time was probably at least the sixth or eighth time, but I found myself so engrossed in it again that I didn’t want to stop after just one chapter! I knew very well what happened, but could hardly wait to read about it again.
Laura helped Pa make a lot of hay during the late summer, their first year on the homestead claim. Those hot days were soon forgotten, however, when the first blizzard struck in October. Then, after an old Indian’s warning of severe storms to come, Pa decided to move his family into town. Laura could hardly bear the thought of living so close to people—but she soon learned to like going to school and being with girls her own age!
And then, the blizzards came so close together that the trains stopped running. School was closed and the town quickly ran out of coal and food. What would they do now, to survive? As always, Pa’s ingenuity and Ma’s resourcefulness saved the family. They spent the winter twisting sticks of the hay that Pa and Laura had made in the summer, and grinding the wheat Pa bought when all other supplies were gone—but what would happen when the wheat ran out?
The whole family will enjoy this amazing story—but be sure to read the series in order to really get to know Laura and her family. You may find yourself shivering with Laura as the blizzards blow. You will certainly be amazed at the strength and resilience of those pioneers. Don’t miss this one!
WARNING: Pa and others use exclamations such as “By George,” “jiggered,” “gosh,” “gosh all hemlock,” “Jerusalem crickets,” “golly,” “Jimeny crickets,” “dickens,” “gosh dang,” “darned,” “gee whilikins,” “blast,” and “by the Almighty,” I marked 18 instances of these terms through the whole book.
Read Aloud—Ages 5 – 8, 8 – 12, Family Read Alouds
Reading Independently—Ages 7 – 9, 8 – 12