Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Blogging A to Z: I is for Laura Ingalls Wilder

Welcome to the Blogging From A to Z Challenge!

My theme for 2013 is Influential Women Authors.

My definition of influential is any author, classic or modern, who has inspired writers, readers, or the larger scope of culture. Some are personal favorites, or have special meaning to me.

What this list is not: a list of the most influential writers of all time. Rather, this is a collection of influential writers, corresponding with each day's letter.

For the full list of participating blogs, click here.

I: Laura Ingalls Wilder (she was Ingalls with an "I" first!)

The author wrote the Little House on the Prarie books, which were probably the first chapter books I'd read as a kid. I remember loving Little House in the Big Woods around 4th grade. I was actually kind of mad at Pa Ingalls for up-rooting little Half-Pint and her siblings from their cozy cabin dwelling to the harsh existence of the plains. I mean, how miserable would it be to pack up your meager belongings into a crickety wagon and ride for weeks to no actual desintation? Wondering if you'd be scalped by Native Americans or drowned in a river the horses can't swim across.

Laura Ingalls made it seem like an adventure, but I sure bet there were some real scary times on that quest to the west.

(As you can see, I was not meant to be a pioneer.)

The American Library Association named The Wilder award after her, which is given to career authors who
image: Goodreads
have contributed greatly to children's literature.

Recently, I stumbled upon this memoir online, written by the actress who played the spoiled brat character Nellie Olsen. And apparently Melissa Gilbert, who played Laura in the 1970s TV series, has her own collection of memories called Prairie Tale: A memoir.

Laura's daughter Rose Wilder Lane has also written a number of books. Sadly, some controversy exists as to the extent of her involvement in editing her mother's books. She maybe should have had co-author's credits.

But let's just leave it at Laura Ingalls having influenced several generations with her books about exploring the western United States with her family. Are you a fan of the Little House books, or the TV show Little House on the Prairie?


  1. I love the books and thought traveling to unknown places in a covered wagon would be wonderful. I understood Pa wanting to move every time he saw the neighbors smoke.

    I didn't like the tv show at all.

  2. I never read the books, but I loved the TV show.

  3. Oh, I LOVED those books. I prefer not to think about the controversy and play ostrich. :) I keep saying that I need to reread these books. I read all of the other ones about/by her daughter and mother (or grandmother?) Jeepers, guess I better brush up on my history lol.

  4. I loved these books! I was a lot more adventurous when I was younger, so I wanted to be in the wagon with the family :D Great choice for I!

    Writing Through College

    1. It certainly sounded like an adventure. I did like the prairie books too, I just always liked that cozy house in the woods a little more. Even in real life, I prefer to live somewhere with a lot of old trees instead of those new subdivisions with little scraggly saplings.

  5. I never really cared for these books, just not my time period. I love your theme for the month though.

    Carol's Notebook

  6. What great and memorable stories and characters she created. :)I love her books.

  7. I loved both the books and the TV series. They are very different though, and I think I loved the books a lot more than the series. The books are definitely a big part of my childhood reading and daydreams.

  8. HUGE fan. I had a 4th grade teacher with an awesome voice and she would read aloud every afternoon from the series. I was enthralled, but didn't remember the name or author. I wasn't a good reader perhaps that was why. Then when tv show came on, I kept wondering why it was so familiar. How did I know what was going to happen next? Finally the bell in my head went off and I heard that 4th grade teacher's voice reading and the mystery was solved. I then read the books. When my DD was young she read them. Funny, I mentioned it in my post today. We're in synch.


  9. Oh my goodness! You have just flung me back 30 years.
    Never read the books - just saw the TV but that image of Laura on the book took my breath away - wow! Will have to find the books now!


  10. I read the Little House series over and over as a child and preteen, and even read a lot of Little House ephemera. A few years ago I read Old Town in the Green Groves, that covers the depressing missing years when Laura's baby brother died, among other events. It felt really out of the style of the other books. Even as a 12-year-old, reading A Little House Sampler, I understood why Laura had chosen not to write about those years.

    I suppose this series was one of the things underpinning my great love of 19th century history and pioneer life at that age.

  11. These were some of my favorite books as a child and preteen as well. My good fortune in the 4th grade was to be assigned to the librarian who also taught 4th grade. My seat was just in front of the Little House Series shelf! I thought I had died and gone to heaven. :) And then watched the TV series into reruns. Thanks for honoring Laura Ingalls Wilder, who indeed was an "I" first!

    Sherrey at Healing by Writing


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