image courtesy Google Books
I really, truly think that Laura Ingalls Wilder and I would be friends. I have read her Little House series more times than I can count. I re-read them every year or two, and I love them every time.
Before she started writing Little House in the Big Woods, Laura was writing articles for farm papers. She and Almanzo had left Dakota Territory, gone to Florida for a short while, and finally moved to Mansfield, Missouri, where they settled. They raised chickens and had an orchard, and they lived out their lives there. Little House in the Ozarks is a collection of the articles and essays she wrote while living in Missouri, compiled by Stephen W. Hines (who, by the way, earned his M.A. at the same university where I earned my bachelor’s degree. Go Cards!)
In these articles, I get a feel for who Laura became as an adult. She writes about farming, neighbors, God, the role of women in the early 1900’s, family, war, the environment, morality, politics, and the balance of work and play. Many of her ideas still apply a century later.
I realize I’m pretty biased and would probably love anything Laura wrote, but I find these articles fascinating. I like that Hines arranged them into various categories, though I do wonder why each category does not have the articles within it in chronological order.
Because it’s a book of essays, it’s not necessarily something you’d sit down and read straight through. But if you are enamoured with Laura and her life as I am, you will find this book a very interesting read.