The First Four Years by Laura Ingalls Wilder
(Little House)

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America's Original Pioneer Girl

Meet Laura Ingalls, the girl who would grow up to write the Little House books.

Laura and Almanzo Wilder have just been married! Their life on a small prairie homestead begins with high hopes. But each year seems to bring unexpected disasters -- storms, sickness, fire, and unpaid debts. These first four years call for courage, strength, and a great deal of determination. Always, though, there is love, especially for the newest member of the family -- baby Rose.

The First Four Years is the ninth and final book in the Laura Years series.


About Laura Ingalls Wilder

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Wilder was born near Pepin, Wisconsin; attended school in DeSmet, South Dakota; and became a teacher before she was 16, teaching for seven years in Dakota Territory schools. She and her husband, Almanzo Wilder, farmed near DeSmet for about nine years and then moved to Mansfield, Missouri, where they lived out the rest of their days. Wilder did not write her first book, Little House in the Big Woods, about her early years in Wisconsin, until late in life, on the urging of her daughter, Rose Wilder Lane. It was first published in 1932. She followed this with Farmer Boy (1933), a book about her husband's childhood in New York State. She then completed a series of books about her life as she and her family moved westward along the frontier. Little House on the Prairie (1935) records the family's move to Kansas. On the Banks of Plum Creek (1937) describes the family's move to Minnesota. By the Shores of Silver Lake (1939) records the family's move to South Dakota, as do the final three books in the series: The Long Winter, Little Town on the Prairie (1941), and These Happy Golden Years (1943), which ends with her marriage to Almanzo Wilder. Three of Wilder's books were published posthumously: On the Way Home, a diary of her trip to Mansfield; The First Four Years, an unfinished book about her first four years of marriage; and West from Home, letters she wrote on a visit to her daughter in San Francisco, none of them up to the quality of her earlier books. At her best, Wilder employs a clear, simple style, a wealth of fascinating detail, and a straightforward narrative style. Her tales of a strong, traditional frontier family that endures the hardships of the late eighteenth century are seen through the eyes of a child, which endears them to young readers. Her work is possibly the best example of historical realistic fiction for children. Garth Williams began his work on the pictures for the Little House books by meeting Laura Ingalls Wilder at her home in Missouri, and then he traveled to the sites of all the little houses. His charming art caused Laura to remark that she and her family "live again in these illustrations.
Published January 1, 1971 by Scholastic. 134 pages
Genres: Education & Reference, Children's Books, Literature & Fiction, History, Biographies & Memoirs. Fiction

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and consequently closer to the bone, to the hopes for a good harvest dashed year after year.

| Read Full Review of The First Four Years (Little ...

Suite 101

In this era of screens, speed, sports and multiple distractions, parents can often forget to read to their children.

Jan 07 2009 | Read Full Review of The First Four Years (Little ...


Laura isn't sure she wants to marry a farmer, but Manly (Almanzo's nickname) persuades her to give it a try for three years.

Jan 01 2007 | Read Full Review of The First Four Years (Little ...

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