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The Little House Books: the Library of America Collection Hardcover – Aug 30 2012

5.0 out of 5 stars 4 customer reviews

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 1750 pages
  • Publisher: Library of America; Box edition (Aug. 30 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 159853162X
  • ISBN-13: 978-1598531626
  • Product Dimensions: 13.7 x 7.1 x 21.7 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 1.4 Kg
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars 4 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #23,773 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Product Description

About the Author

Caroline Fraser, editor, is the author most recently of Rewilding the World: Dispatches from the Conservation Revolution. She has written for The New Yorker, where she was formerly on the editorial staff, The Atlantic, Outside Magazine, Allure, and The Los Angeles Times Book Review, among other publications. Her essays and reviews also appear in The New York Review of Books. She lives in Santa Fe, New Mexico.

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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
To have Laura Ingalls Wilder's Little House saga packaged by the Library of America is testimony to the enduring story that has never been out of print since they first appeared in 1932. At first I was leery of having the classic Garth Williams illustrations missing, but relished the power of Wilder's descriptions to stand on their own in the canon of pure American literature. No illustrations are needed for these stories to come alive and introduce new generations to a time and place long gone but essential to our cultural history. Library of America packaged Wilder's words in a beautiful 2-volume set with a classic photograph of prairie and author on the slipcase box. That's a perfect package for the Little House books to be presented as American classics for all ages.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Loved this was just as l remembered as a child. Interesting read and l enjoyed the real life details of Laura
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Love this so much! Great Seller
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Thank you so much
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) HASH(0x9f686e40) out of 5 stars 836 reviews
427 of 442 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0xa02199d8) out of 5 stars Unforgettable Reading Experience June 30 2002
By Miss Jane - Published on
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I received my Little House box set MANY, MANY years ago for Christmas, and it sat on my shelf, a treasure waiting to be fully discovered, for the better part of 2 decades. As an English major, I've spent many hours with Shakespeare, Jane Austen, the Brontes, Edith Wharton, and scores of other wonderful writers. Then one day, my best friend told me that she was reading "Little House in the Big Woods" to her 1st grade class, and that, to a child, boys and girls alike were mezmerized during story time - she'd never seen them pay such good attention.
That was all it took. One Sunday morning, I walked up to the attic, and brought down my set. Since then, I've read straight through them, often into the wee hours of the morning. The writing is outstanding (it actually becomes more grown up right along with the characters), and of course the love story is beautiful, but this series has much more to offer its readers - young and old. For one, you get a much deeper sense of how generations before us struggled, toiled really, to make this country what it is today. And the sense of family is amazing, particularly as Laura becomes old enough to live away from home and realize just how wonderful her family is.
Every child should read them. Better yet, every family should read them aloud, together. I certainly plan to read them aloud to my kids.
214 of 219 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0xa0219c24) out of 5 stars Such important books! Dec 1 2004
By JC Reader - Published on
Format: Paperback
I got "Little House in the Big Woods" when I was 7. I remember crying when I finished it because I wanted the story to go on and on. I pushed and prodded my Mom to get the rest of the books. As quickly as they appeared as birthday and Christmas presents, I devoured them. Almost 35 years later, I can say that I have read almost every book that has been written by or about Laura.

Many other reviewers have pointed out the especially wonderful aspects of the books. The narrator ages as Laura grows up. (What a cool concept!) The story of 4 year old Laura's Christmas in Wisconsin is as real and moving as the description of 18 year old Laura falling in love with Almanzo in Dakota Territory. The images are always fresh, and the stories always epitomize wholesomeness. There is a consistency all the way through "These Happy Golden Years" that shows that great care and skill were employed to make the series unwaveringly good.

The real life of Laura was strenuous and uncertain. She was poor most of her young life. She and Almanzo faced great loss and always worked very hard to run their farm. The many moves made by the Ingalls and Wilder families were made to escape difficulties like failed crops or to improve bad situations like poor health. According to available accounts, Laura did not stay in close contact with her family after she left Dakota. Her relationship with Almanzo does not seem to have been remarkable, and her relationship with her only child, Rose, was strained.

However, all of these mundane details coalesced to create some of the best books ever written. Many readers do not know that Rose was the impetus for the Little House phenomenon. She became a writer first, and she saw how she could help her mother to take the story of her life and turn it into beautiful literature. There is controversy about how much Rose helped. Some say that she was a full fledged ghost writer. In any case, it is safe to say that the Little House series was a mother/daughter collaborative effort.

A talented mother and daughter turned the memories of a difficult, pioneering life into books that I could not put down. I read and re-read them until they became part of my life experience. I know that I am one of many for whom the experience made me love reading more, made me wonder more about how other people in other times lived, made me see how good people lived in the world, and made me more alive in some way. I cannot say enough good things about these books.

Every child should read them, and every adult should read them again!
157 of 166 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0xa0219e64) out of 5 stars Little House on the Praire Box Set Feb. 11 2000
By Jennifer - Published on
Format: Paperback
I always wanted to read these books, but I never did as a child. I am now 27 and I am totally enthralled by this series. I have always been an avid watcher of the TV series, but I feel you get a more intimate look at Laura and the Ingalls through the novel. I enjoy how the descriptions in the stories actually make you feel like your are traveling with the Ingalls. Whether you are 8 or 88 these books help you understand the beginning of our nation. They remind you of what family, loyalty, respect, and responsiblity mean. I can not wait to share these with my nieces and someday my children. What a wonderful way to spend time, traveling on a voyage with Laura Ingalls Wilder.
107 of 114 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x9f6a20fc) out of 5 stars True Classics! Jan. 14 2002
By A Customer - Published on
Format: Paperback
One of the biggest fallacies about the Little House books is that they are "girls' books." It was that perception of the books, as well as the sappy, smaltzy "Little House on the Prairie" TV show, that kept me from reading these books until I was in my early teens. One day just out of sheer boredom, I read my sister's worn copy of "Little House in the Big Woods." What a great book! A story of a family's survival in the wilderness with tales of bears, panthers, wolves, hunting, and all sorts of neat information on how pioneer people lived. "Little House in the Big Woods" erased my conception of the Little House books as "girlie stuff" and I promptly read the rest of the series.
Yes, some elements will appeal more to girls especially Mrs. Wilder's very detailed descriptions of women's clothing. (I generally just read what color the dress was and then skip over the rest of the description.) However, her stories about Indians, wild animals, blizzards, grasshopper storms, bandits, bullies threatening to beat up teachers, unruly students, unhinged farmwives, bossy older sisters, and a whole host of other great stuff will make these books fascinating to anyone interested in pioneer life regardless of gender.
Despite my age I still consider these among my favorite books. They are truly heartwarming classics with the magnificent illustrations of Garth Williams. Laura, the main character, will appeal to almost anyone- honest, principled, courageous, industrious, but with very human elements- including envy of her older sister and holding grudges, especially against snooty Nellie Oleson and her teacher (and future sister-in-law) Eliza Jane Wilder. The books are also a tribute to her father, Charles Ingalls, who emerges as a truly great man and father. A hard-working man upon whom fortune did not always smile, but always was able to remain unbowed regardless of misfortune. He was also a strict disciplinarian, who did not believe in sparing the rod, but also a truly loving father, who would do anything for his girls. Charles Ingalls, as seen through the eyes of his daughter, is a man worthy of any reader's respect.
For those who see images of Michael Landon and Melissa Gilbert when they hear the words, "Little House," please give the books a chance. They are really nothing like the TV series. Although Laura Ingalls Wilder infused her books with a great deal of sentimentality- they never descend into the maudlin syrup that was the hallmark of the TV series. One example of how different they truly are would be how they represented how Mary, Laura's older sister, lost her eyesight. In "On the Shores of Silver Lake" Laura describes how scarlet fever robbed her sister of her sight, but also proudly describes how that tragedy never brought Mary to tears. Mary always remained "patient and brave." In contrast, the TV show has Mary wailing, moaning, and carrying on until her family ships her off to a school for the blind. (In the books, Mary does eventually go to a college for the blind, but only after years of being an important and valuable member of the family despite her disability.) Once again, the Little House series is a perfect example of the books being vastly superior to any TV or film conversion.
88 of 96 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0xa0219e70) out of 5 stars Okay, but . . . Nov. 13 2012
By Amazon Customer - Published on
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I am a huge Laura Ingalls Wilder fan, and have ready many books by her and about her. I thought this 2-volume collection would contain more information than it does. It's basically the Little House set, unillustrated, with footnotes at the end. The footnotes are interesting but honestly, they don't add much to the Ingalls story. And I still prefer the old volumes with the extremely charming Garth Williams illustrations. I'm giving this 3 stars mostly because I love Laura's writing -- not so much for this new repackaging of her story.