Tuesday, August 16, 2011

On the Banks of Plum Creek, Laura Ingalls Wilder

Title:  On the Banks of Plum Creek
Author:  Laura Ingalls Wilder
Pages:  339
Genre:  Fiction, YA
Source:  My bookshelf.
What you'll love:  Same as the others - an exquisite portrait of the time period.
What will bug you:  Nellie Oleson.

I remember this being my favorite in the series when I was a girl.  I think it had something to do with living by a creek, which may sound strange, but I've always had a love for water (ocean, rivers, whatever...).  I enjoyed it just as much the second time around.

I would love to live in a dugout.  It sounds so neat.  Of course, as I may have said before, I've long suspected that I'm actually a hobbit.  With my love of ale, snacking, desire to go barefoot, and curly hair it all seems to add up.  It makes sense that a dugout sounds like my kind of digs, right?  Although the dugout sounds neat, the house that Pa builds sounds just amazing.  (I know!  I need to read The Wilder Life!!)

When I was a kid reading this, I remember two things freaking me out, and they did it again.  Bloodsuckers and grasshoppers.  Gross and gross.  I remember reading about the bloodsuckers getting stuck to Laura's legs and being completely horrified!  (I think I was taking swimming lessons in the local pond at the time, and was convinced they would wind up on my legs too... a fair conclusion.)  The grasshoppers are just unbelievable.  What an amazing phenomena.  Can you imagine it?  Millions of grasshoppers descending from the sky, eating everything in sight?  It's enough to give you nightmares.  I can't imagine the horror going through Pa's mind at the time.  He had invested so much in that wheat field, only to see it be completely demolished - and then come to the realization that eggs have been hatched and it will happen again the next year.  

The snowstorms!  I loved reading about the snowstorms.  I'm a huge fan of blizzards - as long as I have power, which of course the Ingalls family did not have.  I love snowstorms because they're so intense, yet so quiet.  There's something just magical about being inside your warm cozy house while this silent storm is raging outside.  (I'm also a teacher, so I'm sure the thought of an unexpected day off plays into the excitement!)  It was neat to imagine them coming across the landscape - this big dark cloud approaching.  

It was neat seeing Laura and Mary interacting with other people in this book.  The previous books have really been about them being on their own with their family.  I still have an absolute hatred for Nellie Oleson.  What a brat.

My favorite so far!  

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