Hello Everyone, join me as I get a little nostalgic today!
One of my favorite childhood memories are of when my mom would read aloud to us. Sometimes we would all crowd together on her bed, snuggle under the blankets early in the morning before we started the day. Sometimes we would sit in the living room in the late afternoon, pulling out coloring books while she read aloud. Wherever we were or whatever she read, I loved it. The one series that she read that I will remember is The Little House series by Laura Ingalls Wilder. I don’t really remember a time when my Mom wasn’t reading these books to us. She read the first few when we were little and as we got older she read the later books. Then she read them again to my little brothers and I listened while she read them.
As I have gotten older I have picked up the series several times on my own. I am just finishing up the series for the third time I think. As I read them this time I was surprised at the reactions I got when I carried the books around. Some people seemed surprised, Little House? Some people didn’t realize the series continued beyond Little House on The Prairie. Most just seemed to wonder why I was reading a children’s series. Honestly I have never found a Little House to be a children’s series, it is an everyone series.
For those who unfamiliar, The Little House series follows a fictionalized version of the author Laura Ingalls Wilder’s real life. She grew up in the center of American History, her family moves around from home to home on the wild prairie before settling in Iowa under the Homestead Act. Each book is essentially a different time of life, the first about her early life in the woods, then it follows as she moves along through the prairie and finally her family settles down in Iowa and watch a whole spring up from nothing. The series ends when Laura meets Almanzo Wilder and starts a Little House of her own.
When I was little, I literally wanted to grow up in the middle of nowhere, wear a sunbonnet and fetch water from a well. The books charmed me as a child. I loved reading about the simplicity and just the time period as a whole. Now that I’m older I love them just as much, if not more. The books are written in a simple voice, but they are not written in a childlike voice, at least the later ones aren’t. When I read them now, I am just as charmed by the simplicity and time period, but I also see the deeper layers of the honest messages she tells. Now that I have studied American history I love reading the books, seeing a true picture of a family who lived in the time period. I see the account of a family making a life in one of the most important eras of American history. There are so many different stories out there in the world, there a love stories and mysteries, there are dramatic sagas and contemporaries. There are so many beautiful, vibrant stories that make you laugh out loud, or cry real tears, clutching the book to your chest, but rarely do you find a series like Little House. The series feels real. The series feels honest and sweet, it takes you back to a simpler time. It is not just for kids, it is not just for adults or teens. It is for everyone.
Maybe it’s my nostalgia and tendency to wax poetic, but I believe that any age can find something to love in the simple joy that this series brings. I know this won’t be the last time I read the series and I will most definitely read them to my kids. If you have never read them, I highly recommend going to read them right now, you won’t be disappointed!
Have you read the Little House Series?
What childhood memories about reading do you have?