Little House on the Prairie by Laura Ingalls Wilder was the first chapter book I ever read by myself. I grew up reading and re-reading this series and watching the television show starring Melissa Gilbert. As a teacher and parent I have read these books to many children and feel a strong tie to them.
So the idea of Caroline telling the story of Little House on the Prairie from her perspective was one I as immediately on board with. What could be better?
The answer is not much. This is a great story - fictionalized, of course- about Caroline's own experiences when they leave Wisconsin and move to Kansas. It is true that Laura Ingalls Wilder took some liberties when she wrote her first book, Little House on the Prairie, always believing it would be a stand-alone title. Miller has remained true to real life in some aspects Wilder did not. For example, Carrie is not yet born when they leave Wisconsin and head to Kansas, a fact Miller adheres to, but Wilder did not, having placed Carrie in the very first book Little House in the Big Woods.
These differences continue throughout the novel, which made reading a pleasure as I remembered more details and bits and pieces from Little House on the Prairie, and then noticed how these same things were seen a bit differently from Caroline's eyes.
I feel I should at least mention what I've seen in several other reviews: by today's standards Caroline might be considered a racist. She did not like the Indians and was even a bit scared of them. I would like to point out, though, that Caroline Ingalls was a product of the time she lived in. Many people had views about the Indians that would not be acceptable today. And she was a real person - not without flaws.
I loved, loved, loved this book. Part of it is the fact that something that I am so familiar with is new again to me. I have so enjoyed hearing a familiar story with a new perspective.
Thanks to TLC Book Tours for providing a copy of this book for my review. All opinions expressed are, as always, my own.
For more information visit the HarperCollins website.