Tom Sawyer

Having read Laura Ingalls Wilder's “Little House” books earlier this year, and now reading “The Adventures of Tom Sawyer” for the first time, it seems to me that Mark Twain produced for boys’ childhood something similar to what Wilder did for girls.  Both have produced an idealized but recognizable memory of childhood in a time … Continue reading Tom Sawyer

Hero, meet your villain; or, never mind

It's a common trope in fiction: a final confrontation between the central hero of a story and its central villain. It's an important trope in Westerns, both on the page and screen -- Clint Eastwood's "Unforgiven" is just one famous example. And we see it in works of fiction that are too many to count: … Continue reading Hero, meet your villain; or, never mind

Bible quotes in Little House books

A while ago I compiled a list of Bible-and-book quotes in the Little House TV series. I've now done essentially the same thing for the Little House novels. I've included the principal 8 Little House novels of Laura Ingalls Wilder, plus the posthumously published ninth novel, "The First Four Years", and her recently published memoir, … Continue reading Bible quotes in Little House books

Pioneer Girl

This book’s annotations, and Wilder’s nonfiction voice, make this a first-rate work of history. The editor, Pamela Smith Hill, highlights the process of turning nonfiction into fiction.  There is also analysis of the relationship between memories and writing. Wilder was something of a stickler for accuracy, especially in comparison with her daughter-and-editor, Rose Wilder Lane, … Continue reading Pioneer Girl