Posted by Umm Abdurahman | No Comments yet
Abdurahman just finished up the second book from the Little House series. Naturally I had assumed that this book would continue from where the previous book (Little House in the Big Woods) had left off and follow in the adventures of Laura, however we are introduced to a new family and the main character is a nine year old boy called Almanzo Wilder. It wasn’t until we had completed the book that we realized Almanzo goes on to become Laura’s husband.
The book is about Almanzo’s childhood in upstate New York, and chronicles approximately one year in his life. He lives on a farm with his parents and his two older sisters; Mary Jane and Alice as well as his older brother Royal. They run a very large, successful farm and as a result were a lot wealthier than Laura’s family. Almanzo loves horses particularly colts, and longs to get close to them, however his father does not think he is old enough to help train the horses, so he does not allow him to go anywhere near them for fear of spoiling them. As we go through the book we see Almanzo grow in maturity and appreciate his love of farm life. His parents do a wonderful job in building his character and teach him not just to be a farmer, but to be his own man.
I love that the book is filled with descriptions of life on a farm in the 19th century from making candles, ice cream, and shoes, to felling trees, raising livestock, and growing crops. The book is full of beneficial lessons not just for children but adults too. For example at one point in the story Almanzo asks his father for a nickel to buy some lemonade, but instead his father gives him 50 cents and explains to him the worth of the coin and the work it represents. His father makes a suggestion that he buy a piglet, to breed, which he does, teaching him the lesson of investment. . Also the children are raised up with the understanding that they must always be honest, hardworking, and obedient to their parents. They start work before sunrise right up until sunset.
Again the only thing that may be questionable is the chapter about Christmas, although the only mention of Christmas was the word. There are no religious references at all. They just describe the feast they have and later in the day two of the boys get into a little skirmish. Other than this the book is clean.
The book was a great read for younger and older readers alike and I think that it would be well suited for boys and girls.