Laura Ingalls Wilder

Laura Ingalls Wilder is the “Half Pint” most of us grew up with. One of my earliest memories is of my mom reading the series aloud to me each night. The details stick with me in a way that shows just how fascinating I found the books…eating maple syrup poured on fresh snow, bulldog Jack’s three circles before falling asleep, words like slough and gee and haw, the grasshopper plague and nonstop blizzards, the oranges in the stockings, Pa’s fiddling by the fire. I know I’m not the only one who holds this series close to their heart.

Laura’s Book Stack

Ballet Shoes

Noel Streatfield
Three very different sisters, the middle of whom is unconventional, curious, and always puts her family first. This would be the perfect cozy read to enjoy with little Rose.

Walden

Henry David Thoreau
I feel like Thoreau and Pa were kindred spirits and can see Laura reading with a pencil in hand: “I went to the woods because I wished to live deliberately, to front only the essential facts of life, and see if I could not learn what it had to teach, and not, when I came to die, discover that I had not lived.”

Station Eleven

Emily St. John Mandel
The Wild West of the future. This one would totally engross Laura with both its rich setting and complex characters. Anyone else think of Ma carrying her china shepherdess from place to place?

The Son

Philipp Meyer
This novel is certainly epic. It’s described as “a saga of land, blood, and power that follows the rise of one unforgettable Texas family from the Comanche raids of the 1800s to the oil booms of the 20th century.” I found it to be a fascinating look at the hardships of lifestyles and histories that I certainly knew little about, but would likely make Laura reminisce about some of her family’s own troubling experiences, all while feeling a stirring of her own adventurous spirit.

Finding Wonders: Three Girls Who Changed Science

Jeannine Atkins
This verse novel’s subtitle says it all. Each of the girls has a close relationship with her father who fosters her strength to step beyond society’s limits, which I think would make the book extra special to Laura. It is informative and empowering, a perfect combination for our inquisitive and spirited character.

Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban

J.K. Rowling
I could probably pick Harry Potter for every book stack. However, I definitely see Laura getting a kick out of Hermione, who shines in this book, and isn’t Nellie with her general store clothes just Draco with his shiny new broom?


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