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The First Four Years (Little House) [Paperback]

By Laura Ingalls Wilder (Author)
Find more in Little House Series
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Item Number 59182  
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Little House - Full Series Preview
Image Title Price Stock Qty Add To Cart
  The Little House Guidebook   $ 6.99   In Stock  
  Little House in the Big Woods   $ 6.29   In Stock  
  Little House On The Prairie (75th Anniversary Ed)   $ 11.89   In Stock  

Item description for The First Four Years (Little House) by Laura Ingalls Wilder...

Laura Ingalls Wilder is beginning life with her new husband, Almanzo, in their own little house. Laura is a young pioneer wife now, and must work hard with Almanzo, farming the land around their home on the South Dakota prairie. Soon their baby daughter, Rose, is born, and the young family must face the hardships and triumphs encountered by so many American pioneers.

And so Laura Ingalls Wilder's adventure as a little pioneer girl ends, and her new life as a pioneer wife and mother begins. The nine Little House books have been cherished by generations of readers as both a unique glimpse into America's frontier past and a heartwarming, unforgettable story.

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Item Specifications...

Studio: HarperTrophy
Pages   160
Est. Packaging Dimensions:   Length: 7.2" Width: 5.1" Height: 0.6"
Weight:   0.25 lbs.
Binding  Softcover
Release Date   Jan 31, 2007
Publisher   Harper Collins Publishers
Series  Little House  
ISBN  0060885459  
ISBN13  9780060885458  

Availability  0 units.

More About Laura Ingalls Wilder

Laura Ingalls Wilder Laura Ingalls Wilder was born on February 7, 1867, near Pepin, Wisconsin. From 1882–1885 she was a teacher in South Dakota. She married Almanzo Wilder in 1885. Laura and her husband, Almanzo Wilder, made their own covered-wagon trip with their daughter, Rose, to Mansfield, Missouri. There, believing in the importance of knowing where you began in order to appreciate how far you've come, Laura wrote about her childhood growing up on the American frontier.

Laura Ingalls Wilder has said that she and her sisters were busy and happy as children but loved Pa's stories the best. In 1932, when Laura was 60 years old, she wrote her first book, Little House In The Big Woods, so those stories would not be lost. She thought about how she had seen the settling of the frontier -- the woods, Indian Territory of the Great Plains, the frontier towns, the coming of the railroad, and homesteading on the prairie. She thought of writing the story of her childhood in eight volumes that would cover each aspect of the American frontier. These became the Little House series. Wilder finished the last book in 1943. On February 10, 1957, she died at age 90, on her farm in Mansfield, Missouri.

For millions of readers Laura lives on forever as the little pioneer girl in the beloved Little House books.

Laura Ingalls Wilder was born in 1867 and died in 1957.

Laura Ingalls Wilder has published or released items in the following series...
  1. Little House
  2. Little House (HarperTrophy)
  3. Little House (Original Series Hardcover)
  4. Little House (Original Series Paperback)
  5. Little House Chapter Books (Paperback)
  6. Little House the Laura Years (Audio)
  7. My First Little House Books (Paperback)
  8. Writings to Young Women on Laura Ingalls Wilder

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Product Categories

1Books > Subjects > Children > Ages 9-12 > General
2Books > Subjects > Children > Authors & Illustrators, A-Z > ( W ) > Wilder, Laura Ingalls
3Books > Subjects > Children > History & Historical Fiction > Fiction > General
4Books > Subjects > Children > History & Historical Fiction > Fiction
5Books > Subjects > Children > History & Historical Fiction > United States > Fiction > 1800s
6Books > Subjects > Children > Literature > Classics by Age > General
7Books > Subjects > Children > Literature > Classics by Age
8Books > Subjects > Children > People & Places > Family Life > General
9Books > Subjects > Children > People & Places > Family Life
10Books > Subjects > Children > Series > Historical > Little House

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Reviews - What do customers think about The First Four Years (Little House)?

This book was OK.  Jun 10, 2008
This book the first four years is about a young couple who doesn't agree on being framers for a living. So they make a deal. The deal was that they would try out being farmers for 3 years then after the 3 years they would deside if they liked being a framer family. If they didn't like being framers then they would start a new life with a new job. If they did like being framers they would stick to it and be a happy family. The family goes through alot of trouble and they get a new member to the family. I would recomend the book to children AND adults.
Doesn't really fit with the other books...  Jun 8, 2008
Hesitant at tying her future to a farmer, Wilder agrees to allow her new husband three years to try. If he proves he can make them a decent living, she will consider their staying in that lifestyle.

Thus this story of Wilder's early married years is born. In the first four years (for she allows Manly an extra to the original three) the couple sees weather disasters, serious illness, the birth of their daughter Rose, and a staggering amount of physical labor.

Despite the difficulties, the Wilders persevere, bound by their love for one another and their determination to succeed.

While an overall enjoyable book, and a nice conclusion to the stories of Laura's childhood and coming-of-age presented in the previous books, "The First Four Years" almost felt as if it were written by another person, about other people than those with whom the reader became familiar prior. Perhaps it's only because the protagonist was considerably younger in the initial stories, but here it felt like more of a chronology, a documentation of facts with a few hastily scrawled characterizations to turn it into a novel, than anything else.
Somewhat shattered my Little House image.  Mar 13, 2008
I had read the Little House series a number of times over the years, but never picked up the First Four Years. Finally, as an adult - and even more a fan of Laura than I was young - I picked up this book to see what happened AFTER "happily ever after."

Well, I frankly wish I hadn't. Perhaps it's better to have the truth than to buy into the sugar-coating, but it truly disappointed me in a number of ways. Most other reviewers here have complained about the miserable story line - and it IS pretty depressing - but that's not even what bothered me the most. The Laura I had come to know through the first books was a good-hearted person who loved her family more than anything. It bothered me terribly that they were hardly mentioned (some of them, not at all!) throughout the entire book. The names permeating the book are mainly her own, Rose's and "Manly's."

... and she's not even all that cuddly in regards to her husband. As others have pointed out, she intially refused to marry him because he was "just a farmer." Ouch. Did she hate her childhood that much? The Laura in this book does indeed come off as a cold and somewhat naggy woman, nothing like the sassy, charming, good-hearted Laura of old. And not only does she seem to forsake her family of origin - the main characters in all of her other books! - but she destroys secondary characters that I used to like. I'll never be able to read about Mr. and Mrs. Boast again without thinking that they're a little bit icky. Which really stinks. At least Mr. Edwards didn't show up and molest Rose or anything.

Reading this really made me wonder about the degree to which Rose took a hand in the original Little House books. It's quite clear, reading this, that it is of a much lower quality and in a very different voice than the rest of the books. In defense of Laura, I can only posit that this is because these were actually notes and would have been seriously revised before being published as a "Little House" book. But with MacBride - the author of the Prologue and the one holding the "Little House" rights - having been so close to Rose, it might well be that he allowed the book to be released untouched on purpose, to show the world what the rest of the series would have been like stripped of his mentor's editing and re-writing touch-ups. To do her honor, so to speak, since she has claimed none on the rest of the series. Most telling is the contrast between Laura's version of her wedding in these notes and the version published in "Golden Years:" why did these need to be re-published? The story could have easily been begun where the last book left off. It almost seems as though it were left in as a study in contrast, meant to tip the readers off to something about the difference in writing styles and quality.

All-in-all, if you want to learn more about praries and how much things cost in the late 1800s, by all means - pick this up. If you want to preserve your memories of how much Laura loved her Pa and Ma and her sister Mary, and of what a fiesty but caring young lady she was, I recommend skipping this. Maybe preferring the fictionalized world to reality isn't very mature, but there it is.

I think I'm going to go watch a few episodes of the 70s TV series to cheer myself up, as long as I seem to enjoy fiction so much.
A depressing postscript  Mar 11, 2008
This was the only book in the Little House series I hadn't read yet (shut up, I AM from Kansas), mostly because I'd always heard it wasn't really a Little House book at all, just Laura Ingalls Wilder's journal of her first four years of marriage on the prairie. It is quite different in tone from the other books in the Little House series, even with an alternate wedding that's not nearly as romanticized as the one in These Happy Golden Years. Also, the chapters aren't divided by a quaint episode or schoolhouse observance like the previous eight books but simply by each of the first four years, reinforcing the journal-like tone. But the biggest surprise of the book is how obnoxious Laura has become. She initially denies Almanzo marriage because she doesn't want to marry a farmer and wants to live in the town with a merchant because they make all the money; then, after she gives in to his persistent promises that he'll make good, she continually nags her husband about the money they're not making. Plenty bad happens to them just like it did to her family when she was growing up, but now instead of a wide-eyed optimistic child, she's become a world-weary child-bride. Perhaps this is a more realistic view of Laura Ingalls Wilder than the previous books; if so, I'll take the romance.
The First Four Years!  Dec 19, 2006
"The First Four Years," is a story about the early years of the marriage of Laura Ingalls and Manly Wilder.As the story starts in 1894, Laura agrees to marry Manly and help him try to make a living farming.The young family eventually grows with the birth of baby Rose.

The Wilder family faces many trials thoughout there lives. sickness, the harsh climate, and more. Wilder presents the often deadly dangers of pioneer life quite often.

There are some dark and harsh moments along the way, but I found this book to be joyful and hopeful. Wilder shows courage of the pioneer farm family.

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