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Laura Ingalls Wilder

Laura Ingalls Wilder

Happy birthday, Laura Ingalls Wilder! This month, celebrate with 10% off her books.

Laura Ingalls Wilder was born February 7, 1867 to parents Charles and Caroline Ingalls, the second of five children. The details of her family life through adolescence are chronicled in her semi-autobiographical Little House books. As those books reveal, she and her family moved extensively throughout the mid-west during her childhood. Although she was a bright student, her education was rather sporadic, a result of her family often living in isolated areas where schools were not yet established, or the family's finances resulting in Laura interrupting her schooling to earn money. The family eventually settled in De Smet, Dakota Territory, where she attended school more regularly and worked as a seamstress and teacher before she married homesteader Almanzo James Wilder (1857-1949) in 1885. They had two children: the novelist, journalist and political theorist Rose Wilder Lane (1886-1968), and an unnamed son, who died soon after birth in 1889.

In the late 1880s, complications from a life-threatening bout of diphtheria left Almanzo partially paralyzed. While he eventually regained nearly full use of his legs, he needed a cane to walk for the remainder of his life. This setback began a series of disastrous events that included the death of their newborn son and the destruction of their home and barn by fire. On top of that, several years of severe drought left them in debt, physically ill and unable to earn a living from their 320 acres of prairie land.

In about 1890, the Wilders left South Dakota and spent about a year resting at Almanzo's parents' prosperous Minnesota farm, before moving briefly to Florida. The Florida climate was sought to improve Almanzo's health, but Laura, used to living on the dry plains, wilted in the heat and southern humidity. They soon returned to De Smet and purchased a small house in town. Laura and Almanzo took jobs (Almanzo as a day laborer, Laura as a seamstress at a dressmaker's shop) to save enough money to once again start up a farming operation.

In 1894, the hard-pressed young couple moved a final time to Mansfield, Missouri, making a partial down payment on a piece of undeveloped property just outside town that they named Rocky Ridge Farm. What began as about 40 acres of thickly wooded, stone covered hillside with a windowless log cabin, over the next 20 years, evolved into a 200 acre, relatively prosperous, poultry, dairy, and fruit farm. The ramshackle log cabin was eventually replaced with an impressive and unique ten-room farmhouse and outbuildings. While the Wilders were never wealthy until the Little House series of books began to achieve popularity, the farming operation provided a stable living.

During much of the 1920s and 30s, Rose began to help provide her parents welfare. She encouraged her parents to scale back the farming operation, bought them their first automobile and taught them both how to drive. Rose also took over the farmhouse her parents had built and had a beautiful, modern stone cottage built for them. A comfortable and worry-free retirement seemed possible for Laura and Almanzo until the Stock Market Crash of 1929 wiped out the family's investments (Laura and Almanzo still owned the 200 acre farm, but they had invested most of their hard-won savings with Rose's broker).

In 1930, Laura asked her daughter's opinion about a biographical manuscript she had written about her pioneering childhood. The Great Depression, coupled with the recent deaths of her mother and her sister Mary, seem to have prompted her to preserve her memories in a "life story" called "Pioneer Girl." She had also renewed her interest in writing in the hope of generating some income. Little did either of them realize that Laura Ingalls Wilder, 63, was about to embark on an entirely new career: writer of books for children. By the mid-1930s the royalties from the Little House books brought a steady and increasingly substantial income to the Wilders for the first time in their 50 years of marriage. Various honors, huge amounts of fan mail and other accolades were granted to Laura.

In the fall of 1956, Rose found her 89-year-old mother severely ill from diabetes and a weak heart. Several weeks in a hospital seemed to improve the situation somewhat, but on February 10, 1957, three days after her 90th birthday, Laura Ingalls Wilder died.

The popularity of the Little House series has grown phenomenally over the years, spawning a multimillion-dollar franchise of mass merchandising, additional spinoff book series and the long-running television show, starring Michael Landon. Laura Ingalls Wilder has been portrayed by Melissa Gilbert, Meredith Monroe and Kyle Chavarria in television series.

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74 Items found
By the Shores of Silver Lake
Little House Series #5
by Laura Ingalls Wilder
from HarperCollins
Realistic Fiction/Pioneers for 3rd-6th grade
1940 Newbery Honor Book
in Historical Fiction (Location: A05-01A)
$6.29 $3.60 (2 in stock)
By the Shores of Silver Lake
Little House Series #5
by Laura Ingalls Wilder
from HarperCollins
Realistic Fiction/Pioneers for 3rd-6th grade
1940 Newbery Honor Book
in Historical Fiction (Location: A05-01A)
$15.29
By the Shores of Silver Lake
Little House Series #5
by Laura Ingalls Wilder
Reprint from HarperCollins
for 3rd-8th grade
in Historical Fiction (Location: A05-01A)
$8.09
By the Shores of Silver Lake - Audio Book (CD)
Little House Series #5
by Laura Ingalls Wilder
from HarperCollins
Realistic Fiction/Pioneers for 3rd-6th grade
1940 Newbery Honor Book
in Audio Books & Dramas (Location: APO-01A)
$23.39
Christmas in the Big Woods
My First Little House
by Laura Ingalls Wilder
from HarperCollins
for Preschool-2nd grade
in Adapted or Abridged (Location: A10-03F)
$6.29
County Fair
My First Little House
by Laura Ingalls Wilder
Reprint from HarperCollins
for Preschool-2nd grade
in Adapted or Abridged (Location: A10-03F)
$6.29
Dance at Grandpa's
My First Little House
by Laura Ingalls Wilder
from HarperCollins
for Preschool-2nd grade
in Adapted or Abridged (Location: A10-03F)
$6.29
Deer in the Wood
My First Little House
by Laura Ingalls Wilder
Reprint from HarperCollins
for Preschool-2nd grade
in Adapted or Abridged (Location: A10-03F)
$6.29
Farmer Boy
Little House Series #3
by Laura Ingalls Wilder
from HarperCollins
Realistic Fiction/Pioneers for 3rd-6th grade
in Historical Fiction (Location: A05-01A)
$6.29
Farmer Boy
Little House Series #3
by Laura Ingalls Wilder
from HarperCollins
Realistic Fiction/Pioneers for 3rd-6th grade
in Historical Fiction (Location: A05-01A)
$15.29
Farmer Boy
Little House Series #3
by Laura Ingalls Wilder
from HarperCollins
Realistic Fiction/Pioneers for 3rd-6th grade
in Historical Fiction (Location: A05-01A)
$8.09
Farmer Boy - Audio CD
Little House Series #3
by Laura Ingalls Wilder
Unabridged from HarperCollins
Realistic Fiction/Pioneers for 3rd-6th grade
in Audio Books & Dramas (Location: APO-01A)
$23.36
Farmer Boy - Memoria Press Literature Set
from Memoria Press
for 3rd grade
in Memoria Press Literature & Poetry (Location: B18-00B)
$30.50
Farmer Boy - MP Student Guide
from Memoria Press
for 3rd grade
in Memoria Press Literature & Poetry (Location: B18-00B)
Farmer Boy - MP Teacher Guide
by Laura Ingalls Wilder
from Memoria Press
for 3rd grade
in Memoria Press Literature & Poetry (Location: B18-00B)
Farmer Boy - Progeny Press Study Guide
Progeny Press Literature Guides
by Rebecca Gilleland
from Progeny Press
Literature Guide for 4th-6th grade
in Progeny Press Literature Guides (Location: B18-00T)
$17.09
First Four Years
Little House Series #9
by Laura Ingalls Wilder
from HarperCollins
Realistic Fiction/Pioneers for 3rd-8th grade
in Historical Fiction (Location: A05-01A)
$6.29 $3.60 (1 in stock)
First Four Years
by Laura Ingalls Wilder
from Harper & Row
for 3rd-8th grade
in Historical Fiction (Location: A05-01A)
$4.50 (1 in stock)
First Four Years
by Laura Ingalls Wilder
from HarperCollins
Realistic Fiction/Pioneers for 3rd-8th grade
in Historical Fiction (Location: A05-01A)
$15.29
First Four Years
Little House Series #9
by Laura Ingalls Wilder
Reprint from HarperCollins
for 3rd-8th grade
in Historical Fiction (Location: A05-01A)
$8.09
First Four Years
by Laura Ingalls Wilder
(4th) from Scholastic Inc.
for 3rd-8th grade
in Historical Fiction (Location: A05-01A)
$1.35 (1 in stock)
First Four Years - Audio CD
by Laura Ingalls Wilder
from HarperCollins
Realistic Fiction/Pioneers for 3rd-8th grade
in Audio Books & Dramas (Location: APO-01A)
$23.39
Going to Town
My First Little House
by Laura Ingalls Wilder, Renee Graef
Reprint from HarperCollins
for Preschool-2nd grade
in Adapted or Abridged (Location: A10-03F)
$6.29
Going West
My First Little House
by Laura Ingalls Wilder
from HarperCollins
for Preschool-2nd grade
in Adapted or Abridged (Location: A10-03F)
$6.29
Little House - Full Color Trade Paper Set
by Laura Ingalls Wilder
from HarperCollins
for 3rd-8th grade
in Historical Fiction (Location: A05-01A)
$72.82
Little House - Hardcover Set
by Laura Ingalls Wilder
from HarperCollins
for 3rd-8th grade
in Realistic Fiction (Location: A09-01A)
$129.96
Little House - Softcover Boxed Set
by Laura Ingalls Wilder
from HarperCollins
Realistic Fiction/Pioneers for 3rd-8th grade
in Historical Fiction (Location: A05-01A)
$53.50
Little House Birthday
My First Little House
by Laura Ingalls Wilder
from HarperCollins
for Preschool-2nd grade
in Adapted or Abridged (Location: A10-03F)
Little House in the Big Woods
Little House Series #1
by Laura Ingalls Wilder
from HarperCollins
Realistic Fiction/Pioneers for 3rd-6th grade
in Historical Fiction (Location: A05-01A)
$6.29
Little House in the Big Woods
Little House Series #1
by Laura Ingalls Wilder
from HarperCollins
Realistic Fiction/Pioneers for 3rd-6th grade
in Historical Fiction (Location: A05-01A)
$15.29
Little House in the Big Woods
Little House Series #1
by Laura Ingalls Wilder
Full Color from HarperCollins
for 4th-6th grade
in Historical Fiction (Location: A05-01A)
$8.09
Little House in The Big Woods - Audio CD
by Laura Ingalls Wilder
Unabridged from HarperCollins
for 3rd-4th grade
in Audio Books & Dramas (Location: APO-01A)
$13.49
Little House in the Big Woods - Comprehension Guide
by Deb Chapin
from Veritas Press
for 2nd-5th grade
in Veritas Press Literature Guides (Location: B18-00A)
$13.95
Little House in the Big Woods - MP Student Guide
by Mary Lynn Ross
from Memoria Press
for 2nd grade
in Memoria Press Literature & Poetry (Location: B18-00B)
$10.76
Little House in the Big Woods - Progeny Press Guide
Progeny Press Literature Guides
by Rebecca Gilleland
from Progeny Press
Literature Guide for 4th-6th grade
in Progeny Press Literature Guides (Location: B18-00T)
$15.29
Little House in the Ozarks
by Laura Ingalls Wilder
First Edition from Thomas Nelson Publishers
for 3rd-6th grade
in Historical Fiction (Location: A05-01A)
$7.20 (2 in stock)
Little House on the Prairie
Little House Series #2
by Laura Ingalls Wilder
from HarperCollins
Realistic Fiction/Pioneers for 3rd-6th grade
in Historical Fiction (Location: A05-01A)
$6.29
Little House on the Prairie
Little House Series #2
by Laura Ingalls Wilder
from HarperCollins
Realistic Fiction/Pioneers for 3rd-6th grade
in Historical Fiction (Location: A05-01A)
$15.29 $8.10 (1 in stock)
Little House on the Prairie
Little House Series #2
by Laura Ingalls Wilder
1st. from HarperCollins
for 4th-6th grade
in Historical Fiction (Location: A05-01A)
$8.09
Little House on the Prairie
Little House Series #2
by Laura Ingalls Wilder
from HarperCollins
Realistic Fiction/Pioneers for 3rd-6th grade
in Historical Fiction (Location: A05-01A)
$8.10 (1 in stock)
Little House on the Prairie - 75th Anniversary Edition
by Laura Ingalls Wilder
75 Anv Rev from HarperCollins
for 3rd-8th grade
in Historical Fiction (Location: A05-01A)
$15.29
Little House On The Prairie - Audio CD
by Laura Ingalls Wilder
Unabridged from HarperCollins
for 1st-6th grade
in Audio Books & Dramas (Location: APO-01A)
$13.49
Little House on the Prairie - Comprehension Guide
by Deb Chapin
from Veritas Press
for 2nd-5th grade
in Veritas Press Literature Guides (Location: B18-00A)
$13.95
Little House on the Prairie - Progeny Press Study Guide
Progeny Press Literature Guides
by Rebecca Gilleland
from Progeny Press
Literature Guide for 4th-6th grade
in Progeny Press Literature Guides (Location: B18-00T)
$15.29
Little Prairie House
My First Little House
by Laura Ingalls Wilder
from HarperCollins
for Preschool-2nd grade
in Adapted or Abridged (Location: A10-03F)
$6.29
Little Town on the Prairie
Little House Series #7
by Laura Ingalls Wilder
from HarperCollins
Realistic Fiction/Pioneers for 3rd-8th grade
1942 Newbery Honor Book
in Historical Fiction (Location: A05-01A)
$8.09
Little Town on the Prairie
Little House Series #7
by Laura Ingalls Wilder
from HarperCollins
Realistic Fiction/Pioneers for 3rd-8th grade
1942 Newbery Honor Book
in Historical Fiction (Location: A05-01A)
$6.29 $3.60 (1 in stock)
Little Town on the Prairie
Little House Series #7
by Laura Ingalls Wilder
from HarperCollins
Realistic Fiction/Pioneers for 3rd-8th grade
1942 Newbery Honor Book
in Historical Fiction (Location: A05-01A)
$15.29
Little Town on the Prairie - Audio CD
Little House Series #7
by Laura Ingalls Wilder
from HarperCollins
Realistic Fiction/Pioneers for 3rd-8th grade
1942 Newbery Honor Book
in Audio Books & Dramas (Location: APO-01A)
$23.39
Long Winter
Little House Series #6
by Laura Ingalls Wilder
from HarperCollins
Realistic Fiction/Pioneers for 3rd-8th grade
1941 Newbery Honor Book
in Historical Fiction (Location: A05-01A)
$8.09
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