Little House in the Big Woods - Laura Ingalls Wilder

I read this to my daughters Emma and Avery for our nightly reading. I’d recommend reading this book even as an adult. It was very easy reading, you could finish it in two sittings I bet. There is a lot going on there that is going to go over the kids heads, in terms of the history: cultural things like sexual politics of the time; finding out that there was pop culture even back then in the back woods (Pa busting out his fiddle to play the hits of the day); and that Pa has a spirit of conservation even as he is a hunter and farmer; thinking about how it must have been to live so isolated, but with everything you need at your disposal if you work hard enough– thinking about how America is such a land of bounty with so many great natural resources.

The pioneers (and the Native Americans before them) must have felt like they’d stumbled on the garden of Eden (although of course there was plenty of hardship). So much game and fertile soil and timber and open land. I think Americaowes as much of its greatness to this awesome tract of land we started on as it does to its ideals and visionary system of government. But also Pa and Ma worked their asses off which is also a great American value.

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