Little Town on the Prairie Summary & Study Guide

This Study Guide consists of approximately 35 pages of chapter summaries, quotes, character analysis, themes, and more - everything you need to sharpen your knowledge of Little Town on the Prairie.
This section contains 504 words
(approx. 2 pages at 400 words per page)
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Little Town on the Prairie Summary & Study Guide Description

Little Town on the Prairie Summary & Study Guide includes comprehensive information and analysis to help you understand the book. This study guide contains the following sections:

This detailed literature summary also contains Quotes and a Free Quiz on Little Town on the Prairie by Laura Ingalls Wilder.

“Little Town on the Prairie” is a young adult semi-autobiographical novel by Laura Ingalls Wilder, and is the seventh installment of her “Little House” series of books. The novel deals with the life of Laura Ingalls at the ages of 14 and 15, and follows changing events in her life between the family homestead and the nearby town.

It is spring, 1881 when the novel begins. Fourteen-year-old Laura is happy with life and her family, Pa, Ma, Mary, Carrie, and Grace. She is thrilled to be living on the homestead, and considers the growing, nearby town a scar on the beautiful landscape. Laura has lately come to dream of being a teacher, to help pay for Mary to attend college for the blind in Iowa. The family also takes on a new kitten, and a brood of baby chickens.

As the town expands and changes, so do the experiences in Laura’s life. She is hired to help produce shirts through the summer at Mr. Clancy’s dry goods store. Laura is nervous at first about this, but is thrilled to have earned $9 in the process for her efforts.

The Fourth of July celebrations in town excite Laura. There, she sees a young man named Alamanzo Wilder, a young man and new homesteader who wins a wagon race. At the end of the summer, Pa sells a calf to pay for Mary’s tuition to attend college. Laura herself attends school in town, where she becomes fast friends with Mary Power, Ida Wright, and Minnie Johnson. Laura is dismayed, however, to learn that Nellie Oleson has moved to the area. At their old homestead in Minnesota, Laura was bullied by Nellie.

Nellie becomes close with the new teacher, Miss Wilder, who is the sister of Alamanzo. Nellie says bad things about Laura, causing Miss Wilder to be unfair on many occasions to Laura and her sister, Carrie. This prompts the other school kids to rally in defense of Laura, and to disrupt class for an entire week. Only when the school board reminds the children to behave do they settle down.

Over the next year, Laura attends many different social functions and dinners with her friends, and begins to be courted by Alamanzo Wilder, who is clearly smitten with Laura. Laura forgets her studies for a little while, but doubles back down on them in order to receive her teaching certification by the end of the novel. She will have a two-month term in the new country twelve miles to the south. For this, she will be paid $20 a month, plus board. Laura is excited because this extra money will help to allow Mary to come home for the summer.

Pa believes that Laura will make a fine teacher. However, Laura is also worried because she will have to move away from home for an entire two months, and will only have herself to truly rely upon. She is also worried because she is expected to begin teaching in only a few days.

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This section contains 504 words
(approx. 2 pages at 400 words per page)
Buy the Little Town on the Prairie Study Guide
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