Friday, November 20, 2009

Christmas Gift Idea for Little House fans

"It's been decades since Laura Ingalls Wilder penned her last book. Finally a new author has emerged whose book embodies all the love, charm, and graceful writing of the 'Little House' series."

So writes Kathleen Gray of the soon-to-be-released children's historical fiction novel, The Year of Plenty, written by Rebecca LeeAnne Brammer and published by Frontier Girl Press, a new publishing company owned by the founder of the Laura Ingalls Wilder, Frontier Girl website.

The Year of Plenty tells the story of a family living on an Eastern Kentucky farm on the brink of the Great Depression from the perspective of six-year-old Odella, the author's grandmother. This is the first book in a series which will follow Odella through her growing-up years during the Depression and into young womanhood in World War II. If you love the "Little House" books, you will surely enjoy The Newcombe Creek Chronicles.

Although the book is classified as a children's book, and is written for grade levels 3-6, we prefer to think of it as a family book -- one that will be enjoyed by all members of the family, of all ages.

More information is available at (select Books from the menu). The book will become available on next month, and is available for pre-order right now at the Frontier Girl Press website listed above. Take advantage of the Thanksgiving Day Sale to get your copy by Christmas at a discounted price. Autographed copies available upon request at no additional cost.

If money's a little tight this holiday season, don't let that deter you. Request the book at your local library -- most libraries are glad to purchase books requested by their patrons. (Information that may be needed: Title: The Year of Plenty. Author: Rebecca LeeAnne Brammer. ISBN: 978-1-936032-00-6. LOC Control Number: 2009940043.)

We hope you enjoy our latest venture! And feel free to spread the word! We appreciate it! And click here to become a fan on Facebook.

Laura Ingalls Wilder, Frontier Girl

Frontier Girl Press

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Laura Ingalls Wilder Conference 2010

We are pleased to announce that a Laura Ingalls Wilder - Rose Wilder Lane conference will be held on campus of Minnesota State University at Mankato on July 15-17, 2010. An announcement will be made again here when registration opens for conference attendees.

If you are interested in presenting at the conference, please download the Call for Proposals flyer for details in how to submit your proposed paper. Feel free to print and post, or redistribute the flyer to other interested parties or groups.

Friday, May 22, 2009

Laura Ingalls Wilder Days -- Old World Wisconsin

I don't know about you, but this video makes me want to hop in my covered wagon and head on up to Wisconsin!

Visit Old World Wisconsin in Eagle, July 25-26, 2009, to join in the fun!

Laura Ingalls Wilder Family Letters Go Online

We are pleased to share the following announcement from Michael Edmonds, head of Digital Collections at the Wisconsin Historical Society.

The Wisconsin Historical Society has recently published on its website more than a dozen original letters written during the Civil War by relatives of Laura Ingalls Wilder (1867-1957), author of Little House on the Prairie and other popular books for young readers.

Wilder's famous novels are thinly disguised recollections of her childhood, and these private letters between her mother, uncles and an aunt shed light on the real-world adults whom she fictionalized. They include a four-page letter written by her mother, Caroline Quiner Ingalls, shortly after being married and others written by various uncles* while fighting in the Civil War.

The original handwritten documents are presented in color, accompanied by typed transcriptions, in the Society's Turning Points in Wisconsin History digital collection. A lesson plan based on them has also been provided for the use of elementary school teachers who use the Little House books in the classroom.

*Please note: Although the Wisconsin Historical Society website refers several times to the Civil War letters being written by Laura's uncles, these letters were actually written by the brothers of Laura's uncle, Charles Carpenter, who was married to Caroline's (Ma's) sister Martha. One of the Civil War letters is written by Laura's aunt, Nancy Quiner, who married Ma's brother Joseph.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

The Homesteader

If you didn't get your copy of The Homesteader in this week's mail, you're missing out on a great source of "Little House" news!

Most of the Laura Ingalls Wilder homesites have their own newsletters, all of which we also recommend and encourage you to check out on their individual websites, but The Homesteader is the only Laura newsletter which encompasses all things Laura at all the homesites and beyond.

Published twice a year by editor Sandra Hume, The Homesteader brings fresh perspectives on "Little House" news right to your door. Check them out here:

In the latest issue, for example, you'll find detailed interviews with Kevin Massey and Kara Lindsay, the stars of the Little House on the Prairie musical; thorough reviews of Dean Butler's documentary Almanzo Wilder: Life Before Laura and Anita Clair Fellman's book Little House, Long Shadow; updated information on the lawsuit filed by Friendly Family Productions against the Little House on the Prairie museum; and more!

And if you've been missing out all these years on this great resource, don't worry -- all back issues can be still be ordered, and you can have a veritable feast of Laura information at your fingertips!

Thanks, Sandra and contributors to The Homesteader, for all your work in giving Laura fans a quality publication that both educates and entertains.

Friday, March 6, 2009

Beyond Little House

We are pleased to announce the launch of a brand new resource for Laura Ingalls Wilder fans: Beyond Little House.

We here at Frontier Girl have teamed with three other Laura Ingalls Wilder/Rose Wilder Lane experts to create this blog, with the hope of providing a "one-stop shop" for Little House readers who are searching to "go beyond" what the Little House books have to offer, and learn more about the people and places of the Little House books, or about the author herself.

This is very much a work-in-progress, but we hope you will like what we've put together so far. Go take a look and let us know what you think!!

Saturday, February 7, 2009

Card Shower

One way to celebrate Laura's and Almanzo's birthday month is with a birthday card. No, you can't send a card to Laura and Almanzo, but here's a great card shower idea posted at Trundlebed Tales that we encourage everyone to participate in, if possible:

Card Shower for Burr Oak Museum:

The hotel in Burr Oak is one of only two structures still remaining where Laura lived during her childhood, the other one being the Surveyors House in De Smet, South Dakota. That's history worth preserving! Check out the link, participate as you are able, and please help spread the word!

Happy Birthday, Laura!

Be sure to take a moment... a minute... an hour... or the whole day... to remember Laura Ingalls Wilder and the wonderful gift that she has given to each of us, on this, her 142nd birthday. Happy birthday, Laura!

If you did something special -- big or small -- to celebrate Laura's birthday today, drop us a comment and let us know how you honored the occasion!

Friday, January 16, 2009

Dear Laura

For over seventy years, Laura Ingalls Wilder has touched the lives of her readers through her "Little House" books. For many, Laura's stories provide an escape from the harsh realities of their own lives into the life of the Ingalls family, where even the grimmest situations are met with hope, determination, and often even cheerfulness, with the loving support of a warm close-knit family to see you through.

School children, teachers, and fans alike have been writing letters to Laura Ingalls Wilder for decades to let her know how her stories have resonated with them and helped them through a difficult time or made them a better person. In her final years of life, Laura received thousands of letters, with as many as 800 cards flooding her mailbox in early February in honor of her birthday. Laura must have enjoyed hearing from her readers, as she wrote a reply to each letter until she became too feeble to do so.

A collection of children's letters written to Laura during her lifetime were published by HarperCollins as Dear Laura in 1996, and in coordination with the Laura Ingalls Wilder Museum in Walnut Grove, Minnesota, Wilder researcher Sarah Sue Uthoff is currently collecting copies of the responses Laura wrote. (Click here for details.) The Herbert Hoover Presidential Library, which houses the "Rose Wilder Lane" collection, even has an online feature which allows children to ask Laura a question on their website, and receive a response from their resource department.

Why have so many readers of the "Little House" books felt compelled to contact Laura personally about their experience with her books? Perhaps because it's known that the stories are largely autobiographical, so in connecting with the character of Laura, the reader feels she knows the author personally and therefore wishes for that personal contact. Whatever the reason, the letters still come, despite the fact that Laura passed away more than fifty years ago.

One such letter was written by Laurie Heber of Hemet, California, as an entry in a Writer-to-Writer contest sponsored by the California State Library. Laurie selected Laura Ingalls Wilder as the author she wished to write to because of her strong emphasis on family, something very important to Laurie herself.

Despite the many obstacles she has had to overcome, Laurie wants to be a writer too, and her hard work and persistence with the support of the Adult Literacy program at her local library have paid off. Laurie's letter placed first out of 160 contestants in her category. Her letter encourages others who wish to become writers to persevere to overcome the odds.

"Just don't give up. Keep on writing," is Heber's advice.

We are pleased to be able to share Laurie's prize-winning letter with you, and hope that you will find it as touching and inspirational as we have.

Dear Laura Ingalls Wilder,

My papa is very ill. Your book On the Banks of Plum Creek has made me realize how important family really is. Your book has touched my life. I cherish every second with my Papa. Before my Papa became ill we spent a lot of time together. His illness is hard to deal with. I struggle with watching his health decline. My family is precious to me like your family is precious to you.

On Memorial Day, we went on a family picnic. We sat at a picnic table enjoying each other’s company. Papa was enjoying his family even though he wasn’t feeling well. When your family goes on trips, everybody goes together. When your pa played the fiddle for his family and you all gathered around to hear him, I was touched. I wish we were living in those times again where family spent so much time together and just loved each other.

I have had much loss in my life. My real mother died of breast cancer and my father died of a stroke. I lost both grandparents and my godfather. After losing my parents I adopted two kind loving people as my new family who I cherish dearly. Papa is very ill and I can’t bear the thought of losing another cherished family member.

I have overcome my own set of disabilities. I was born with a problem with my hips. I had to have surgery and was put in a body cast. After that it took me a long time to learn to walk. I had to do exercises to build up my legs. I couldn’t straighten out my legs when I walked so I was made fun of from grade school all the way through high school. I cried a lot. I am working on overcoming my disabilities. I am going to succeed in life. Your strength and determination has made me realize that I can do it too.

I liked how you and your sister Mary went to school together and sat together. I can relate with your struggle with hard words. It made me happy and sad to read about how much you learned when you were growing up, because when I went to school my elementary teachers did not teach me what I needed to know. I attended special Ed classes and I was labeled as mentally retarded. I don’t believe I am mentally retarded. If I was mentally retarded I wouldn’t be able to read and write.

Now I go to Adult Literacy School to learn to read and write. I am learning what I never learned in school there. My tutors are there to help me succeed. They don’t call us failures here -- they call us achievers.

Sincerely yours,

Laurie Heber to Laura Ingalls Wilder, Author of On the Banks of Plum Creek
Copyright 2008 Laurie Heber. Used with Permission

Friday, January 9, 2009

Get Your Own Prairie Collectible from "Nellie Oleson"

Alison Arngrim, who played "Nellie Oleson" in the long-running television series "Little House on the Prairie", attended the Little House on the Prairie musical at the Guthrie Theater in Minneapolis this summer to see her friend Melissa Gilbert (tv's Laura) star as Ma on stage.

Now she offers her souvenirs from the musical to the highest bidder as a fundraiser for Protect, an association Arngrim strongly supports, which is dedicated to protecting children from harm.

Click here to view and/or bid on the items, which include the program, a bar of prairie soap, and a poster from the musical autographed by the main actors (Steve Blanchard, Pa; Melissa Gilbert, Ma; Kara Lindsay, Laura; Jenn Gambatese, Mary; Kevin Massey, Almanzo; and Sara Jean Ford, Nellie). If the bidding goes above $150, Alison will even include a hand-signed letter to prove the origin of the items, certainly increasing their value as a collector's piece.

What a terrific opportunity to acquire a great Prairie collectible and help children at the same time!

(You need not worry that the auction is a scam; the information and link to the auction came directly from Alison herself!)