Pioneer Girl: The Annotated Autobiography of Laura Ingalls Wilder

I’m a huge fan of Genealogy Gems Podcast (check it out here), and when I heard the announcement of the Book Club selection for this quarter, Pioneer Girl: The Annotated Autobiography of Laura Ingalls Wilder, edited by Pamela Smith Hill, I couldn’t wait to get my hands on it.

It’s a beautiful hardback book, oversized and almost 400 pages.

Pioneer Girl

I loved Laura Ingalls Wilder’s books when I was a child, and then I enjoyed reading them to my boys. My family visited the Laura Ingalls Wilder Home in Mansfield, Missouri in 2005. When I saw Pa’s fiddle, I got teary eyed. Here are some postcards I picked up that day, because photography isn’t allowed inside.

Mansfield Postcards

Pioneer Girl appeals to me on so many levels. Of course I’m enjoying reading Laura Ingall Wilder’s memoir, the truth as she remembered it of her childhood years. I’m interested in how this manuscript was then used as inspiration for her much adored novels. I’m learning from the annotations, seeing how the research was done and is documented.  I’m intrigued by the mother-daughter relationship between Laura and Rose Wilder Lane, a well respected writer who served as her mother’s adviser, agent and editor. I’m inspired by the fact that Laura was 65 when her first book, Little House in the Big Woods, was published.

It’s not a quick read – there’s far more supplementary material than actual Pioneer Girl – but I’m enjoying every page and every annotation. You have plenty of time to get a copy and read it before editor Pamela Smith Hill is interviewed on the Genealogy Gems Podcast later this year.

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