By The Shores Of Silver Lake by Laura Ingalls Wilder

[A]ll their talking meant nothing to the enormous silence of that prairie.

The scarlet fever that lays the family low, leaves Mary blind and precedes Pa’s decision to move West again unfortunately happens before the first page. Perhaps that tragedy would be too much for tiny homesteaders to experience, so instead this book passes its time with the smaller hardships of settlers’ daily life. Laura’s biggest hardship of all is being as good as her parents want her to be when some days all she wants to do is fling herself on the flowery prairie grass and roll like a colt.

Almanzo Wilder, Laura’s future husband, makes a fleeting appearance at the end of the book as he flies past them on the prairie with his team of beautiful horses.



The Ingalls family had fared badly in Plum Creek, Minnesota. They were in debt. Mary was blind now. So Pa went West to work at a railroad camp in Dakota Territory where he could make as much as fifty dollars a month! Then he sent for his wife and four children, and they became the first settlers in the new town of De Smet. But the railroad brought hordes of land-hungry people from the East. Had Pa waited too long to file his homestead claim?