Pioneer Girl by Laura Ingalls Wilder is finally published!

Click here to purchase Pioneer Girl: The Annotated Autobiography

This isn’t necessarily a self-help book, (although I have learned many lessons from Laura’s books,) but this is a very special book! Plus, February 7th was the 148th anniversary of Laura’s birth. (She was born in 1867 in Pepin, Wisconsin.) Millions of people have loved the Little House on the Prairie books by Laura Ingalls Wilder, (and the same with the show.) They are famous all over the world and I’ve been a huge fan since I was 9 years old. This new book is one I’ve waited for for nearly thirty years! Pioneer Girl was Laura’s first draft and the inspiration for her famous books. She originally wrote one book that was aimed at adults. It did not do well with publishers, so she and her daughter Rose Wilder Lane eventually re-worked into the children’s series that so many of us know and love. Die-hard fans wanted to read Pioneer Girl, though. We wanted to read everything we could! After Laura’s death, Rose donated her papers to the Herbert Hoover library in Iowa, and the only way to get a copy of Pioneer Girl or any of her other original manuscripts was to go there and photo copy each page yourself–paying for their copy machine, or to order it through the mail–paying for the copies plus an extra fee for someone at the library to copy it for you. It got pretty pricey for a pile of copied pages. Even if you did get copies of the pages, you might still long for a published book. Reading a book is so much more rewarding than a pile of papers, don’t you think?

Last year, I read the news that Pioneer Girl was set to be published. FINALLY! This book has been waiting unpublished since the 1930’s, so this is a big deal! I pre-ordered my copy last August and got it about a week ago thanks to high demand. The publishers originally printed 15,000 copies that sold out quickly. They are now on the third printing and people are still waiting for their copies. It’s faster to order one through one of the official Laura sites, but honestly Amazon’s prices are cheaper. I guess it depends on if you want it faster or cheaper. (I chose cheaper. Times are tough and I’ve already been waiting most of my life to read this book….)

It’s well worth the wait and the price! This book is completely annotated with great detail. It’s the size of a college textbook with columns to the side to explain some of the references. You can just read the book as is, or you can reference the notes if something needs more explanation. (A lot of fans are doing both.) The book has a lot of photos and background information. Considering the high price of college textbooks and the fact that this one has just as much information, I think the price is good. If you are a die-hard fan, or you grew up loving the books or the show, this might be a good investment for you. Mine is next to my bed and I pick it up every night before bed. I am so happy that I finally own a copy 🙂

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