October 07, 2011

Little House by Boston Bay by Melissa Wiley

Although not written by Ingalls, Little House By Boston Bay continues in the spirit of her books. This time it centers on Charlotte, the grandmother of Laura Ingalls Wilder. It is the first book in the series and starts when Charlotte is almost five years old.

Most of the book details Charlotte's life and the almost year that it covers. Most notably, this book takes place during the War of 1812 and so there is quite a bit of information included in there; especially a copy of the Star Spangled Banner and other songs. Charlotte's days are filled with chores and playing with her new doll whom she has trouble naming. She also goes to school and meets a new friend named Susan and even tries to go to Scotland (although she doesn't realize how far away it is.) She listens to her mother's stories and helps with setting the table with her special "Saturday Family" (jars, bottles and etc. with condiments for the table).

The characters in this book are mostly well written. I do think that Charlotte, being 4-5 in this book, sounds a little too old and mature for the age. But times were different back then so I could be wrong. Her brothers and sisters are present but not really developed too much; the same goes for her father. Where the characters really shine though is her mother. Her mother is a bright personality with a lot of oomph in her and there is quite a bit of detail written about her.

Wiley has a nice writing style and it is somewhat similar in style to Wilders. She adds the same element of almost a diary type of writing as the other Little Houses' do, but doesn't have as much useful information within the pages. Out of everything that is described, it is not done in a way that makes me think I could repeat it like I could with the original series. However, there is a recipe for pounded cheese that almost seems doable by reading the description. This is a great book for kids and reading it at my age is probably why I find more fault with it in this regards. It is a simple story about a girl and her life.

Not my favorite of the whole grouping of books but it wasn't bad either. The whole series from Laura's stories, to her mothers, and so-on are a charming group of books. They are perfect for cozying up by a fire and reading with your children, or even by yourself for reminiscing.

Little House By Boston Bay
Copyright 1999
195 pages

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