The decision by the Association for Library Service to Children, a division of the American Library Association, to change the name of the Laura Ingalls Wilder Award to the Children’s Literature Legacy Award has stirred up a lot of controversy. On the positive side, it has brought attention again to the works of Laura Ingalls Wilder.
I hope to write a response to the decision at a later date. Meanwhile the most thoughtful response I have read so far is that of Dedra McDonald Birzer in the National Review.
If you have never read any of Wilder’s Little House on the Prairie series, I do recommend them. The first book, Little House in the Big Woods, was not as good as the rest of the series. The rest are are not only great stories, they provide insight into the difficulties of life on the prairie in the late 19th century.
If you live in or near upstate New York, I recommend Farmer Boy, which you can read out of sequence. It is the story of Laura’s husband, Almanzo. Furthermore, you can supplement your reading by a visit to the Almanzo Wilder homestead in Malone, New York. I’ve been twice. It is worth the visit (and the long trip to Malone).
According to the Almanzo Wilder Homestead web site, “This historic house is the only ORIGINAL house on its original site of all those written about in the Little House book series. It is the only site dedicated to and original to Almanzo Wilder. It is an important piece of northern New York history.”