November 8, 2017

Book Review: Laura Ingalls Is Ruining My Life

When I heard about the middle-grade novel Laura Ingalls Wilder is Ruining My Life, of course I had to read it since I try to read most books related to Laura Ingalls Wilder-even fictional titles. 
Of course it was Shelley Tougas's title, Laura Ingalls Is Ruining My Life, grabbed my attention. One of my reading habits is that I rarely read book summaries-for better or worse. Instead, I read books recommended by friends and authors I already know. Book titles and jackets grab my attention, too

Before I tell you about the book, be sure to return on Friday for an interview with author Shelley Tougas and a giveaway of Laura Ingalls Is Ruining My Life!

I really enjoyed meeting Charlotte...even with her spunk and attitude...or maybe because of it. Her mom has just uprooted her sister and twin brother-again-to move the family to Walnut Grove, Minnesota. Will the family will be able to make it on the prairie and finally call this town home? Will Laura's spirit inspire Charlotte's mom to write her book? 

The characters are believable. Laura fans will appreciate the tidbits of Laura Ingalls Wilder history woven into the book. However, Shelley didn't reference all of her "nods" to Laura. Even some of the characters are named after Laura's family members-including her daughter Rose and real-life brother Freddie who weren't mentioned in the Little House books. 

Shelley Tougas also used her book to share some of America's complicated and ugly history. Yet, none of it felt like a lesson. 

I suspect Laura Ingalls Is Ruining My Life will make readers want to do two things. First, they'll want to visit Walnut Grove, Minnesota and the other Little House homesites for themselves. The book will also make readers curious about the real story of Laura Ingalls Wilder and American history. Like Shelley Tougas, I also highly recommend (as seen in these review) Pioneer Girl: The Annotated Autobiography by Laura Ingalls Wilder and edited by Pamela Hill Smith. Two additional resources are Laura Ingalls Wilder: A Biography by William Anderson and Laura Ingalls Wilder: A Writer's Life (affiliate link) by Pamela Hill Smith. You can see more resources here

P.S. Don't forget about Friday's interview and giveaway!

~ Annette Whipple
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