This was a charming book to read on Christmas Day. Last summer I started rereading the Laura Ingalls Wilder series, and this fifth one was a delight.By the Shores of Silver Lake covers the familys move to the Dakota territory at about 1879, when Pa gets a job working for the railroad. Laura loves being out on the open prairie, and shes fascinated when she gets a chance to watch the men preparing the ground for railroad tracks.
Pa explains the process for how railroads are built, and how efficiently the crews work.I wouldnt wonder if youll live to see a time, Laura, when pretty nearly everybodyll ride on railroads and therell hardly be a covered wagon left.This book was also interesting because Laura turns 13, and some other girls about her age are already getting married, which startles her.Id like my own house and I like babies, and I wouldnt mind the work, but I dont want to be so responsible.
Id rather let Ma be responsible for a long time yet.Like the other books in the series, there are some great stories about pioneering and setting up living quarters on the prairie, and how neighbors had to help each other, and the occasional run-in with wild animals.
There was also a happy Christmas, and Pa picks out some land for their future homestead, which was near De Smet, South Dakota. Its a lovely story.It was fortunate that I started rereading the books last year, since there is a new annotated autobiography out about Laura Ingalls Wilder (Pioneer Girl), and I want to finish the series before I read that.
This is a wonderful childrens collection, and Im happy to see its still in print and that kids today seem to respond to it positively.