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Old Town in the Green Groves

Old Town in the Green Groves: Laura Ingalls Wilder’s Lost Little House Years is a novel by Cynthia Rylant, with illustrations by Jim LaMarche. Inspired by Wilder’s then-unpublished memoir Pioneer Girl, the novel fictionalizes a gap of time between On the Banks and Plum Creek and By the Shores of Silver Lake between the winter of 1875 and the fall of 1877. It narrates the birth and death of Wilder’s brother Charles Frederick Ingalls and the Ingalls family’s trip east to Burr Oak, Iowa. It was published as a jacketed hardcover by HarperCollins Publishers in 2002, followed by a trade paperback edition in 2004. It was reissued as part of the Little House: Big Adventure reboot in 2007.

From the Original Dust Jacket

Laura Ingalls Wilder wrote nine Little House books about her childhood growing up on the western frontier. But there were two years she didn’t write about, two missing years that take place betweenOn the Banks of Plum Creek and By the Shores of Silver Lake.

Now, Newbery Award-winning author Cynthia Rylant has imagined what those lost Little House years were like, based on Laura’s unpublished memoirs. The result is the first Little House novel about Laura as a young girl in almost 60 years, and a wonderful addition to the classic series.

When the grasshopper plague returns to Plum Creek, Pa knows all the crops will be destroyed again. He decides to take the family east to Burr Oak, Iowa, where he has found work running a hotel. But Laura longs to return to the tall-grass prairie and the unsettled west, to a place where Pa can play his fiddle in the open air and where she can feel free again.

Old Town in the Green Groves continues the story about Laura Ingalls—a story whose wonder and adventure have delighted millions of readers.


Foreword (n.pag.)

A Rented House (1-7)

A Bundle of Surprise (8-14)

Back to the Farm (15-23)

Rain (25-32)

Terrible Sick (33-40)

The Good Doctor (41-45)

Work and Worry (46-51)

A Blasted Country (52-59)

The Beekeeper’s House (60-69)

A Reunion (71-77)

Little Freddie (78-79)

Burr Oak, Iowa (80-86)

The Steadam Boys (87-93)

Mr. Reid’s Scholars (95-102)

Spots for Christmas (103-112)

Sweet, Clean Rooms (113-119)

The Fancy House (121-128)

Fire! (129-135)

A Real House (136-141)

Grace Comes (142-147)

Mrs. Starr (149-153)

A Peaceful Place (154-159)

West, at Last (161-164)