Today I picked up Farmer Boy Goes West from the library. The book is written by Heather Williams, which is the pen name of Tui Sutherland. Are you wondering why an author might use a pen name? In this case, one of the reasons is so that the book will show up on the book store shelf next to the rest of the Little House Books. The Little House Books are one of my favorite series of books. In fact, I have all of them in Hardback as well as other books that have been written as follow ups to the original series. The picture below shows part of my collection.
Farmer Boy Goes West is a sequel to Farmer Boy and follows the further adventures of Almanzo as his family moves to Minnesota. The story is well researched and based on actual facts about the family. The author did make a few changes to The actual story line, but no more than Laura did in here original books. I like the fact that at the end of the book, the author details the changes that she made.
I will not go into the details of the story, as I hope that many of you will read the story for yourself.
While reading the story and writing this review, I thought about why I like the Little House series. The underlying reason today, is that I can gain insight into my own ancestors lives by reading these stories. Why they migrated across the country and how they dealt with challenges in their lives. I catch a glimpse into their everyday life and the items they would use on a daily basis.
The Wilder family came from upper New York near the Canadian border. My Hotchkiss and Darling ancestors lived about 120 miles West of Malone where Farmer Boy took place. My Braman ancestors moved from New York to Wisconsin and lived in the same township as the parents of Caroline or Ma.
The one thing that I miss from this book is that it is not illustrated. One of the things that I love about the Little House books are the great illustrations by Garth Williams.
I will most likely order a copy of this book to add to my collection. It will be nice to have it available the next time I get the itch to read though the complete Little House story.