Mary Ingalls On Her Own by Elizabeth Kimmel Willard--Book Review
Mary Ingalls has finally arrived at the Iowa College for the Blind. Ma and Pa have brought her to be a student after the whole family worked so hard to make money to afford her this special training. She is excited and nervous all at the same time and very thankful that Ma and Pa are with her. After arriving she meets her new roommates, Hannah and Blanche. They all became fast friends. Next door to the girls lives Mattie, the only girl in the whole school who has a sour attitude. Mary decides from the beginning that she will be pleasant to her fussy neighbour.
Mary passes the entrance exam with flying colours and Pa and Ma say their goodbyes. She is on her own and happy to be able to learn new things. The classes include beadwork, braille, highter mathematics and organ. Mary loves them all but organ is her favourite.
The college is a large place and Mary has to learn where things are and how to get there. She learns how many steps it is from one room to another and from her room to the stairs. Her friends are a great help to her, showing her where each class is. Mary is grateful for their help.
Christmas arrives. Mary has been at the college for only a few months but she has learned so much. Many of the students are going home for the holidays, but Mary lived so far away that Pa could't afford to come back and get her. At first this thought made her sad but she soon discovered that many of the other out of town students would be staying as well. With a break in classes she volunteers to help some of the younger students with their geography. A package and 2 letters arrive for Mary for Christmas, which make her feel closer to her loved ones so far away.
I really enjoyed the book. While we don't know exactly what happened while Mary attended the college, this book was based on courses and life happenings taken from the school's archives. It is interesting to read what Mary may have experienced. Some of the characters really existed. It was interesting to read how Mary and Blanche may have met. I recommend this book for all Little House readers.
Title: Mary Ingalls On Her Own Author: Elizabeth Kimmel Willard Publisher: HarperCollins ISBN-10: 0060009055 ISBN-13: 978-0060009052 U.S. Price: $15.99 Reviewed by: Marilyn Bryson