Monday, May 4, 2009
May Featured Book of the Month
Little House on Rocky Ridge is the first book in Roger Lea MacBride's eight-book series of Rose Wilder's life: moving to Missouri, growing up on Rocky Ridge Farm, going to school, and leaving Missouri to spend a year with her Aunt Eliza Jane Wilder Thayer in Louisiana. The last book of the series, Bachelor Girl, chronicles Rose's journey to San Francisco, where she became one of the many women who earned her own way by taking a job outside the home.
The first chapter of Little House on Rocky Ridge starts off with Mama and Papa (Laura and Almanzo Wilder) deciding to leave De Smet, SD to travel to The Land of the Big Red Apple in the Ozark Mountains of Missouri.
The journey was a tough one, even though their friends the Cooleys came with them. And when Manly and Bess (Almanzo and Laura) arrived in Missouri and finally settled on a little farm to purchase, they discovered the hundred dollars Laura had hidden inside her writing desk--all the money they had--was missing!
But once the money was found, they paid a visit to the banker and bought the little farm with the rocky terrain that they christened Rocky Ridge Farm. Then they really got down to work and made it a real farm.
Originally published under the umbrella of Little House The Rocky Ridge Years in 1993, by the time Book 7 - On the Banks of the Bayou and Book 8 - Bachelor Girl came out in 1998 and 1999 respectively, the series was titled The Rose Years.
Roger Lea MacBride, Rose Wilder Lane's only heir, went to painstaking lengths to ensure that this series was as close to the original Little House books as possible. Those efforts are more than evident to readers; and it is my opinion that of all the other books about Laura's relatives, The Rose Years comes the closest in style and tone to the work of Laura Ingalls Wilder.
This series had two illustrators - David Gilleece and Dan Andreasen. While both men had their unqiue style, they also managed to illustrate the books in a way that left the reader feeling like she was in familiar territory with the Little House books that were illustrated by Garth Williams.
Little House readers will love finding out more about Rose Wilder and Rocky Ridge Farm in Little House on Rocky Ridge.