Thursday, March 31, 2011

The Complete Little House Nine-Book Set Remains a Bestseller at Amazon

Spending time around Laura Ingalls Wilder and Little House on the Prairie fans, I've heard some interesting things over the years. One thing that came up recently is the continued popularity of the Little House series with a generation of children whose regular book picks include paranormal and fantasy titles.

When browsing through Amazon's bestsellers over the past couple of weeks, I discovered that The Complete Little House Nine-Book Set can sometimes be found on their Most Wished for list in Children's Books.

If I visit the set's Amazon page at it is listed as a bestseller in the Number 1 spot in two categories: Children's Books, Literature, Short Story Collections (that is an odd category for these) and Children's Books, History & Historical Fiction, Fiction & United States, 1800s. It also ranks as #20 in Children's Books, Literature, Classics.

Why is it that the books remain popular when GenYers and GenZers are coming farther and farther away from the times in which Laura lived? Perhaps one of the elements is what Dean Butler spoke of during our interview. He mentioned that Little House was old when it was new. That's one of the glories of historical fiction. But I also have to believe it largely has to do with the way the books are written. Wilder shared the pioneering experience--its struggles and triumphs--but as Dean pointed out, she did so with a healthy dose of romance and optimism. The sense, he said is, "that if we’re together, and if we stick together and work hard, we will survive and we will do well. We love each other so we are going to stand up for each other and help each other."

I know that's what attracted me to the show, and then to the books. Perhaps our children are looking for those ideals too.

What about you? Why do you believe the books remain popular? Do you know children who are reading them right now? What do they say about them?

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