Book Review: Farmer Boy by Laura Ingalls Wilder

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Every book has its own charm, several books are life changer, and another few are inspirational. For me, Farmer Boy by Laura Ingalls Wilder is one inspirational book. The one which shaped my interest on books, one that made me fell in love with descriptive stories or descriptive writing style, and one book that I always remember as a good friend for me as a little girl. It doesn’t mean that I never read any good books before Farmer Boy because actually I read hundred of great books like Mr. Sutrisno's biography, Enid Blyton's books, etc. It’s just that Farmer Boy is very strong in its genre as descriptive book. Add the real historical taste of patriotic-American families and you got a great book for kids, teenagers or even older.

Farmer Boy is a children’s historical novel about Almanzo Wilder’s childhood story. He’s the one who later in life became Laura’s husband. The book covers one year in Almanzo's life, beginning just before his ninth birthday (around 1860s), and describes in detail the endless chores involved in running the Wilder family farm (located near the town of Malone in upstate New York). Almanzo wants to proof himself in front of his family that he is capable for greater responsibilities in farm, despite his young age. When he’s not going to school, Almanzo spend his days in farm, helps his family doing some chores with his siblings.

Almanzo helps feeding the animals, milking the cows, mucking out the stalls and cleaning out the barns.

Sometimes he learns new things like breaking in his two calves Star and Bright; or how to shave fleece. Sometimes Almanzo messing things up, then he learn how to fix the mess. Along the way, he also learns how to honor his promise to his father. His integrity is well rewarded by his father with a gift beyond his wildest dreams.

Laura Ingalls Wilder was (and still) famous for her Little House on the Prairie novel. I’ve read several of her Little House series but the one that caught my attention and the one that I remember the most is Farmer Boy. I was swept in the beautiful world of Almanzo. When I was a children, I loved the peace that I found in this book. The book moving in a very gentle way and the obstacles are pretty trivial. Some will find this book annoyingly slow or boring, I understand since the current trend of children books tend to the books with a more dynamic storyline. The other will fall for the patriotic side of Wilder family, their relationship with each other, and maybe (like myself) wondering what it was like to live as one of The Wilders.

The descriptions are very detailed and beautiful. I especially love the values that can be found and learned in this book. For example, the importance of honesty, patience, integrity and the value of a hard day's work that were learned by Almanzo from his sturdy father. Overall, this book is well recommended for kids. Instead of watching silly cartoons in TV, this book is a good material for kids to spend leisure times while learn about good values in the same time. Purchasing this book is a good deal since personally I think that this book is eternal. You can always give it or lend it to younger kids in your family, or just keep it in your personal library.

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