The First Four Years

The First Four Years

Paperback - 1972
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During their first four years of marriage, Laura and Almanzo Wilder have a child and fight a losing battle in their attempts to succeed at farming on the South Dakota prairie.
Publisher: New York : HarperTrophy, 1972, c1971.
ISBN: 9780064400312
006440031X
Characteristics: xviii, 134 pages :,illustrations ;,20 cm.
Additional Contributors: Williams, Garth - Illustrator

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7Liberty7 May 24, 2013

"The rich man gets his ice in the summer and the poor man gets his in the winter."

Roxannajayc Jul 25, 2012

Peter was on foot, leading his pony and carrying three lambs in his arms. He and the dog were working the sheep toward their yard. The sheep could hardly go against the wind but they had to face it to get home. They had not been sheared and their fleeces were long and heavy. The poor sheep with their small bodies and little feet carrying such a load of fluffy wool caught too much wind. If a sheep turned ever so little sideways, the wind would catch under the wool, lift the sheep from its feet and roll it over and over, sometimes five or six times before it could stop.

SAPPHIREBEAR15 Jun 16, 2012

“It is a good idea sometimes to think of the importance and dignity of our every-day duties. It keeps them from being so tiresome; besides, others are apt take us at our own valuation. ”

SAPPHIREBEAR15 Jun 16, 2012

“Remember well, and bear in mind, a constant friend is hard to find.”

SAPPHIREBEAR15 Jun 16, 2012

“As you read my stories of long ago I hope you will remember that things truly worthwhile and that will give you happiness are the same now as they were then. It is not the things you have that make you happy. It is love and kindness and helping each other and just plain being good. ”

SAPPHIREBEAR15 Jun 16, 2012

“Laura felt a warmth inside her. It was very small, but it was strong. It was steady, like a tiny light in the dark, and it burned very low but no winds would make it flicker because it would not give up.”

SAPPHIREBEAR15 Jun 16, 2012

“The only stupid thing about words is the spelling of them.”

SAPPHIREBEAR15 Jun 16, 2012

“Our hearts grow tender with childhood memories and love of kindred, and we are better throughout the year for having, in spirit, become a child again at Christmas-time.”

SAPPHIREBEAR15 Jun 16, 2012

“Home is the nicest word there is.”

SAPPHIREBEAR15 Jun 16, 2012

“There's no great loss without some small gain.”

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l
lyndseybarker10
Aug 06, 2016

A different approach but still a great book by a very talented author.

l
lyndseybarker10
Aug 01, 2016

Good book. I love this series, though this book had a very different feel and style to it.

e
elliottmoose
Dec 02, 2014

My eight year old daughter and I read the whole series together. I found this last book very disappointing. You can easily tell that this was not written by Laura. All of the other books had so much description that you felt like you were right there with them. This one did not have the same feeling. Still, you have to admire the pioneers and how hearty they were. It makes you wonder if you could ever survive like they did.

j
julia_sedai
Jan 09, 2014

It amazes me how hard people worked back then. They went through struggle after struggle and never backed down. This book shows that and is so interesting. A must-read for anyone who read the books written by Laura Ingalls Wilder.

i
indi
Oct 18, 2013

It is easy to tell that this book was not written fully by Laura Ingalls Wilder as it differs so vastly from her style of writing. I have read her daughter, Rose Wilder (who was a famous author in her own right) had a large hand in the writing of this story. I was disappointed by this book. After reading the series, I was very much looking forward to hearing of their new life together but this was only a faded version.

7Liberty7 May 24, 2013

This book is definitely the biggest eye-opener to the troubles and struggles of late 1800 farmers than any of the other Little House books. There were quite a few sad and discouraging parts in it, but Laura and Almanzo always kept on hoping
for the next year to be better. I really
love their determination. A very good book.

Roxannajayc Jul 25, 2012

The saddest of the little house series. It really shows the difficulty that the pioneers faced as they fought mother nature and the taxes to try to thrive and prosper.

SAPPHIREBEAR15 Jun 16, 2012

i luved it!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

l
lisahiggs
May 22, 2010

By writing this penultimate volume of the Little House books, Laura tells us about the early pitfalls in her marriage to Almanzo Wilder – and quietly says “I told you so”. Laura relays to us that the Wilders’ financial failure in the first four years of their marriage was mostly due to Almanzo’s overspending – something noticed by Laura but not discussed with him. Passive aggressive much?

Age Suitability

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b
blue_ant_993
Feb 18, 2013

blue_ant_993 thinks this title is suitable for between the ages of 8 and 12

Roxannajayc Jul 25, 2012

Roxannajayc thinks this title is suitable for 9 years and over

b
Brown_Dog_70
Jul 09, 2011

Brown_Dog_70 thinks this title is suitable for All Ages

Summary

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Roxannajayc Jul 25, 2012

The First Four Years derives its title from a promise Laura made to Almanzo when they became engaged. Laura did not want to be a farmer's wife, but consented to try farming for three years.
Laura and Almanzo (who Laura refers to as Manly) begin married life on his tree claim in the snug house Manly built. Laura keeps house and Manly tends the land and the stock, and they go on frequent pony rides together. At the end of the first year, just as the wheat is ready to harvest, a freak hailstorm destroys the entire crop, which would have brought them three thousand dollars and paid off their debts on farm equipment and the building of the house.

SAPPHIREBEAR15 Jun 16, 2012

Laura and Almanzo (who Laura refers to as Manly) begin married life on his tree claim in the snug house Manly built. Laura keeps house and Manly tends the land and the stock, and they go on frequent pony rides together. At the end of the first year, just as the wheat is ready to harvest, a freak hailstorm destroys the entire crop, which would have brought them three thousand dollars and paid off their debts on farm equipment and the building of the house.
Faced with mounting debt, Manly decides to mortgage the homestead claim. He and Laura will have to live on it as a condition of the mortgage, so they rent out the house on the tree claim and Manly builds a small home on the homestead claim. Their daughter Rose is born there in December. At the end of the second year, they share the harvest of the wheat crop with the tree claim's renter, and make enough money to pay some of their smaller debts.

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Roxannajayc Jul 25, 2012

Frightening or Intense Scenes: Fire and loss.

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