| | | |

9 Books Like Little House on the Prairie

Books Like Little House on the Prairie

Do you ever find yourself yearning for simpler times, for the thrill of adventure on the open frontier, and the comfort of a close-knit family? 

If Laura Ingalls Wilder’s “Little House on the Prairie” series ignited a love for these things in you, then buckle up, buttercup, because we’re about to embark on a journey to discover similar stories that will whisk you back to a bygone era!

This blog is your one-stop shop for unearthing hidden gems and rediscovering classics that capture the essence of “Little House.” 

Whether you’re seeking tales of pioneer life, heartwarming family dynamics, or the beauty of nature, we’ve got something to satisfy your wanderlust and rekindle your love for all things historical and heartwarming. 

Books Like Little House on the Prairie

1. Caddie Woodlawn

“Caddie Woodlawn” is a children’s historical novel by Carol Ryrie Brink, published in 1935. It recounts the adventures of 11-year-old Caddie Woodlawn, a spirited and adventurous girl living in the Wisconsin frontier during the 1860s. 

Through Caddie’s eyes, readers experience the challenges and joys of frontier life, from interactions with Native Americans to the daily tasks that keep a pioneer family going. The book is based on the true stories of the author’s grandmother, making it a rich historical narrative as well as an engaging story for young readers.

Major Similarities: 

Like “Little House on the Prairie,” “Caddie Woodlawn” offers a vivid portrayal of pioneer life in the American Midwest, focusing on a young protagonist’s experiences and growth. Both books explore themes of family, community, and the relationship between settlers and Native Americans, providing a nuanced view of frontier life. 

The emphasis on resilience, adventure, and the importance of understanding different cultures makes “Caddie Woodlawn” a complementary read for fans of Laura Ingalls Wilder’s work.

2. Anne of Green Gables

Anne of Green Gables” is a novel by L.M. Montgomery, first published in 1908. This story introduces readers to Anne Shirley, an imaginative and talkative orphan girl who is mistakenly sent to live with Marilla and Matthew Cuthbert, a brother and sister who wanted to adopt a boy to help them on their farm in Prince Edward Island, Canada. 

Anne’s vibrant personality, imaginative adventures, and the relationships she forms in the small community of Avonlea captivate readers of all ages. Her journey from an unwanted orphan to a beloved member of the community is heartwarming and filled with moments of both joy and adversity.

Major Similarities: 

Although “Anne of Green Gables” is set in a different time and place than “Little House on the Prairie,” both books share a strong sense of community, the importance of family (both biological and chosen), and the joys and challenges of growing up. 

Anne’s adventures and her development as a character are reminiscent of Laura’s in “Little House on the Prairie,” offering readers a look into the life of a young girl at the turn of the century. Both series also emphasize the beauty of the natural world and the significance of imagination and creativity in childhood.

3. Sarah, Plain and Tall

“Sarah, Plain and Tall” by Patricia MacLachlan is a tender novel published in 1985. It tells the story of Sarah Wheaton, a woman from Maine who answers a newspaper ad to become a mail-order bride for a widower and his two children living on the prairie in the late 19th century. 

The book explores themes of loneliness, adaptation, and the creation of a new family, as Sarah and the children learn to navigate their relationships with each other and their changing world. The story is notable for its simplicity, emotional depth, and the clear, lyrical writing style.

Major Similarities:

“Sarah, Plain and Tall” shares with “Little House on the Prairie” a setting in the American Midwest during the pioneer era, focusing on the dynamics of family life and adaptation to the challenges of the frontier. Both books offer insight into the hardships and rewards of prairie life, including the importance of community, resilience, and love. 

The themes of family unity and the struggles and triumphs of daily life on the frontier are central to both narratives, making them resonate well with each other.

4. Farmer Boy

“Farmer Boy” is a book by Laura Ingalls Wilder, part of her “Little House” series and published in 1933. Unlike the other books in the series, this one focuses on the childhood of Almanzo Wilder, Laura’s future husband, growing up on a prosperous farm in New York State in the 1860s. 

The story provides a detailed look at rural farm life, including the hard work and discipline required to run a successful farm, as well as the pleasures and abundance of country living. Through Almanzo’s experiences, readers gain an appreciation for the value of diligence, honesty, and the joys of a close-knit family life.

Major Similarities: 

“Farmer Boy” shares with “Little House on the Prairie” the author’s engaging storytelling style and a focus on the day-to-day life of a young person in the 19th century. Both books offer a detailed portrayal of the time period’s challenges and rewards, emphasizing the importance of hard work, family, and self-reliance. 

The rural setting and the exploration of agricultural life provide a backdrop for understanding the values and lifestyle of the era, making “Farmer Boy” a natural companion to the “Little House” series.

5. The Secret Garden

“The Secret Garden” by Frances Hodgson Burnett, published in 1911, is a timeless novel about Mary Lennox, a sickly and unloved 10-year-old girl who is sent to live with her uncle in a gloomy, secluded manor in Yorkshire after the death of her parents. As she explores the estate, Mary discovers a locked, abandoned garden. 

With the help of new friends, she begins to bring the garden back to life. The transformation of the garden mirrors the healing and emotional growth of Mary and the other characters, exploring themes of friendship, resilience, and the power of nature to restore and heal.

Major Similarities: 

While “The Secret Garden” is not set in the American frontier, it shares with “Little House on the Prairie” themes of growth, exploration, and the transformative power of the natural world. Both stories focus on young protagonists who navigate challenges and find joy and purpose in their surroundings. 

The emphasis on the healing aspects of nature and the importance of caring relationships echoes the themes of family and community found in Laura Ingalls Wilder’s work, making “The Secret Garden” a compelling read for those who appreciate the values and narrative style of “Little House on the Prairie.”

6. My Ántonia

“My Ántonia” is a novel by Willa Cather, published in 1918. It is considered one of her greatest works, set in the Nebraska prairie where Cather grew up. The story is told from the perspective of Jim Burden, who recounts his life and the impact of Ántonia Shimerda, a Bohemian immigrant girl with whom he forms a lifelong friendship. 

The novel explores themes of pioneering spirit, the hardships of prairie life, the immigrant experience in America, and the enduring beauty of the land. Through vivid descriptions and deep character development, Cather paints a poignant portrait of life on the frontier.

Major Similarities: 

“My Ántonia” shares with “Little House on the Prairie” an evocative depiction of life in the American Midwest during the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Both novels focus on the challenges and rewards of frontier life, including the relationships formed within communities and the connection to the land. 

The emphasis on the personal growth of the characters amidst the backdrop of the prairie landscape makes “My Ántonia” resonate with themes similar to those found in Laura Ingalls Wilder’s series.

7. The Birchbark House

“The Birchbark House” by Louise Erdrich, published in 1999, is the first book in a series that centers on the life of Omakayas, a young Ojibwe girl living on the Island of the Golden-Breasted Woodpecker, near present-day Lake Superior, in the mid-19th century. 

Through the seasons, readers follow Omakayas and her family as they gather food, build their winter home, and carry on with their traditions and survival skills. 

Erdrich, herself a member of the Turtle Mountain Band of Chippewa Indians, offers a richly detailed narrative that provides insight into the daily life, culture, and spirit of the Ojibwe people.

Major Similarities: 

While “The Birchbark House” presents the perspective of Native Americans during the same period that “Little House on the Prairie” is set, both books offer young readers a vivid portrayal of life in the 19th-century Midwest through the eyes of a young protagonist. 

They share themes of survival, family, and the close relationship with the natural world. 

The emphasis on the cultural and daily life aspects of their respective communities provides a nuanced view of history, making “The Birchbark House” a complementary narrative to Wilder’s pioneer tales.

8. Little Britches: Father and I Were Ranchers

“Little Britches: Father and I Were Ranchers” is the first book in a series by Ralph Moody, published in 1950. It recounts the true story of the author’s experiences growing up in Colorado in the early 20th century. 

After moving west for health reasons, Ralph’s family works hard to establish themselves in the ranching business, facing challenges with resilience and determination. 

The narrative is rich with lessons about responsibility, integrity, and the value of hard work, as Ralph learns life lessons from his father and other adults in the community.

Major Similarities: 

“Little Britches” and “Little House on the Prairie” both offer autobiographical accounts of growing up in the American West, providing detailed insights into the challenges and rewards of rural life. 

The themes of family, hard work, and self-reliance are central to both stories, as are the strong bonds formed within communities. 

Readers who appreciate the historical and educational aspects of Laura Ingalls Wilder’s work will find “Little Britches” a similarly inspiring and informative read.

9. Understood Betsy

“Understood Betsy” is a novel by Dorothy Canfield Fisher, first published in 1916. It tells the story of Elizabeth Ann, a frail and overprotected orphan who is sent to live with her cousins in Vermont. In stark contrast to her previous life, Betsy learns to do chores, think for herself, and enjoy the freedoms and responsibilities of country living. 

The experience transforms her physically and emotionally, illustrating the importance of independence, resilience, and the benefits of a more natural, hands-on approach to education and life.

Major Similarities: 

Both “Understood Betsy” and “Little House on the Prairie” depict the journey of young girls who grow and thrive as a result of their experiences living in rural settings. 

Themes of self-discovery, the value of hard work, and the simplicity of life closer to nature are prevalent in both stories. 

The transformation of the protagonists through their challenges and adventures offers readers an inspiring message about the potential for personal growth and independence, making “Understood Betsy” a complementary read for fans of Laura Ingalls Wilder’s series.

Similar Posts