Note- I am a few days behind, so hopefully this will be the first of three today. I developed a cold on Friday, had to take one cat to the vet ER Saturday at 5.30 am. Cat is fine - UTI and diabetes it seems, but have medicine for both now - and I am feeling a little better.
Banned Book (should have been on Friday)
I guess if you are a woman of a certain age, you really grooved to the Little House books. I remember when classmates found out that Rose Wilder Lane (Laura Ingalls Wilder’s daughter) had written a book, and it went through the whole class like wildfire.
And let’s get something else out of the way – because Wilder’s family was settlers the book hews closely to the old Hollywood Western than the new PC Hollywood western. Furthermore, Wilder wasn’t quite as open about her past as the books seem to be.
Then I also think about all the books that get assigned in schools. It seems the majority of them involve men doing things. Huck Finn – men and boys. Mice and Men – Men. Little Red Pony – a boy and his horse. Great Gatsby – man in love. This isn’t to say that the books are bad or that they shouldn’t be banned. Okay, I hated the Red Pony, but no.
It’s just that sometimes having a woman or girl do something is nice. This is what is good about the Susan Cooper books – different genders. But Wilder is one of the few books that most teachers like that does present things for a girl’s point of view. It helps that Laura wasn’t traditional as well. It’s, I think, part of the reason why Anne Frank is taught so much. Unlike Frank who didn’t have the option to do, Wilder does.
Yes, the books are dated, and yes they are not strictly a historical record, but still. The family is a loving one, there is mutual respect, and there is hardship. It is, for lack of a better word, wholesome. Perhaps it is too sweet, too nice. But there is also something about it that stirs the imagination.
And it seems like every book where a woman does always ends up on the list at some point. (True, there are quite a bit of men doing that end up on the list to).