My family loves the Little House series. So, when I got to pick a title from YWAM Publishing to review, a title in their Heroes of History series immediately caught my eye. I knew the kids would enjoy learning more about one of their favorite authors in Laura Ingalls Wilder: A Storybook Life.
I received a paperback, 193 page book, along with electronic access to a study guide about Laura Ingalls Wilder.
A biography, this book weaves together information about Laura into an easy to read format. It walks readers through events in Laura’s life from her home on the prairie through her death shortly after her ninetieth birthday.
I love the details included, and how it read like a great story. Another great part was that it went over events that didn’t get mentioned in the Little House books. The death of Laura’s brother, Freddie is included, along with information about her life after These Happy Golden Years ends.
The beginning of her writing career is covered, along with the role that her daughter Rose played in helping Laura land her first paid writing gigs. As a freelance writer myself, this chapter really resonated with me!
The Study Guide
The study guide is a wonderful resource to dive deeper into topics covered in the books. It was easy to access, which I appreciated.
Broken into two parts, part one of the study guide is the meat of the guide. It contains 80 pages of material to use alongside the reading of the book.
There were key quotes, ideas for hands on activities, and a variety of questions for each chapter. I appreciated that the questions didn’t all require a direct, route answer. Some were about vocabulary words, some required critical thinking, and some that asked students to go back to the text to find the answer.
There was a section of the guide with ideas for further student exploration. This section included activities that’d include a variety of learning styles. Suggested activities included:
- Essay prompts
- Hands-on Projects
- Audio/Visual Projects
- Arts and Crafts
My kids LOVED the variety! There really was something for everyone. They weren’t really interested in the essay questions, but the arts and crafts, and hands-on projects gave them plenty to choose from.
My oldest daughter liked the idea of looking up music for some of the songs Pa used to play for Laura and the other girls. She found several of the songs, and enjoyed playing them on the recorder for the rest of us. Here’s her playing “Pop Goes the Weasel”
This wasn’t everything the unit study included. There were also ideas for getting out into the community. This included field trip suggestions, and recommendations for experts from areas in the book to speak to.
Then there were plenty of activities included in the Social Studies section. I liked the idea of learning about more of the locations where Laura and her family lived. There were vocabulary words, questions to ponder, and more.
One section had suggestions for similar topics to explore for further study. Another contained a list of suggested books and resources to accompany the study. Altogether, it was a well-done, high-quality study guide.
The second part of the guide included four pages of printables.
How We Used This Book
I read this book aloud to some of my middle kids. Then, we picked a couple of activities from the guide to work on. I also asked some of the questions.
What I Thought of the Book
I really enjoyed reading this book, and using the study guide as an accompaniment. YWAM Publishing produces very high-quality work, and just like their Heroes of History: Davy Crockett book I reviewed last year, I was definitely impressed. I highly recommend any of the books in this series!
To read what other reviewers had to say about this and other books in the Heroes of History or Christian Heroes: Then & Now series, please click on the banner below.