Little House on Rocky Ridge

by Roger Lea MacBride
Reviewed date: 2010 Jan 25
368 pages
cover art

Little House on Rocky Ridge is the first book in the Rose Years series of Little House books. Roger Lea MacBride writes well, but he's no Laura Ingalls Wilder; Little House on Rocky Ridge is a fun book for kids to read, but lacks the special something that made the original Little House books the favorite of generations.

Little House on Rocky Ridge follows Laura and Almanzo Wilder and their daughter Rose as they travel from De Smet, South Dakota to make a new home in Mansfield, Missouri. They pack their belongings into a tiny wagon, and in Mansfield they buy a farm and get to work scraping out a living. They barely make it, and indeed would not have, if the neighbors hadn't organized a barnraising at the Wilder farm, just before winter set in.

The best part of the book has to be the horrible surprise in the first chapter. I think it counts as child abuse. It went something like this.

"It's Mama!" shouted Rose. Mama had promised Rose a surprise when she and Papa got home from work. Rose had been beside herself with excitement all day.

Rose: "What's the surprise, Mama?"

Mama: "A trip to Missouri."

Rose: "Wow! I've never been to Missouri."

Mama: "Missouri is a wonderful place. You'll like it."

Rose: "How long will we get to stay?"

Mama: "Forever. We're moving there."

Rose: ...

Mama: "You'll have to say goodbye to all your friends here. In Missouri we'll live on a farm and you won't have any friends."

Rose: "Uh...well at least I'll have family."

Mama: "We're leaving Grandpa and Grandma behind."

Rose: "Oh."

Mama: "Aunt Mary and Aunt Caroline too. They can't come."

Rose: "oh."

Mama: "Isn't this is the best surprise ever?"

I don't think Mama knows anything about raising children.

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