Kid reviews for Little House in the Big Woods

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Common Sense says

age 7+

Based on our expert review

Parents say

age 5+

Based on 10 reviews

Kids say

age 7+

Based on 18 reviews

age 10+

Educational, classic story about family in the 1870s is surprisingly scary.

SPOILER WARNING! When I was seven, my parents read this book to me because I had heard a lot about the series and how great it was. Because of the beautiful illustrations and the main character being four or five years old, my parents thought it would probably be appropriate for me, even though I was very sensitive and had previously been scared by similar books. I remember really enjoying this book. I thought Laura was fantastic and fun, and I was fascinated by the story. But some scenes scared me. This is a hard review for me to write, because while I don't regret having been introduced to the series at age seven, I would not recommend this book to most children under ten because of the many disturbing scenes, most of which you can't skip without missing a lot of the plot. Common Sense Media's review of this book is good, but the violence and scariness is really more like 3/5, not 1/5. I'll talk more about that and those scenes later in my review. Here is my opinion, which I hope will be helpful to you: EDUCATIONAL VALUE (4/5)- This book is an honest and extremely educational look at life in the 1800s, but it never feels like a school textbook. You learn about hunting, storing food in the winter, harvesting, and many other things. There are many songs in the book, and it may inspire kids to learn more about the songs, musical instruments, and entertainment in that time. POSITIVE MESSAGES (3/5)- This book has good messages about working hard and being there for your family. POSITIVE ROLE MODELS (3/5)- Most of the adult characters are responsible, kind, and hardworking. Ma and Pa are strict, but they are usually good parents. Laura tries hard to be good and well-behaved, and usually feels bad when she makes mistakes (but she's also a realistic child with a realistic personality). CHARACTERS: This book is full of great characters. Kids will love Laura and her sister, Mary. Parents will appreciate the realistic, complicated characters in the story. VIOLENCE AND SCARINESS (5/10)- There is quite a lot of violence for a book meant for children. Pa and Uncle Henry kill a pig (to eat, not for fun). Here is the scene I am talking about: "When the water was boiling they went to kill the hog. Then Laura ran and hid her head on the bed and stopped her ears with her fingers so she could not hear the hog squeal. 'It doesn't hurt him, Laura,' Pa said. 'We do it so quickly.' But she did not want to hear him squeal. In a minute she took one finger cautiously out of an ear and listened. The hog had stopped squealing. After that, Butchering Time was great fun." Pa shoots a bear that had just killed a pig. Pa says that the bear was holding the pig in its paws. Pa's description of the event is not graphic and is about three sentences long. The actual killing of the bear does not take place in the story. Pa tells a story about Laura's grandfather where Grandpa is chased through the woods by a panther while riding a horse. I remember one part of this scene bothering me, which was "The horse screamed terribly, and ran. He was running away into the big woods, with the panther riding on his back and ripping his back with its claws." (This part of the scene happens when Grandpa is already safe inside his house). Pa tells a story about how, when he was a kid, he got scared in the woods at night and ran home, tearing off one of his toenails. There's a disturbing scene (pages 68-72) where Aunt Eliza is telling a story about a panther watching her from a tree and how her dog saved her life. Ma hits a bear thinking it is the family's cow. No one is injured and the scene is more funny than scary, but kids may still be scared. Pa thinks a tree is a bear and gets scared. Laura hits Mary after Mary says that golden hair is prettier than Laura's brown hair. As punishment for hitting Mary, Pa whips Laura. Cousin Charley steps on a bee hive in the ground and gets stung several times. Here is part of the scene: "He was jumping up and down and hundreds of bees were stinging him all over. They were stinging his face and his hands and his neck and his nose, and they were crawling up his pants' legs and stinging. The more he jumped and screamed, the harder they stung. " And: "Charley came bawling into the yard and his face was so swollen that the tears could hardly squeeze out of his eyes. His hands were puffed out and his cheeks were big, hard puffs. His fingers stood out stiff and swollen. There were little, hard, white dents all over his puffed-out face and neck." It's like something out of The Hunger Games. Actually, almost exactly like a scene in The Hunger Games. Possibly a bit worse. You don't find out exactly what happened to Charley later, but you are pretty sure he ended up being okay. There are two illustrations in this scene, one of Charley screaming and being stung by bees, and one later of him wrapped in bandages with only his nose and mouth showing. This is definitely the most graphic and disturbing scene in this book. LANGUAGE (2/10)- Though I don't remember any swear words being used, there is some (infrequent) racist language. This sounds like a lot, but the book is around 240 pages long and the scary scenes are every fifty pages or so. WHAT AGE CAN A KID READ IT? I said ten and up because that's the age a kid will most likely enjoy it the most, but kids younger than ten may really like it too. If your kid has been begging to read it, eight and up is OK. IS IT AS GOOD AS PEOPLE SAY IT IS? Yes. It's interesting, entertaining, detailed, and complicated, but easy to read and great for families to read together and discuss. In conclusion, Little House in the Big Woods is a book that's definitely worth reading, even though it can get a bit intense.

This title has:

Educational value
age 5+

Prominent Book

An outstanding book for beginner readers. You will enjoy Little House in the Big Woods. It uses simple words but is still a great story.

This title has:

Educational value
age 6+

A Great Woods Story

Little House in the Big Woods is a great autobiography. It is a woods story about a little house in the big woods and a little girl name Laura, like the title of Little House in the Big Woods. If you read it I am sure you will love it.

This title has:

Educational value
Great messages
Great role models
age 6+
It is a great book. Some parents think it has things that younger kids shouldn't read, like 'peril danger' as some people say. I got the entire series when I was seven. And there was nothing that could propose too scary or anything. The worst part about it was that it took place in the 1800's so there were some things that I didn't understand. And it also has great role models!

This title has:

Great messages
Great role models
age 4+

the best my fave

It is about the prairie and its a really good book for all ages. You should read if you live in the country so check it out its so good .

This title has:

Educational value
Great messages
Great role models
age 8+

Really Good

I think that the author used great description and makes me never want to stop reading.

This title has:

Educational value
Great messages
Great role models
age 6+

Boring!

This book is soooooooooooooooooooo boring, that I would not even bother to read it.
age 8+

Great book! Does have some of parts that can be disturbing for young children though

I love this book, but for children under 8 it isn't the best. It is about living a pioneer life, but some parts are a little bit disturbing because pioneer life is a lot different than today's life. Still, some young children wouldn't understand that and think it's scary and crazy. I TOTALLY recommend this book for 8yrs and up!!!!!!!!

This title has:

Great messages
age 7+

Cute, quaint story perfect for kids

Summary: This treasured classic is told through 4 year old Laura's eyes, and is the story of Laura Ingalls Wilder. Mary and Laura live in the big woods with Ma, Pa, and Baby Cary. Life in the Little House can fun, exciting and adventurous. Plot: There really isn't a true plot to this story. The main point is character building. The family elements are extremely strong and that was a great element in the story. Characters: Laura is a 4 year old, but it is fun to see things through her eyes. Mary, her older sister, is like Laura in ways, and some ways not. I found all the characters in this story enjoyable. Overall: This was an incredibly cute story. I'm so glad I read this. I cannot wait to read Farmer Boy. Recommendations: I think this is perfect for 3rd grade, but as a 13 year old, I still immensely enjoyed this book. There isn't any violence or content so it's perfectly family friendly, as most people know.

This title has:

Educational value
Great messages
Great role models
age 5+

This really got me interested

I loved this book. One of the best.

This title has:

Great messages