Book Report: The Wilder Life (or, Let’s Be Friends, Wendy McClure)

Lately, I seem to have the Little House books on the brain.  This is partly because I happen to love them (dresses! covered wagons! sod houses and log cabins and buggy rides and lemonade!), but mostly because I just read The Wilder Life: My Adventures in the Lost World of Little House on the Prairie by Wendy McClure.

If you, too, are a Little House fan, you should read this book.  And if you are reading my blog, Wendy McClure, you should be my friend.  My parents live in Chicago.  Next time I visit, we should totally churn some butter and talk about life  in Laura World.

The Wilder Life is a great blend of memoir, travelogue, love letter to Laura Ingalls, and exploration of the world behind the books and the world of Laura fans in all their variety.  (Pro Tip: In 2011, “homesteading” doesn’t mean what you think it means.)  

I loved getting to learn more about the real lives of the Ingalls and Wilder families without having to do the research myself.  I loved McClure’s approach: humorous but not snide, educational but not dense, personal but not narrow.  And I loved remembering the best and worst moments of the books along with her.  (Not the TV show–my new friend Wendy and I never watched it growing up, and I have still never seen a single episode in full.  That’s not my Little House.)

Also!  Even though I myself am not tweeting on the Twitter (as the kids undoubtedly say), I am following Laura Ingalls on Twitter through Google Reader.  (Pro Tip: Wendy McClure tweets as Halfpintingalls–don’t you want to be her friend now, too?)  And guess what?  Thanks to Wendy, Laura also has an Amazon wish list, with everything a girl needs for The Long Winter.

 Thanks, Wendy McClure, for keeping everyone’s favorite pioneer girl up to date.  I bet Nellie Oleson is absolutely green with envy.

"Country girls!" (image via



Filed under Book Report

5 responses to “Book Report: The Wilder Life (or, Let’s Be Friends, Wendy McClure)

  1. I didn’t know about this, thanks! I also never watched the TV show.


  2. Kirsten

    You HAVE to go to Plum Creek, although Zoe may appreciate it a little more in a few years 🙂 They have a play and everything. Check it out here:

    I, too, am a huge fan. My copy of Little House in the Big Woods is held together with several layers of book tape. And at least one childhood Halloween was spent as Laura. Love it! Thanks for the recommendation!


    • Yes, I think we will have to do that this year! I have wanted to go since we moved to Litchfield. I think Zoe would at least enjoy wading in the creek, and I KNOW I would.

      My Little House in the Big Woods is missing a lot of pages, so I got a big hardcover a few years ago. It’s very pretty, but not quite the same, of course.

      Definitely read this book, Kirsten! You will love it!


  3. Oakes Theresa

    Hi M!!! I just read this last month and loved it! So ice to know you were snuggled up with it too up out on the prairie…


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s