Laura Ingalls Wilder: A Storybook Life – Heroes of History (Review Crew)

laura wilder

Reading the Laura Ingalls Wilder “Little House” books is a rite of passage in our family.

I can’t even count how many times I’ve read the Little House on the Prairie books, both as a child and with my own kids. Kendall (9) and I had just finished reading through the whole series together when I was offered the chance to check out Laura Ingalls Wilder: A Storybook Life, and it’s accompanying unit study curriculum guide, part of the Heroes of History series from YWAM Publishing. We’ve enjoyed other books from this series, so I thought it would be the perfect follow up to our reading.

Heroes of History is a unique biography series that tells the stories of fascinating men and women who changed the course of history, both in the past and all the way up into modern times. With names ranging from statesmen like Benjamin Franklin and Abraham Lincoln, to literary giants like C.S. Lewis, to modern public figures like Billy Graham and even Ben Carson, plus many more, these books, written in an engaging narrative style, are suitable for the whole family.

The book is a simple biography, written at a young adult level (10+), but it’s enjoyable as a read aloud down to early elementary age. Kendall and I have been reading it together, reading a chapter or two several times a week. Kade (6) has popped in and out, just like he did when we read the actual Little House series. We’ve recognized many familiar events and locations from the books, and it’s also done a great job of filling in some of the gaps and following the historical chronology (which the series rearranges a bit).

The accompanying unit study guide is a simple 80 page PDF document. It offers ideas to use the book as a vehicle for teaching and/or reinforcing various curriculum areas, including:

  • History
  • Geography
  • Essay Writing
  • Creative Writing
  • Reading Comprehension
  • Public Speaking
  • Drama
  • Art

The ideas and activities can be adapted for individuals or groups, and are appropriate for a wide age range. There are relevant quotes, comprehension questions, essay questions, hands on project and field trip suggestions, vocabulary lists, timeline and map activities, a resource list (books, movies, websites), and more.

I tend to use these type of guides fairly informally, and that’s what I’ve done with this one. I’ve referred to it for inspiration and jumping off points for discussion, but we haven’t done any “formal” assignments or  projects from it. I’ve especially enjoyed the “Key Quotes” section, in which the authors provide eight related quotes from various sources that relate to the book content somehow. They suggest using them for memorization, to spark conversation, or even to create a wall plaque or banner to display. We’ve found them to make great conversation starters! Overall, the unit study guide has been a handy reference, and I think it would be a fantastic resource for teaching a co-op class.

Laura Ingalls Wilder: A Storybook Life is a great read for any fan of the Little House books and a useful addition to any unit about Laura Ingalls Wilder and Little House. It, along with the accompanying unit study guide, will definitely find a permeant home alongside all our other Little House on the Prairie resources (Prairie Primer, cookbook, books on the homesites, picture books, a biography or two, some of the spinoff series, etc.).

Click the graphic to read what other families thought of this title and others in the Heroes of History series.

YWAM Publishing Review

You can also click here to read my review of the book and unit study guide on Jim Eliot from the same series.

 

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