Guest Author - Taisha Turner
By the Shores of Silver Lake by Laura Ingalls Wilder accounts the Ingalls family adventures in a railroad camp. Every member of the family, except Laura and Pa, contracts scarlet fever. Ma, Mary, Carrie and Grace are on the mend. Unfortunately, the fever leaves Mary sightless. Pa Ingalls has financial woes, for how is he to pay the mounting medical bills? Also, Jack, Laura’s faithful dog, is grey-haired with painfully stiff legs.
An unexpected visitor, Aunt Docia, offers Pa employment. The wages are fifty dollars a month! Ma who loathes the idea of moving recognizes the opportunity. Therefore, the Ingalls family move from the house on the Banks of Plum Creek.
The books by Laura Ingalls Wilder tell the life of late 1800's pioneers; they include the hardships and especially the joys. No dull moments are in the series’ books. By the Shores of Silver Lake continues the tradition. Laura experiences an exciting train ride to the Dakota Territories. Later, in the railroad camp, she meets cousin Lena, a free spirit as herself. The two young girls camp outside and ride ponies bareback. Horse thieves, camp riots and wild wolves’ activities catch the curiosity of young Laura and the reader, too. At the days’ end, the family gathers for evenings of song, dance and music.
By the Shores of Silver Lake captures the imagination of elementary, tween and teen kids. The chapter book brings this slice of American history alive. Through Laura’s eyes modern children can experience the work and determination which built the great railroads which crisscross our nation to this day. Young people in their own way did their share. Today, they can do their share to shape tomorrow. Remember that every little bit helps.
I have had these Little House books for a very long time.