Laura Ingalls Wilder: 2growing Up in the Little House

Patricia Reilly Giff, Author, Eileen McKeating, Illustrator Viking Children's Books $10.95 (64p) ISBN 978-0-670-81072-7

Fans of Wilder's popular Little House books will want to turn to this biography to learn which parts of the stories actually happened. Beginning with the first book, set in the Big Woods of Wisconsin, Giff supplies the pertinent facts. Important events, she explains, such as the death of a baby brother and later, the death of Wilder's own child, were left out of the series. This spare account of Wilder's experiences has a reminiscent air; in an author's note, Giff says she wanted children to know ""how difficult some of the times in Wilder's life really were.'' To this end her book is sadder than some of Wilder's fiction. Even after 20 years of journalism, Wilder felt ``I didn't know how to write'' and was asked to revise the first book, issued in 1932 when she was 65. Ages 7-11. (September)