Laura Ingalls Is Ruining My Life

Shelley Tougas. Roaring Brook, $16.99 (304p) ISBN 978-1-62672-418-1
Twelve-year-old Charlotte’s mother is looking for inspiration to write a pioneer novel for children (and to avoid a debt collector), so she abruptly moves the Lake family from Lexington, Ky., to Walnut Grove, Minn., where Laura Ingalls Wilder spent part of her childhood. This doesn’t surprise Charlotte, since they’re always moving from place to place, but she and her siblings aren’t excited about leaving Lexington to face bitterly cold weather and small-town life. Charlotte is determined not to become attached to anything or anyone in Walnut Grove, but after she gets coerced into volunteering at the Laura Ingalls Wilder Museum, she’s increasingly drawn to the town’s history and to a classmate who could be a friend. In a novel about uncomfortable new beginnings and changing attitudes, Tougas (A Patron Saint for Junior Bridesmaids) pays tribute to Wilder and the harsh landscape she knew while delineating a child’s gradual assimilation into a tight-knit community. Readers need not be familiar with Wilder’s pioneer books to commiserate with Charlotte as she endures social, physical, and emotional hardships, or to understand her longing to feel settled in one place. Ages 9–12. Agent: Susan Hawk, Upstart Crow Literary. (Oct.)
Reviewed on: 08/07/2017
Release date: 10/10/2017
Genre: Children's
Paperback - 304 pages - 978-1-250-30877-1
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