Author Laura Ingalls Wilder was born on February 7th, 1867. Her “Little House” book series about life in America’s heartland of Wisconsin, Minnesota, Kansas and South Dakota gives young readers the chance to compare and contrast growing up then and now.

Here are a few comparisons to ponder: Unlike the spacious country homes of today, Wilder’s first home was called a dugout – a 300-foot square area that had bare earth walls, a wooden roof and a ceiling made of sod. These were the pioneer homes in the Midwest.

Wilder traveled the American frontier in a covered wagon. Wonder what she’d she think of today’s S-U-Vs! Her family overcomes scarlet fever but it leaves her sister, Mary, blind. Scarlet fever was once a serious childhood illness but, now, is successfully treatable with antibiotics.

At 65, Wilder wrote her first book, “Little House in the Big Woods.” In total, she describes her life’s journey in 8 books and provides modern-day readers a glimpse at a world where coffee was brewed at home on the stove and not at a Starbucks!

Visit for more information on this influential author.

Content provided by Oakland University