Kari Euker

Although I am not a published Laura Ingalls Wilder scholar, an historical reenactor, nor an expert on any aspect of Mrs. Wilder’s life, I have been a dedicated fan of the Little House books since I began reading them in first grade. My visit to her home in Mansfield during a family vacation at the age of 13 opened the amazing world of the “real” Laura’s life to me, and a trip in 2018 gave me the opportunity to wade in Plum Creek, spend the night in a covered wagon on the Ingalls homestead, and learn about the Laura Ingalls Wilder Legacy and Research Association. From there I was able to attend LauraPalooza.

I describe myself as an outer Mary, an inner Nellie, and an aspirational Laura…and I felt like Rose the first time I saw the Little House books in the fiction section of my elementary school library! I have the not-at-all-annoying ability to work Little House into any conversation on any topic, and I am fortunate to say that every one of my 1970s-era Little House paperbacks have visited “their” homesite.

The Little House books resonate with me because of the history, the storytelling, the characters…and the character. As a parent I appreciate how the messages of faith, family, community, hard work, and sacrifice that were taught by my parents resonated on a deep level with me through the reading of these books. As a counselor I marvel at the resiliency shown by Laura Ingalls Wilder as she took her actual childhood of want and worry and used Fifty Fifty tablets, a pencil, and an amazing exercise of psychology to transform it into a triumph.

I love these books, and I want to contribute to their continued place on our bookshelves and in our hearts. I want to support the homesites, and I want to help others continue to learn about and connect over the literature, the locations, the lore, and the lives of Laura and all those associated with her.