Farmer Boy

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Farmer Boy
Farmer Boy ( Laura Ingalls Wilder book).jpg
First edition cover
Author Laura Ingalls Wilder
Illustrator Helen Sewell
Country United States
Language English
Series Little House
Genre Family Saga
Publisher Harper & Brothers
Publication date
Media type Print (hardcover, paperback)
Pages 372
Preceded by Little House in the Big Woods
Followed by Little House on the Prairie

Farmer Boy is a children's historical novel by Laura Ingalls Wilder. First published in 1933, it is the second book in the nine part Little House series,[1] also known as "The Laura Years".

Plot summary[edit]

Farmer Boy is based on the childhood of Laura's husband, Almanzo Wilder, who grew up in the 1860s near the town of Malone in upstate New York. The book covers more than one year in Almanzo's life, beginning just before his ninth birthday, and following at least two harvest cycles.[2] It describes in detail the endless chores involved in running the Wilder family farm. Young as he is, Almanzo rises before 5 a.m. every day to milk several cows and feed stock. In the growing season, he plants and tends crops; in winter, he hauls logs, helps fill the ice house, trains a team of young oxen, and sometimes—when his father can spare him—goes to school. The novel includes stories of Almanzo's brother Royal and his sisters Eliza Jane and Alice.

Historical background[edit]

Since Almanzo (1857-1949) was born in February 1857, the novel is set in 1866–1867, prior to the birth of the author, Laura Ingalls Wilder (1867–1957). The book features Almanzo's brother Royal (1847–1925) and sisters Eliza Jane (1850–1930) and Alice (1853–1892). Meanwhile, he also had a sister Laura (1844–1899), who at the time and events in the novel was already about 22 and had presumably moved out. He later had a brother, Perley Day (1869–1934), who was not yet born at the time Farmer Boy is set.[3]


  1. ^ "Farmer boy". Retrieved 19 February 2013. 
  2. ^ Ingalls Wilder, Laura (1933). Farmer Boy. New York NY: HarperCollins. pp. 240–251. ISBN 978-006-4400039. 
  3. ^ "Historical Background". Retrieved 19 February 2013.