Prepublication Reviews and Expertly Selected Title Lists

Farmer Boy Goes West by Heather Williams

Laura Ingalls Wilder, and especially Almanzo Wilder, are two of my favorite characters to read about and to watch on television, so I was very excited to find Farmer Boy Goes West.

The story takes readers through the Wilder family’s move from Malone, New York, to Spring Valley, Minnesota. Almanzo is heartbroken to leave his beloved horse, Starlight, behind while the family scouts out a new homestead. They stay with Uncle George and Aunt Martha in their small cramped house in Spring Valley until they settle on land for their own farm. Along the way, they experience many things, including friendship, joy, grief, and new love.


I enjoyed the author’s notes at the end of the book almost as much as the book itself. She tells about her love of Almanzo (who doesn’t love Manly?!), the research she did for the book, and of the liberties she took with the story and why. I liked the authentic feel of this story and appreciated the fact Williams remained true to Almanzo’s character.


Farmer Boy Goes West was fun to read. The inclusion of historical details such as using actual quotes from the Wilders’ letters added to the story and helped this to truly feel like the sequel to Farmer Boy from the original series. This is a great addition to the Little House stories fans have fallen in love with, and those that share in the love of them will not be disappointed.



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