We're finished! We read the last Laura Ingalls Wilder book on Friday night. The First Four Years is a very different book from the first eight. The tone of the book is much flatter and paints events with a much broader brush. Some of the sparkle of the first eight books is also missing. However, this book was never really intended for publication and was actually published posthumously.
Having read all the books now, I must say that Farmer Boy was probably my favorite. While Laura's pa taught primarily by example, Almanzo's pa taught him both by example and through direct ethical instruction. There were many more springboards for additional discussions. All the books are treasures, to be sure. I really cherished every page and I look forward to reading it all again sometime.
Our next readaloud ideas include Eragon (for something completely different!), Little Women, and the books by Rose Wilder (Laura Wilder's daughter). Laura Ingalls Wilder has been our companion for four months now, and I will really miss her! But I'm looking forward to diving into something new now.