March 5th is World Read Aloud Day. I did a special episode two years ago where I did recitations of poetry from one-room school readers. I decided to do another one. After some thought I decided the best thing to read aloud would be Millbank by Mary J. Holmes. Millbank is only novel mentioned by name in the Little House series. It’s in On the Banks of Plum Creek when Laura is trying to prove to Ma she doesn’t have to go to school because she can “read” by reciting from the book that Ma has read aloud so many times that Laura has memorized at least the beginning of it. While it seems that few people have even heard of, much less read, Mary J. Holmes today, she was a famous writer of the 19th century. Her books were best sellers and her house a tourist attraction. Read about her house here and here.
Listen to the archive here:
UPDATE: After I posted this, Nancy Cleaveland contacted and let me know Romines and I both missed a novel by title. “In Little Town on the Prairie Chapter 19 – Whirl of Gaiety. Carrie receives a novel for Christmas. Laura calls it Stories OF the Moorland, but the correct title is Stories FROM the Moorland.” I thought it might be short stories based on the title, but Nancy confirmed “It does have stories, but in the same way that Pa tells Laura stories.” Thanks for the correction. – SSU
UPDATE August 29 2015: I changed the line about how to listen because the live stream was no longer an option. 🙂 I also updated my signature block. I truly enjoyed doing this chapter of Millbank and think I’ll probably devote another show to reading it another time.
Sarah S. Uthoff is the main force behind Trundlebed Tales striving to bring the History, Mystery, Magic and Imagination of Laura Ingalls Wilder and other greats of children’s literature and history to life for a new generation. Uthoff is a nationally known Laura Ingalls Wilder authority and has presented at five of the Wilder homesites, many conferences and numerous libraries, museums, and events around the Midwest. Attend one of her programs, schedule one yourself, watch her videos, listen to her podcast, and find her on Facebook, Twitter, Google+, LinkedIn, and Academia.edu. Professionally she is a reference librarian at Kirkwood Community College and director of the Oxford (Iowa) Public Library.