Laura Ingalls Wilder Subject Of Sioux Falls History Conference

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Fans of Laura Ingalls Wilder are excited about the debut of a new book about their favorite author.  The South Dakota State Historical Society is taking orders for the book during its conference this weekend in Sioux Falls.

The book is titled “Pioneer Girl Perspectives: Exploring Laura Ingalls Wilder.”  It’s a companion to the historical society’s release of Ingalls Wilder’s autobiography, “Pioneer Girl,” back in 2014.  It’s no coincidence that this new book is coming out a century-and-a-half following her birth.

A frontier fanfare is opening up a new chapter on the 150 year literary legacy of the famed author.

“I think that she creates this cozy, nuclear family that each of us would like to belong to that cozy, nuclear family,” editor Nancy Tystad Koupal said.

A conference, hosted by the South Dakota State Historical Society, has drawn people from more than 20 states.   Some are teachers who want to turn their students’ fascination with the Little House on the Prairie book series into a lesson on South Dakota history.

“I think everybody’s just interested in how it was to live in those kind of days when they didn’t have the technology that we have today.  I know the kids are.  They’ve told me before they’d like to get back in history and be able to try and live that way,”  Stanley County Elementary 4th grade teacher Jennifer Milliken said.

The release of this new biography during the 150th anniversary of Ingalls Wilder’s birth is a marketing strategy that will benefit the historical society press.

“We have a good number of pre-orders that indicated there there’s interest out there,” Tystad Koupal said.

Readers will learn all kinds of intriguing facts about Ingalls Wilder in this new book.  For instance, the FBI actually kept a file on her daughter, Rose Wilder Lane.

“She was a very outspoken woman.  She didn’t believe in a lot of the practices of the Roosevelt administration, Franklin D. Roosevelt, and she let everyone know, so they kept an eye on her,” Tystad Koupal said.

Sales from the book will help the historical society conduct further research on Ingalls Wilder.   Two additional volumes are in the works, giving this Pioneer Girl’s loyal following even more books to devour. 

The history conference winds up Saturday at the downtown Holiday Inn City Centre in Sioux Falls.  

The new book doesn’t officially go on sale until May 18.  You can pre-order a copy by clicking here 




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