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So… mea culpa, mea culpa, mea culpa. Elsewise, the pilot is coming along well, with casting falling into place.

Hard Cold Winter

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Soon afterward, Pa receives another warning from an unexpected source: an old Native American man comes to the general store in town to warn the white settlers that hard winters come in seven-year cycles and the hardest comes at the end of the third cycle. The coming winter is that twenty-first winter, and there will be seven months of blizzards. Pa decides to move his family into his store building in town for the winter. In town, Laura attends school with her younger sister, Carrie , until the weather becomes too unpredictable to permit them to walk to and from the school building, and coal too scarce to keep it heated.

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Blizzard after blizzard sweeps through the town over the next few months. Food and fuel become scarce and expensive, as the town depends on the railroad to bring supplies but the frequent blizzards prevent trains from getting through. Eventually, the railroad company suspends all efforts to dig out the trains that are snowed in at Tracy , stranding the town until spring.

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With no more coal or wood, the Ingallses learn to use twisted hay for fuel. As the last of the town's meager food runs out, Laura's future husband, Almanzo Wilder , and his friend, Cap Garland, hear rumors that a settler raised wheat at a claim twenty miles from town.

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They risk their lives to bring sixty bushels of it to the starving townspeople — enough to last the rest of the winter. As predicted, the blizzards continue for seven months. Finally, the spring thaw comes and trains begin running again, bringing in much-needed supplies and the Ingallses' long-delayed Christmas barrel from Reverend Alden , containing clothes, presents, and a Christmas turkey. With the long winter finally over, they enjoy their long-delayed Christmas celebration in May.

Wilder was a writer of historical fiction. Most of the people, places, and events she describes are from her own life, but she sometimes juxtaposed events and compressed characters in the interest of good storytelling. The fictionalized material includes the "Indian warning" in an early chapter and the duration and frequency of blizzards. While historical records indicate a larger than usual number of blizzards that winter, Wilder's description of storms lasting on average three days each, with only two to two-and-a-half days' separation, from late October until early April, would imply about 35 separate blizzards during that time frame, which may be dramatic license.

Local oral history and research by Wilder's biographers also indicate that Almanzo and Cap traveled about 12 miles south of De Smet to find the wheat, not 20 as she states in the novel.

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Almanzo is portrayed as being roughly six years older than Wilder, when he was in fact ten years older. Aside from these minor variations, however, it is an accurate portrayal of that legendary winter in Dakota Territory. Wilder's editor for her Little House books was her daughter, Rose Wilder Lane , a well-known author and journalist and a prolific ghost writer. John E. Miller, in his biography Becoming Laura Ingalls Wilder , discusses extensive correspondence between Wilder and Lane during the editing process, and includes facsimiles of that correspondence. In Kirkus Reviews , her semimonthly bulletin from , she awarded this novel a starred review as she did all of the 3rd to 6th Little House books.

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She advised, "Sell as true story material". The novel was the third of five Newbery Honor books for Wilder, recognizing books 4 to 8 in the series. In , the novel was ranked number 84 among all-time children's novels in a survey published by School Library Journal , one of three Little House books in the Top From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. This article is about the Laura Ingalls Wilder novel.

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