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"Little House On The Prairie" And "The Birchbark House" Read In Concert and Contrast

It's the July meeting of the Talk of Iowa Book Club. We're reading "Little House On The Prairie" by Laura Ingalls Wilder and "The Birchbark House" by Louise Erdrich.

"Little House on the Prairie" was first published 85 years ago in 1935. It tells the story of the Ingalls family, white settlers traveling West to Kansas from their home in Wisconsin. "The Birchbark House," which was published in 1999, explores a similar time period and similarly revolves around family life, but from a completely different perspective. The book follows an Ojibwe family living on Madeline Island in Wisconsin as they seek to keep their way of life in the face of colonialsim. 

It's the July meeting of the Talk of Iowa Book Club. Host Charity Nebbe explores some of the themes in both books with Sarah Uthoff, a Laura Ingalls Wilder expert; Christine Nobiss, an indigenous rights activist and organizer; and Brent Criswell, an elementary school teacher.

Read along with Charity and readers across the state by checking out the 2020 Talk of Iowa Book Club reading list. Next month, we’re reading "Storm Lake: Change, Resilience, and Hope in America’s Heartland" by Pulitzer Prize winner Art Cullen.


  • Brent Criswell, fifth grade teacher and co-operator of The Good Earth, a nature-based education program.
  • Sarah Uthoff, Laura Ingalls Wilder authority and creator of trundlebedtales.com
  • Christine Nobiss, Plains Cree-Saulteaux of the George Gordon First Nation in Saskatchewan and SHIFT Director and Decolonizer with Seeding Sovereignty.  


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Katelyn Harrop is a producer for IPR's River to River and Talk of Iowa
Charity Nebbe is the host of IPR's Talk of Iowa