The Long Winter (1940)

By Laura Ingalls Wilder

New York: Harper & Brothers, 1940

Pictures by Garth Williams. New York: Harper & Row, Publishers, 1953


Indian warning said the winter of 1880-81 would be a hard one in the Dakota Territory so Pa moved his family from the claim into town. Blizzards soon snowed the little town under, cutting off all supplies from the outside. Laura and Mary couldn’t even go to school. When Christmas had passed and there was a desperate need for food, young Almanzo Wilder and another boy made a dangerous trip across the prairie to secure wheat. It was May before the snows melted and the first train got through, bringing the Ingalls’ Christmas barrel. Then they had the best and gayest celebration they ever had.


Make Hay while the Sun Shines

An Errand to Town

Fall of the Year

October Blizzard

After the Storm

Indian Summer

Settled in Town

Cap Garland

Three Days’ Blizzard

Pa Goes to Volga


We’ll Weather the Blast

One Bright Day

No Trains

Fair Weather

Seed Wheat

Merry Christmas

Where There’s a Will


The Hard Winter

Cold and Dark

The Wheat in the Wall

Not Really Hungry

Free and Independent

Breathing Spell

For Daily Bread

Four Days’ Blizzard

The Last Mile

It Can’t Beat Us

Waiting for the Train

The Christmas Barrel

Christmas in May