Roger Lea MacBride, a close friend of Rose Wilder Lane's, was the author of the Rose Years novels. The late Roger Lea MacBride, Rose Wilder Lane's adopted grandson, was the author of Little House on Rocky Ridge, Little Farm in the Ozarks, In the Land of the Big Red Apple, and On the Other Side of the Hill, and the editor of West From Home: Letters of Laura Ingalls Wilder, San Francisco 1915, and Rose Wilder Lane: Her Story. He was also an active participant in the creation of the television shows Little House on the Prairie and Young Pioneers. David Gilleece is the illustrator of all of the Rocky Ridge series titles. He lives in Point Pleasant, PA.
MacBride, the sole heir of Laura Ingalls Wilder's daughter Rose Wilder Lane, delivers the first installment of his faithfully minded series sequel to the hallowed Little House books. As it opens, Laura, husband Almanzo and seven-year-old Rose embark on what will be a final migration, from South Dakota to Missouri. Pieced in part from Rose's written account of that trip, interviews with contemporaries and historians, and other research, the story centers on Rose's adventures and scrapes, and, like its models, pays tribute to the strength and security of a close family. But while pains have clearly been taken to ensure the book's authenticity and while the book is entertaining, it lacks the magic of the originals. MacBride simply does not have Laura Ingalls Wilder's understanding of girlhood, nor does he share her remarkable sense for the memorable detail. Although he endows Rose with her mother's quick mind and lively, determined nature, she is never as fully human as the fictional Laura. That Laura, here known as Bess (the name Almanzo used for her), becomes a distant figure, an industrious, Bible-loving wise woman who cares what the neighbors think of her housekeeping. MacBride and his publisher deserve complements for their integrity, however, and many young Little House fans will be grateful for their efforts. Ages 8-12. (July)