Laura is growing up, still constrained by her society. Seriously, she's supposed to sleep in her corset? Some of the cultural differences are really striking- f'rinstance, this passage where Grace, who is all of four or five years old, starts to cry when her parents are going away for a week:"'For shame, Grace! For shame! a big girl like you, crying' Laura choked out."Yes, I know, Laura and Carrie are also trying not to cry, but the shaming is so toxic from my modern viewpoint that it skews the whole scene for me.And then there's the 4th of July speech, cheered lustily by all the townsfolk:"...They had to fight the British regulars and their hired Hessians and the murdering scalping redskinned savages that those fined gold-laced aristocrats turned loose on our settlements and paid for murdering and burning and scalping women and children..."Again, context, context, context... but it's tough to swallow nonetheless.There are some lovely scenes here, though. When Almanzo scoops Laura up and delivers her to school, when the best speller wins the spelling bee, when the letter comes from Mary, when Laura gives herself a lunatic fringe- those vignettes go a long way towards redeeming the book.