by C. Devora (Viva) Hammer

Discovering a Hair-Raising Pioneer Memoir

In the 1890s, a Jewish “Little House on the Prairie”

I came upon Laura Ingalls Wilder’s prairie stories as an adult, while reading them to my son. I was as captivated by Rachel Calof’s autobiography Jewish Homesteader on the Northern Plains (Indiana University, $13.95), which I read in one sitting, mesmerized by a Jewish pioneer spirit as strong and as compelling as that of her Christian counterpart.

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