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Prairie Child: 1848; Writing on the Lakes: 1848; Pioneer Women's Diaries; Prairie Cabin: a Norwegian Pioneer Woman's Story; America Fever: a Norwegian Emigration Story 1986-1998


Distributed by Her Own Words, P.O. Box 5264, Madison, WI 53705; 608-271-7083
Produced by Jocelyn Riley
Directed by Jocelyn Riley
VHS, color, 88 min.

Jr. High - Adult
Women's Studies, History

Date Entered: 11/09/2018

Reviewed by Michael Fein, Coordinator of Library Services, Central Virginia Community College, Lynchburg, VA

These works comprise the majority of a seven-part video series that depicts life in Wisconsin around the time of her admission to the Union in 1848. Descriptions of the exact content of each video can be found at, although something of the story of each can be deduced from their titles.

America Fever has a Norwegian woman telling of her thoughts and hopes as she packs up to go to America. Writing on the Lakes is the account of a woman's journey from New York state to visit her sister and her family in Wisconsin. This same family is depicted in Prairie Child. All these works are told from a woman's perspective. There is no action. Rather, still shots are used. These images are various landscapes, actors or actresses dressed in period costume, scenes from historical sites, as well as period prints and posters. All these are accompanied by music or song with the story being carried by narration. Overall, the pictures are appropriate however, it is the narration which carries the story. All the narrators speak clearly and at an unhurried pace. There are some works where the narrator uses a Scandinavian accent, but this does not overwhelm the listener. Although not "action" videos, these works should do fine for high school history or women's studies courses in the Great Lakes area.