Speaking Volumes: This American western drama is celebrating its 45th anniversary

“Little House on the Prairie” was an American western/drama television series starring Michael Landon, Melissa Gilbert, Karen Grassle and Melissa Sue Anderson.

It was based on Laura Ingalls Wilder’s series of “Little House” books about the adventures of the Ingalls family, which owned a farm in Walnut Grove, Minn., where the daughters attended school and were annoyed by bratty Nellie Oleson.

Mary lost her eyesight and moved away to teach at a school for the blind. Laura met Almanzo Wilder, a man who would ultimately become her husband. During the ninth and final season, Charles and Caroline sold their farm and moved away, leaving Laura and Almanzo in Walnut Grove. The series debuted on Sept. 11, 1974, and the final episode ran March 21, 1983.

“Little House on the Prairie” by Laura Ingalls Wilder, is available in adult and children’s books, audio books, ebooks and eight seasons on DVD. Based on the real-life adventures of Laura Ingalls Wilder, “Little House in the Big Woods” is the first book in the award-winning Little House series, which has captivated generations of readers.

“Little House in the Big Woods” takes place in 1871 and introduces us to 4-year-old Laura and her family, which lived in a log cabin on the edge of the Big Woods of Wisconsin. The book offered a unique glimpse into life on the American frontier and tells the heartwarming, unforgettable story of a loving family.

“Heartland,” by Lauren Brooke, is a 26-novel series beginning in 2000 with the novel “Coming Home.” The series is about a girl named Amy Fleming, who lives on a horse ranch called Heartland in Virginia, where she, her family and friends help and heal abused or mistreated horses. The library has 10 seasons on DVD.

“The Waltons,” created by Earl Hammer Jr., chronicles the ongoing story of a Depression Era family living in the Blue Ridge Mountains of Virginia often seen through the eyes of the oldest son John Boy, played by Richard Thomas, a budding author who relates his family’s experiences in a journal. The series follows the Walton family through both the Depression and World War II. Manatee County libraries have nine seasons on DVD.

“Bonanza” was created by David Dortort and starred Lorne Greene as Ben Cartwright, Pernell Roberts as Adam, Dan Blocker as Hoss and Michael Landon as Little Joe. Cartwright is the patriarch of an all-male Nevada ranching family. Manatee County libraries have several of the episodes on DVD.

Call your local branch for more information on available titles.

Central Library — 941-748-5555;

Braden River — 941-727-6079;

Island — 941-778-6341;

Palmetto — 941-722-3333;

Rocky Bluff — 941-723-4821;

South Manatee — 941-755-3892.

You also can access the library via the internet at

Cathy Habora is a staff member at the Braden River Branch Library. Speaking Volumes, written by Manatee County Public Library System staff members, is published each Sunday in the Bradenton Herald.

Related stories from Bradenton Herald