The best thing about Laura Ingalls Wilder’s Little House series? The books are actually true. Well, for the most part. Wilder was born in 1867 in rural Wisconsin, but she spent much of her early childhood in a part of Kansas that was not yet open to homesteading. Later, her family moved to Iowa and Minnesota. Although Wilder’s books are based on real stories (for example, her sister Mary really did go blind), some of the dates and details are fudged to make the books more readable. But the spirit of frontier life remains intact, making Wilder the U.S.’ most famous child pioneer.