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As the new school year begins, Nellie receives a surprising graduation present from her mother. Caroline gets a job when Charles is injured and unable to work. A new teacher arrives in Walnut Grove with a handsome younger brother who catches Laura's eye.
After an acquaintance dies suddenly, Charles is prompted to give up farming in favor of building a legacy on his hand-crafted furniture.
Laura befriends a timid classmate named Anna, whose excessive stuttering negatively impacts her ability to make friends. Laura stands by the girl's side when she is excluded from Nellie's elite new club, but matters are complicated when Laura is caught stealing Nellie's music box. Nellie agrees not to tell anyone, but she has some ulterior motives of her own that may threaten Laura's friendship with Anna. Terrified of the disappointment her parents will feel if they find out her secret, Laura goes along with Nellie's game--but when it hits a dangerous level, Laura must use her own moral judgment to resolve the problems caused.moreless
After having a huge argument with his wife in the mercantile, Nels leaves the house and moves into a hotel room down the street. To the surprise of everyone in the town, the problem worsens, and the town wonders if this is the end for the Olesons.
Mary, Adam, Hester Sue, and the Wilders all make a special visit to Charles and Caroline's for Christmas Eve. An unrelenting blizzard prevents everyone from heading home after dinner, but they all pass time by recalling Christmases of personal significance in their lives.
A young boy with a stuttering problem is befriended by James.
Charles and Caroline decide to leave their younger children with an aunt and visit Walnut Grove. What begins as a nostalgic trip down memory lane turns into disaster as the town learns that a slick businessman has legal ownership of the land, and he is prepared to take it over for his own financial gain. Now, the entire community must come together to put up the fight of their lives and defend their home.moreless
James and Cassandra's uncle, who wanted nothing to do with the children following their parents' deaths, arrives unexpectedly in Walnut Grove and takes an interest in them. But it turns out he's interested in custody of them as well.
Reverend Alden offers Mary her first temporary teaching position in a small, rural community. Mary is unprepared for the mysterious gloom that hangs over the children, and the leading citizen who opposes education.
Charles and Almanzo jump at an opportunity to make significant money taking a delivery to Arizona, although it means being away from home for an extended time. Meanwhile, a pregnant Laura struggles dangerously to keep her newly planted orchard alive during a severe drought.
Two-year-old Rose Wilder is kidnapped while she, Laura, Almanzo, and Mr. Edwards are doing some Christmas shopping in Mankato. As the adults go on a frantic search for her, someone unexpected comes into their midst. Back in Walnut Grove, Nels has a plan to teach his greedy daughter Nancy some important lessons about the true meaning of the season, and the Carters--who cannot afford presents for their two children--have a rough Christmas ahead of them.moreless
Charles and Albert make an unexpected visit to Walnut Grove, and they are both thrilled to be back. Unfortunately, the town faces tremendous financial difficulties, just as college-bound Albert receives some devastating news of his own. Elsewhere, little Jason Carter longs to kiss a little girl at school.
Caroline receives a letter from an old friend, living in a miner's camp where there's been an outbreak of influenza, who is summoning her for help.
Harriet is pressed to transform the Walnut Grove restaurant into a chain called "Mrs. Sullivan's." Meanwhile, Charles is left to gather the slack at home with Caroline so in-demand as one of the cooks.
Determined to make it through the winter season, a pair of men earn money by selling tainted meat to the Walnut Grove community. Several townspeople later become infected with anthrax, including Laura, Albert, Adam, Alice, and Nels. The victims are confined to the blind school, and with time running out to help them, Charles and Jonathan go out to retrieve some medicine.moreless
Tired of being low on money all the time, the Ingalls decide to pursue a more promising life in Iowa. Their beloved house on Plum Creek is sold to a blacksmith, his wife, and their two young sons.
Mr. Edwards has returned to alcohol to soothe the pain of his deceased son, and his wife takes the other children and leaves him. Laura wants Mr. Edwards to be godfather to her baby, but the alcoholism threatens to ruin this as well.
The Wilders' marriage is put to a severe test when Almanzo, who is recovering from diphtheria, does not take proper care of himself and ends up having a severe stroke. The friction between husband and wife is aggravated by an unexpected visit from Eliza Jane.
Laura's anticipation of the birth of her first child is tainted by Almanzo's increasingly bitter attitude towards his debilitating health, as well as the possibility that they might lose their home. Eliza Jane's solution to their problems complicates everything.
Sam Terhune arrives in Walnut Grove looking for work, and finds favor with all of the townsfolk - except for his ex-wife, Hester Sue.
While out of town for the purchase of some new horses, Charles stays at the home of a wealthy but dysfunctional family.
Laura is devastated to find her beloved dog dead in the barn. Charles brings home a stray named Bandit to curb his daughter's pain, but Laura refuses to bond with the new dog. Meanwhile, the Walnut Grove townspeople have mixed reactions to the idea of welcoming an eccentric new woman into their community.moreless
An American Indian arrives in Walnut Grove with his tribe, seeking medical attention for his ailing father. Doc Baker provides his best treatment for the Chief, but when certain community members to refuse to let them stay in town temporarily, Charles proposes a secret plan with Doc Baker to keep the tribe safe.moreless