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February 10, 2007



As a writer, and as a wage earning, homeschooling mother, oh how my heart goes out to you. What an incredibly difficult position to be in. I only know you from your blogs, and as an author of books that my children and I love -- but that is well enough that I would have been very surprised indeed, had you not made the decision you did.

Good books are a vital part of life, both for adults and children. Certainly, for me and my family, books make up the bulk of my homeschooling/family life budget, right after shelter and food.

I think I already said this yesterday, but I am wishing you the very best on your new writing ventures.


Thanks for the explanations. I feel guilty now for not buying the all books prior to now, BUT my oldest is only 6 and we just ventured into chapter books a couple of months ago. We were planning to read all the Martha books next fall as we both loved "Little House in the Highlands".

Melissa Wiley

Oh, goodness, Jennifer, don't feel guilty! I only put it out there to let people know there IS a way to let publishers know what kind of books you want them to publish!


Hi Melissa, I just bought your entire series for my kids. They loved the originals and I had heard how wonderful yours were.

I'm sorry to see that kids are so poorly educated these days that they can't handle books that my seven year old keeps reading over and over again.


I don't know what to say, except that my heart goes out to you, too. My "only" is a boy who thought "Little House" was Mom's thing, and preferred "Redwall" and "Swallows and Amazons" (not bad things!) But I would like to get your books to put away for grandkids (after I read them myself!) Is there any way to be sure I'm getting the real thing and not the abridged version?



I'm saddened to hear that you had to make this tough decision, though as an author (and home educator) I completely understand it. Your contribution to children's literature and the Little House saga is something to be proud of - as is your decision to stand by your beliefs.


I must have missed something. Why the Penderwicks?

Melissa Wiley

I chose The Penderwicks as an example of the kind of delightful, well written children's literature I'd like to see more of. :)

Nicole in MN

You have given me more to think about, regarding the purchase of books. Thank you.

Melissa Wiley

I picked The Penderwicks as an example of a recently published book which is delightfully well written. :)


Like everyone I'm so sorry about this! Just this morning my six year old questioned me, "Are you wearing your Saturday gown again? Oops, I've been reading too much Martha!"

Karen E.

Ah, but we can never read too much Martha. :-)

Jane Ramsey

I am so sorry they did this to you. In my opinion, it was a very foolish decision on their part. Very short-sighted. And to think they thought you would be pleased! Amazing!I have just purchased all of your books, and am in the process of buying the others. Thank you for giving us the opportunity to find them before they were all gone.
Can't wait to see what you'll do next!
Much love,


I'm sorry you are going through this, but excited for you too when I think of all the new roads you will be exploring in your new books. Congratulations for sticking to your principles.


Hi Melissa,

I "discovered" Charlotte reading a review in Heart and Mind magazine on "Across the Puddingstone Dam". It was delightful to read, as were the rest of the Charlotte books. After reading your posts on the books, I finished up my Charlotte series and bought Martha's too. I like to buy books for our "home library" and I wonder if you could explain why it's best to buy hardcover if possible? Why does this make a bigger difference than buying paperback? Sorry if this is a silly question...I just don't know.


I'm in my late 20s and just discovered the new little house books and have been tearing through all of them in my free time this month (thanks to my great local libraries)! They are so grounding in this fast-paced world. I'm so disappointed to hear about this poor choice by the publisher - perhaps they have not considered the large reading base of adults like myself who welcome these thoughtful additions to enrich our understanding of the beloved Little House classic series we cherish from our childhoods.


What a brave decision you made, Melissa! I hope it influences some of the less visionary people at Harper Collins: Elise Howard, Annette Hughes, Susan Katz who see books as commodities and do not understand that a well written book lives forever (and increases their backlist sales) but schlock will not endure and is thus counter productive.

ps - I did love Linnets and Valerians, but liked The Little White Horse even more.


I just found this blog today. I have been patiently waiting for the new books in the Martha & Charlotte series since I discovered them a year ago! I am glad that you decided to stand on your principles, and I completely agree with you. By the time I finished the 3rd grade, I had read all of the Little House books 3 times. Needless to say, once I found your books, I read them several times. I have to say that I cried when I found out that I'll never know how the little Laird's daughter ended up across the ocean with the blacksmith's son.

I am sure that you have been asked this before, but is there any chance that you could finish the series with another publisher? Does HarperCollins have the rights to the stories? If you ever have an inkling to finish their stories (on this blog or in a book)...I'm sure that there are many people who would be delighted beyond expression.

Nancy Paulsen

Dear Melissa,

I understand (with sorrow) your decision and completely respect your artistic integrity. However, if you should ever decide to write Martha and Charlotte's stories for adult readers, please, oh please remember us. I have only boys, and right now my middle son is still the age to accept "girl" stories, but how I would dearly love to have a book at an adult level that would speak to the mother I am and someday (long time off, I sure hope) as the grandmother I will be.

Nancy Paulsen

Colette Wellman

Dear Melissa,

This makes me so sad. I have been waiting patiently for quite some time (ever since the last two books came out) to find out what happens next. Did Grisie name her baby girl Cora after all? I, too, am proud of you for standing up for your principles but am sad for all of us, your devoted readers, that we will never know the rest of the stories. What happened to Martha's parents and siblings? Will we ever know? I think that your publisher has been incredibly foolish. Why on earth would they think that they must abridge your wonderful novels? There are new children the right age for the unabridged versions every day, after all. Ah, well, we see what happens when the ones making the decisions are not connected completely to reality, I guess. Anyway, congratulations to you for standing by your beliefs and doing the right thing, no matter how difficult. The best of luck to you, and we, the ones who support you, will always be grateful for what you have given us.

Most Sincerely,
Colette Wellman


Dear Melissa,

I too had been waiting on bated breath for a new Martha or Charlotte book and was extremely sad to read this now six-month-old blog and find out there will be no more. I'm extremely grateful to have purchased your books right when they came out (I never found them in hardcover though :[) and won't have to worry now about trying to find them in their original form (Little House in the Highlands is selling for $50.00!). I'm really disappointed in Harper Collins and their decision to do this to the Little House books and to change the covers, which I find tacky.

I do hope you'd be willing to answer in the future some of the questions we had about Martha and Charlotte that were never answered in the books.

Thanks for everything!

- Olyvia


Dear Melissa,

Another heartfelt plea, please, for you to consider sharing the sources for what you know about Martha and Charlotte's life in Boston--if there are to be no more books about her, I desperately want to make a "pilgrimage" of sorts to Martha's grave if it's still there.

Also, I plead for books for my two littler boys--there are not so many historical fiction books similar to the Martha/Charlotte books that are winsome reads for boys ages about 4 1/2 to 8ish. Please write some?



I came across this website by accident when researching info on Laura Ingalls Wilder and her family--I don't know why it never crossed my mind before to search under the author of the Martha and Charlotte stories to find out why a new novel hasn't come out! And now I know why--how extremely disappointing there will be no more by this wonderful author! While my own children aren't old enough to enjoy the stories yet, I have collected and read them myself because I have been an avid LH fan since childhood. But, even more diappointing is how the publisher is treating these books! Why must everything be about the almighty dollar these days? I'm sure they must've been making SOME money from them! Wasn't it enough? I am so glad now that I bought all the hardcovers right away! I am so sorry there will be no more...


Dear Mrs. Wiley,
I am very sorry to hear of this. I loved your books! I decided to check your site to see when the rest of the series would come out, only to find they won't! I was SOOOOO looking foreward to them! :( I might cry about this. I love Laura Ingalls. I UNDERSTAND her so well. It was awesome to be able to read yours, which were similar to hers. Your books were so enjoyable. I will pray you'll write more one day.
I agree with what you said about abridged versions. You know, people's volcabularys nowadays are awful. I think this has a lot to do with what they read. We really don't need any more abridged books.

And now, I must go break the news to my cousin. Bye! J, 17


I echo what everyone else has been saying. My sisters and I, all "grown ups," love your Martha and Charlotte books and were wondering and waiting for the next one...finally looked you up on the net and learned the dreadful news. It's TERRIBLE that we will never find our the rest of their stories! We are truly saddened and disappointed by what happened with the publisher, but we definitely understand your decision. Reading sequels by another author, if they ever come out, we'll be saying, "Well, this isn't really how it happened. Only Melissa Wiley knows that!" As an author who is currently practicing and perfecting my style before looking into publishing, I would like to encourage you to write down what you do know about Martha and Charlotte...even though it can never be shared with anyone else! Don't lose it. We are also definitely following your advice and quickly buying up the rest of the Martha and Charlotte books we didn't already have...a set for each of us! Wish you well on further writing projects and we'll look forward to checking those out.

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