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Wednesday, December 20, 2017

Book Review: Beyond the Heather Hills by Melissa Wiley

beyond the heather hills
Beyond the Heather Hills
by Melissa Wiley
Little House: The Martha Years Book 4
Paperback, 208 pages, Unabridged
Harper Trophy
February 4, 2003
goodreads button

Genre: Historical Fiction, YA

Source: Personal collection

In this fourth book in the Martha Years series, ten-year-old Martha journeys to the bustling city of Perth to visit her newly married sister Grisie.

This is Martha′s first time beyond the familiar heather hills and this city on the River Tay is more exciting than she could have ever imagined!

If you have read Beyond the Heather Hills as the 4th and final book in this series (you should read them in order, but it’s not required) you will be able to fully appreciate the evolution of Martha from a young girl of about 6 or 7 in the first book to a young adult at the age of 10. In this book she is still at that age where she wants to play, but is becoming more aware of the adult world around her and how she fits in it. She definitely encounters situations that are more significant than when she was a child – there is birth, and illness, death, and family growing up and moving away. There is also the difference between life in the city and life in the rural community that she had grown up in. So much for Martha changes in this book and it was beautifully done, as always, by Melissa Wiley.

This is a series that young readers can certainly grow with and the events that Martha encounters throughout are perfectly appropriate for what young readers may encounter in the world. I love the way in which tough issues are presented, such as illness and death; it is handled directly, without a lot of frills or extra in-depth information, but in a way that younger audiences can understand. So many elements of the Scottish culture are included in this series, but it never feels over-explained. I have read other historical fiction aimed at younger audiences that seem to go into extraneous depth about cultural elements which results in the narrative feeling to slow and heavy; that is not the case here. Wiley presents enough information for the audience to understand and wraps in seamlessly into the narrative and it never feels out of place. It was something that I immediately noticed in this book after having read another young adult novel recently that handled it much different.

I just adore this series and can’t wait to find time to start the 2nd series, The Charlotte Years, also written by Wiley.

Please be aware that this series is currently out of print but can often be found on Ebay or Half.com - but you have to look often because they can be exorbitantly priced.  There was also an abridged version of many of these books released.  I would advise trying to check your local libraries for these books.  There was apparently some discussion at some point about bringing them back as e-books, so let the publisher know you are interested! Email, tweet, Facebook, etc!

Also in the Little House Series:

There are 5 series of books within the Little House Series each focusing on a different family member of Laura’s.  They are not all written by the same author.

Little House in the Highlands
Little House in the Highlands
(Martha #1)
[My Review]

the far side of the loch
The Far Side of the Loch
(Martha #2)
[My Review]

down to the bonny glen
Down to the Bonny Glen
(Martha #3)
[My Review]

little house by boston bay
Little House by Boston Bay
(Charlotte #1)

on tide mill lane
On Tide Mill Lane
(Charlotte #2)

the road from roxbury
The Road from Roxbury
(Charlotte #3)

across the puddingstone dam
Across the Puddingstone Dam
(Charlotte #4)

little house in brookfield
Little House in Brookfield
(Caroline #1)

little town at the crossroads
Little Town at the Crossroads
(Caroline #2)

little clearing in the woods
Little Clearing in the Woods
(Caroline #3)

on top of concord hill
On Top of Concord Hill
(Caroline #4)

across the rolling river
Across the Rolling River
(Caroline #5)

little city by the lake
Little City by the Lake
(Caroline #6)

A Little House of Their Own
A Little House of Their Own
(Caroline #7)

little house in the big woods
Little House in the Big Woods
(Laura #1)

little house on the prairie
Little House on the Prairie
(Laura #2)

farmer boy
Farmer Boy
(Laura #3)

on the banks of plum creek
On the Banks of Plum Creek
(Laura #4)

by the shores of silver lake
By the Shores of Silver Lake
(Laura #5)

the long winter
The Long Winter
(Laura #6)

little town on the prairie
Little Town on the Prairie
(Laura #7)

these happy golden years
These Happy Golden Years
(Laura #8)

the first four years
The First Four Years
(Laura #9)

on the way home
On the Way Home
(Laura #10)

west from home
West from Home
(Laura #11)

little house on rocky ridge
Little House on Rocky Ridge
(Rose #1)

little farm in the ozarks
Little Farm in the Ozarks
(Rose #2)

In the Land of the Big Red Apple
In the Land of the Big Red Apple
(Rose #3)

On the Other Side of the Hill
On the Other Side of the Hill
(Rose #4)

little town in the ozarks
Little Town in the Ozarks
(Rose #5)

new dawn on rocky ridge
New Dawn on Rocky Ridge
(Rose #6)

on the banks of the bayou
On the Banks of the Bayou
(Rose #7)

Bachelor Girl
Bachelor Girl
(Rose #8)

Find Melissa Wiley:
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Copyright © 2017by The Maiden’s Court

1 comment:

  1. Sounds like something I would've liked when I was a wee little thing. :3


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