Cover image for On Tide Mill Lane
On Tide Mill Lane
Wiley, Melissa.
Personal Author:
First edition.
Publication Information:
New York : HarperCollins Publishers, 2001.
Physical Description:
258 pages : illustrations ; 21 cm.
Follows the experiences over the course of a year of five-year-old Charlotte Tucker, who would grow up to become the grandmother of Laura Ingalls Wilder, living with her family in Roxbury, Massachusetts, during the War of 1812.
General Note:
"The Charlotte years."
Reading Level:
860 Lexile.
Program Information:
Accelerated Reader AR MG 5.6 6.0 46288.

Reading Counts RC 6-8 5.4 11 Quiz: 24252 Guided reading level: NR.
Added Author:


Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Central Library X Juvenile Fiction Childrens Area
Clarence Library X Juvenile Fiction Open Shelf
Clearfield Library X Juvenile Fiction Open Shelf
Collins Library X Juvenile Fiction Open Shelf
Grand Island Library X Juvenile Fiction Open Shelf
Orchard Park Library X Juvenile Fiction Open Shelf
Audubon Library X Juvenile Fiction Open Shelf
Hamburg Library X Juvenile Fiction Open Shelf

On Order



The Little House books have captivated millions of readers with their story of Laura Ingalls, a little pioneer girl growing up on the American frontier. Now travel back two generations before Laura's and read the story of Charlotte Tucker, the little eastern girl who would grow up to move west to the frontier and who would become Laura Ingalls Wilder's grandmother. Winter is coming to Roxbury, and Charlotte's days are filled with cornhusking and candle dipping and helping Mama- mind baby Mary. But the war is still going on, and Charlotte worries about Will, Papa's striker from the blacksmith shop, who is marching north with the militia. Then one day Charlotte hears bells ringing all the way from Boston, and that night every building in the town common is lit up with candles. Could it be that peace has finally come? On tide Mill Lane is the second book in The Charlotte Years, an ongoing series about another spirited girl from America's most beloved pioneer family.

Reviews 1

Booklist Review

Gr. 4^-8. Laura Ingalls Wilder's Little House books have been extended in time and place as the publisher links "The Charlotte Years" to "The Laura Years" as series titles. Charlotte lives in Roxbury, Massachusetts, where her father runs a forge and most of the young men are off fighting in the War of 1812. Charlotte's parents are Scottish, and her strong and winsome mother sings Scots airs at her loom. Wiley tries for the warmth and wealth of detail that make the Little House books so perennially appealing, and mostly she succeeds. There's a tender sentimentality about family ties, siblings, friends, and neighbors, and there's lots about custom and work: we see candles made, corn husked, samplers started, and school as secondary to work that must be done at home. German neighbors of Charlotte's family introduce the idea of a Christmas tree at a time when Christmas was not much of a holiday in New England, an infected splinter almost costs Charlotte's brother his life, and a hurricane wrecks the roof. Illustrations not seen. GraceAnne DeCandido



On Tide Mill Lane The Charlotte Years, Book Two Chapter One The Cornhusking The great, wide doors of Papa's blacksmith shop were shut and bolted. It was a sight that Charlotte had seldom seen, and normally it might feel a little strange. But tonight, a shiver of excitement ran through her. Papa had closed up early because Mr. John Heath was having a cornhusking. "Whew!" said Papa. "Heath picked a cold night for it, didna he?" "It'll be warm enough in his barn, with half the town there jawin'," Mama said. "Come, let's get over there before the baby takes a chill." Mr. Heath's farm was just over the hill, across a stubbly hay meadow and an empty cornfield. All through August and September the farms around Roxbury had hummed with the work of harvesting. Now it was time for canning and preserving, husking and storing, making ready for the long, bitter winter. The air held the sharp smell of frost, and the leaves on the maples glowed a red-orange as bright as Mama's hair. Lewis ran ahead through the cornfield, leaping over the tilted stalks, intent on reaching the Heath place first. "Last one there's a withered ear," he called back over his shoulder. Tom sprinted to catch up. In his bulky woolen coat he looked stouter than ever, but he ran swift as a deer when he wanted to beat his older brother. "I don't see why Tom bothers," Lydia said. "Imagine, a little child not yet eight beating a boy who's going on thirteen." "Would you listen to that?" Mama teased, "'A little child,' says she. I suppose you think you're quite an auld woman, Miss Lydia--nine years old as you are." Papa chuckled. "If she's an auld woman, that makes you ancient as the hills, Martha," he said. "Ancient I may be, but I could still beat you in a footrace, Lew Tucker." Mama snorted, making the whole family laugh. As the Tucker family got closer, they heard the din of Mr. Heath's barn, full of people. Voices called out greetings to them as they approached. Inside, the barn was noisy and warm. Miss Heath, Charlotte's teacher last summer, came up and kissed her cheek. She had pink cheeks and sparkling eyes, and her face was framed with long spiraling curls that had been made with a hot iron rod. Miss Heath did not seem much like a teacher now, whirling off to speak to another new arrival with her curls swinging out behind her, but Charlotte still felt honored for the kiss. "She's Amelia tonight," Charlotte whispered. "She's always Amelia," said Lydia, who had overheard. "That's her name." Charlotte didn't try to explain. Lydia was not the sort of person to whom it was easy to explain things like your teacher having a "Miss Heath" self and an "Amelia" self. The barn was crowded. On either side of a wide center walkway were great banks of hay stacked from floor to ceiling. Against one of the walls of hay was a mound: hundreds of unhusked ears of corn tumbled together. On the other side was a smaller pile of already husked corn, yellow as summer. The earthen floor in between was covered with a pale green carpet of discarded corn husks. Small children ran this way and that, shuffling the corn husks with their feet. Grown-up men and women sat in groups on bales of hay, laughing as they stripped the leaves off the ears of corn. Boys dashed up to fling fine threads of corn silk into the hair of the girls who were busily fashioning dolls out of corn husks and thread. Mama untied her cloak and set Mary down. "Watch her, Charlotte," she called. Charlotte hurried after Mary, who was heading toward the great pile of corn. Mary came to the mountain of corn and crouched down; she took up an ear that was longer than her head and sank her teeth into the raw kernels. "Mary, no!" Charlotte scolded, trying to wrestle the ear away. The grown-ups all around were chuckling as their hands flew over the ears of corn, stripping off the green leaves. Mary was crying for her ear of corn. Charlotte put her arms around the baby's middle and carried her toward the girls making dolls. Lydia was there already. Tom and Lewis had disappeared into the mob of boys. There were so many people in the barn, it might as well have been a dance as a husking. Across the barn a young man jumped onto a bale of hay with a fiddle on his shoulder. A cheer went up from the husking grown-ups. The young man had a wild head of hair cut short in the new fashion. He reminded Charlotte of Will, Papa's striker, who was faraway in the north, marching to Maine with the militia to defend the coast fron the British. She wondered why the fiddler had not gone to war, and guessed that perhaps he was not yet eighteen years old. You had to be eighteen to serve in the militia. Charlotte's insides shivered with the cold feeling that came whenever she thought about the war and Will's being gone. "Charlotte! There you are," cried a voice. It was Susan, Charlotte's best friend from school. "I've been looking everywhere. I saw your mother and father over there. Your brother Tom put silk in my hair." Susan was laughing. She didn't mind being "silked." It was part of a husking. Charlotte helped pick the slippery strands of corn silk out of Susan's fine brown hair. All around them the noise of the husking rose like smoke to the rafters. The fiddle made a merry, rollicking sound. The huskers laughed and chattered and shouted across the barn to one another. "Amelia's got a red one!" someone cried. A roar of laughter went up from a group of young women and a few young men near the fiddler. Charlotte and Susan ran to watch, for there was always fun to be had when a young lady found red kernels on an ear of corn she had husked. And this was their old teacher! On Tide Mill Lane The Charlotte Years, Book Two . Copyright © by Melissa Wiley. Reprinted by permission of HarperCollins Publishers, Inc. All rights reserved. Available now wherever books are sold. Excerpted from On Tide Mill Lane by Melissa Wiley All rights reserved by the original copyright owners. Excerpts are provided for display purposes only and may not be reproduced, reprinted or distributed without the written permission of the publisher.

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