The Way I See It: A Look Back at My Life on Little House

The Way I See It: A Look Back at My Life on Little House

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by Melissa Anderson

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When other girls her age were experiencing their first crushes, Melissa Sue Anderson was receiving handwritten marriage proposals from fans as young, and younger, than she was. When other girls were dreaming of their first kiss, Melissa was struggling through hers in front of a camera. From age eleven in 1974 until she left the show in 1981, Melissa Anderson

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When other girls her age were experiencing their first crushes, Melissa Sue Anderson was receiving handwritten marriage proposals from fans as young, and younger, than she was. When other girls were dreaming of their first kiss, Melissa was struggling through hers in front of a camera. From age eleven in 1974 until she left the show in 1981, Melissa Anderson literally grew up before the viewers of Little House on the Prairie.Melissa, as Mary, is remembered by many as “the blind sister”—and she was the only actor in the series to be nominated for an Emmy. In The Way I See It, she takes readers onto the set and inside the world of the iconic series created by Michael Landon, who, Melissa discovered, was not perfect, as much as he tried to be. In this memoir she also shares her memories of working with guest stars like Todd Bridges, Mariette Hartley, Sean Penn, Patricia Neal, and Johnny Cash.In addition to stories of life on the set, Melissa offers revealing looks at her relationships off-set with her costars, including the other Melissa (Melissa Gilbert) and Alison Arngrim, who portrayed Nellie Oleson on the show. And she relates stories of her guest appearances on iconic programs such as The Love Boat and The Brady Bunch.Filled with personal, revealing anecdotes and memorabilia from the Little House years, this book is also a portrait of a child star who became a successful adult actress and a successful adult. These are stories from “the other Ingalls sister” that have never been told.

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Product Details

Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, Inc.
Publication date:
Edition description:
First Edition
Product dimensions:
6.50(w) x 9.30(h) x 0.97(d)

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The Way I See It

A Look Back at My Life on Little House
By Anderson, Melissa

Globe Pequot

Copyright © 2010 Anderson, Melissa
All right reserved.

ISBN: 9780762759705

I spotted Mike across the stage and headed in his direction. My heart was racing, and my stomach was tied up in a huge knot.
"Um . . . Uh . . . Hey, Mike?”
He turned, saw me, and smiled. "Hey, darlin’, how ya doing?”
"Uh, well, good . . . I guess.” I was now having trouble looking him in the eye.
"Something on your mind, Missy?”
And then, out it came. "Is it true? Are you really going to make me go blind next season?” I waited for what seemed forever for my answer.
"Yes, Missy, you will be going blind next season.”
My heart sank. I felt sick. The tears sprung up and out before I even had time to digest this news. I couldn’t hold them back. I madly tried to think of something, anything else, so I would stop crying and not humiliate myself any further.
Just about the time I almost really lost it, Mike said, "Don’t worry, Missy. It’s going to be great. You’ll see.” He gave me a big hug.
"R-r-really?” I sobbed. "You’re not going to write me out?”
"Of course not,” he said. . . ."You have a great future ahead.”
I knew he wasn’t just saying it to make me feel better; he wasn’t that kind of guy. He went on to explain what would happen to Mary, and the show, and how he knew this would be a great opportunity for me. I trusted Mike and chose to accept the wonderful feeling of relief that had come over me. 


Excerpted from The Way I See It by Anderson, Melissa Copyright © 2010 by Anderson, Melissa. Excerpted by permission.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

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Way I See It 2.5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 69 reviews.
HighlyDisappointed More than 1 year ago
I began reading this book with excitement. Having been a fan of the Little House On The Prairie Series (at least the first 4 seasons), I was especially fond of both the characters Laura and Mary as well as the actresses portraying them. Unfortunately, disappointment set in quickly. The book turned out to be a revisiting of several episodes filmed throughout the Little House years. By Chapter 3, it gets extremely frustrating to read, "Then, Ma said this..." or "Mary turns to Laura and says..." The book contains pages and pages of running through episode scripts including dialogue, who wrote and directed each episode and how grueling it was to film. Boring! I've seen the episodes - so many times, in fact, I knew the details that were revealed. I could have easily written this book. That being said, I believe I would have written it in better form. Some things are so poorly worded, you almost have to go back to re-read them to figure out what the author is trying to say. And, to see typos in a published work - slightly unforgiving in my book. The book goes from bad to worse although, I must admit, I continued to read in hopes it would, at some point, get better. Unfortunately, it never did. A fan of biographies, I usually find myself finishing many books in 1 or 2 sittings. This one took me several simply because it was far to boring to keep my attention. There were very few moments of revelation or details of Melissa, her homelife, or her relationships with the other members of the cast. The most the reader gets is "she was very nice" or "he really nailed the scene". You can tell she grew up with the principle of "if you don't have anything nice to say, don't say anything at all." I was slightly amazed that she did reveal a little of Michael Landon's dirty laundry. I assumed it was because he is no longer living, and she steered clear of offending any of the living cast members. Sorry, Melissa. Yes, I was one of the many fans who sent you fan mail during the Little House years, but I am not a fan of this book. I look forward to seeing how Little House sister, Melissa Gilbert, fares in her autobiography. That book, I will begin today.
virgwid More than 1 year ago
This woman has issues if she thinks this is a book. Each chapter reads like a really bad book report of each episode she was ever in. Seriously, that is what each chapter is. A breakdown of each episode as if nobody ever saw the TV series. I had just finished reading Alison Arngram's book,(fabulous by the way, and in it she had said throughout the book that Melissa Anderson had been a loner and impossible to get to to know. She never did fully understand why, Especially with this title, I figured that the question would be answered. Not. She rarely discusses anything the least bit personal. I am not looking for some tell all national enquirer sort of thing, but a simple explanation of why she never seemed to have got along with her cast mates I would have thought would be in order. From reading her book you would almost get the impression that the other kids did not exist in her reality. I guess that is explanation enough itself. Again, not looking for "dirt" but since she titled it "The way I see it" it is very telling that the way she sees it is like a 12 year old being forced to write a book report on a tv series. I personally would have flunked this attempt. Don't bother. Worst book choice I have made in years. If I could have given it zero stars I would have.
arc1 More than 1 year ago
this book was boring beyond relief. she just keeps talkin about her roles in the show and i already seen the episodes i dont need a read about it. Nellie's book was better!
Jane Ory More than 1 year ago
I don't know why some reviewers have been such tough critics of this book and of Melissa. The book is exactly what the title says: "The Way I See It...". It is Melissa's memories of being a child actor on a popular television show. I don't find her vain or arrogant. To me she comes across as a nice, well-grounded woman and mother. Sure, she had many privileges as an actor that most professions don't offer but she still stayed true to who she is. I like how she recapped episodes about her character and what it was like on the set and locations. I learned some things about acting that I didn't know. It is her book so I didn't expect highlights of episodes centered around other cast members. I liked reading of other projects she worked on, too. Finally, I found it nice that she didn't go overboard on gossip about the other actors she worked with. What she did divulge was polite and not at all hateful. I'm glad I decided to go ahead and purchase this book. It was cool to read about the show and how it was viewed by Melissa. I only wish it were a longer book! :)
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I have only read the beginning but she is not self absorbed as like Melissa Gilbert in her book do Not listen to reviews saying this is a bad book
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Read this "Book" awhile ago. AWFUL is the only words I can say. Nothing but a rehash of the shows she was in. She just comes off as a jealous brat... Still. You would think after all these years she would have grown up! It is so sad that a show I loved so much,and now when I see it I think of how she really felt. MISSY. Do us all a favor put the pen down! I read "Laura"and "Nellies"bios and they were great. This a true waste of time and money!!!!
LHedgpeth More than 1 year ago
I should probably begin this review with a disclaimer - - I love Little House on the Prairie. I loved the books when I was little, I loved the television show and I love reading about production of the show and what went on behind the scenes. The Way I See It is Melissa Anderson's tale of growing up on the set of one of the most beloved and iconic television shows of the 1970s, from her initial audition to taping her last episode seven years later. The book itself is broken into sections for each year of the show, with specific episodes highlighted. Ms. Anderson recounts behind the scenes tales of everything from a Dinty Moore beef stew overload (what the cast members ate during meal scenes where they had stew) to disputes between co-stars. Michael Landon and Karen Grassle (the actress who played Caroline Ingalls) would apparently butt heads throughout much of the run of the show. Grassle was a classically trained actress who wished to have a more significant role on the show, against Landon's wishes. Landon himself was revealed as a controlling jokester with a mean streak who could be difficult to work with, particularly once he began an affair with Anderson's stand-in, but who could still remain a compassionate and caring man. Ms. Anderson herself did not go without a bit of friction, as she recounted the awkwardness between herself and co-star Radames Pera, who played early love interest John Sanderson, and their first kiss. Ms. Anderson recounts these instances with class and grace, without resorting to mudslinging or name calling that is often peppered in Hollywood memoirs. Also missing from Ms. Anderson's memoir, happily, is the all too tragic tale of alcohol, drugs and other vices that are too common in child actors today. In fact, Ms. Anderson appears to have escaped unscathed from the downside of the entertainment biz and she comes across as a very level headed and secure adult. I finished this book in two or three days. It was an easy read and fun one, albeit one without dirt and gossip. I very much enjoyed Ms. Anderson's memories of the show once Mary went blind and appreciated how terrified she herself was to take on such an enormous undertaking (and remember, she herself was only fifteen when she had to portray a newly blind teenager, which she did stunningly). Any readers that are looking for a tabloid type of recounting will be disappointed and I encourage those readers not to pick up this book. For those readers who love and appreciate Little House on the Prairie, this book will be a fun and informative read. As the title suggests, this is not Melissa Anderson's complete biography so don't approach it as such. It's her life during the run of Little House, so it does include the performances she gave on films and television shows between 1974 and 1981 but nothing prior or since. Was there anything I found disappointing in the book? I do wish there had been more mentioned about the relationship between Ms. Anderson and Melissa Gilbert, who played sisters, as well as with Allison Arngrim, who played Nellie Oleson. I also would have loved reading a behind the scenes recap on each and every single Little House episode but, of course, that would have increased the size of the book exponentially. All things considered, I enjoyed my time back on the prairie with Ms. Anderson and wouldn't hesitate to recommend the book.
FeatheredQuillBookReviews More than 1 year ago
For many who grew up in the 70s, the theme music from Little House on the Prairie, along with the scene of three sweet girls running down a flower-covered hill is reminiscent of a simpler time. Did you want to be like tomboy 'Halfpint' or more like bookish Mary? And didn't you just love to hate mean 'ol Nellie? In her new autobiography, Melissa Anderson brings the reader back into the world of Little House and what it was like growing up on set as one of the Ingalls girls. The Way I See It opens with Anderson recalling that fateful call from her agent asking her if she'd like to audition for a role as a "pretty, blonde, blue-eyed 11-year-old girl for principal role in two-hour movie pilot for NBC." (pg. xii) Anderson, then a sixth-grader, jumped at the chance, not knowing exactly what the role would require. She recounts the audition(s) and of her mother's first meeting in the hallway with Michael Landon where she is VERY taken by the star. Anderson too, is taken with his charms and decides right then and there that, "Michael Landon is positively dreamy." (pg. 6) Anderson's memoir recounts her eight years on the set of Little House, broken down into eight sections, one for each year. Within each section are several chapters recounting the various episodes and personal interactions within that particular season. The author dedicates quite a bit of text to episode plots, indeed several pages per episode. This got a bit tiresome after a while and the book would have been better served by simply covering the behind-the-scenes action. I had also hoped to read more about Anderson's interactions with Melissa Gilbert (Laura "Halfpint" Ingalls) and Alison Arngrim (Nellie Oleson). These actresses were mentioned briefly here and there, but nothing of any real substance came to light about how the three girls got along on set. Between the episode synopses, Anderson does give the reader some behind-the-scenes information. She tells how Landon could be a wonderful, sweet father-like figure, watching out for his actors while also occasionally displaying a mean streak such as picking on, and laughing at, a crew member with a stuttering problem. She also tells of the tension between Landon and Karen Grassle (Caroline Ingalls), a classically trained actress who got tired of being given small parts and limited dialogue with lines such as, ".more coffee, dear?" To her credit, Anderson doesn't attack any of her co-stars and does her best to present both sides to each story. While there's no "dirt" within the pages of The Way I See It, it is a pleasant journey back to the years of Little House. Quill says: Fans of Little House on the Prairie should enjoy this trip down memory lane.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I wish I would have read the other reviews before I bought the book. So not worth the time and money. I grew up watching LHOP, I didn't need a recap. She could have at least given a POV on the episodes. I'm only giving it a star cause it insists I do.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Watching Little House, I alwaya adored Mary. She seemed so humble and sweet, and I thought she and Laura were so cute together. THEN I read this book. At first it was okay-Melissa seemed kind of stiff and pursed-lipped- but I could read it without falling asleep. Then, for some odd reason, Missy Sue entered her LHOP years and changed rather dramatically. She went from ehhh sort of boring and boasty to snorefest Scarlett O'Hara. Maybe little house released her inner snob or something-I'm not sure, but somehow she started simply throwing words on paper like, " Oh my gosh, I can't wait to be finished with this darn BOOK!!!!" She started rehashing episodes and name-dropping like crazy and acting like she was SO much better than her fellow actors and actresses. I was appalled and practically crying when she was gushing over her purple outfit and describing the loneliest runner to us. The reason I rated it two stars is there were some funny moments in there and she did give good info about Michael Landon. But I still say don't waste you time and money. Put down the pen, Missy.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I wish i could get my money back. So uninteresting. I could have gone back to watch the shows if i wanted a recap. This is truly THE most boring bio ive ever read. Go read melissa gilbert and Alison A.'s wonderful! Sorry for spelling and on the nook.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I am very disappointed that so many pages are filled with long, detailed descriptions of soooo many episodes! If I wanted to revisit the episodes, I would watch them on tv. The parts of the book that aren't episode walk-throughs are very well-written and interesting, but I am finding myself skipping through far too much.
Kristin Steinmann More than 1 year ago
As a big little house fan I found this book extremely disappointing and boring. I found it hard to keep my attention as it seems as if a 12 year old wrote it . Iam sorry I wasted my money.
JoaqOnWater More than 1 year ago
Let me first say that I am a fan of Little House so I couldn't wait to read her book. Boy was I disappointed. This book is a summary of some of the Little House episodes. Watching the series is much more entertaining. I would go buy the dvd series instead of this book. Very disappointed.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I really enjoyed this book. If you want to know about Melissa Anderson's life during the time of Little House on The Prairie, then it is a great read. Because of that, I found it to be much more interesting than Melissa Gilbert's book, where only the first 100 pages or so were devoted to Little House. However, I do agree that she could have elaborated on others in the cast. I don't think she mentioned Dean Butler once (Almanzo) in the entire book and I would have loved to hear more about how she and Melissa Gilbert got along, but overall it was a fun book to read.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This is the most boring book I have ever read. It's just a synopsis of every Little House she was in, you can just watch the show.
Happy-Reader0 More than 1 year ago
If you loved "Little House," you will love this book.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I own this book. (Not on my NOOKcolor, but a real book). I thibk it is a great companion for some of the episodes. Note, i said some. She touhes on her acting life, and some dating life. Not recommended if you are looking for something more personal. This is more focased on her "Little House" life. Very enjoyable. Talks about her reltionships with the other actors, and her feelings and emotions for certain episodes. Great job Melissa! ~ Bookworm13 Reviews
GreatBooks1WowEC More than 1 year ago
Wonderful, honest, and clean. This is a wonderful book for fans of "Little House on the Prairie," by a real pro and a class act.
ireadmanybooks More than 1 year ago
This is the worst book I have read. Most of the book is script for Little House on the Prairie, not a biography. It's like the scriped was added because the book was to short.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Unless you are interested in reading the literal scripts to Melissa Sue Anderson's appearances in the Little House on the Prairie series do not waste your time with this book. 90% of the book is summary and dialogue of episodes - disappointing to say the least.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I thought this would be a book about Michael Landon and her memories of her days on the set of Little House it was a terrible book!! All she did was tell the story of each script and who wants to read that! It seems as if all she did was to use her name to write a book to make money. If I could get a refund I would it was not worth reading in fact, I started skimming over the scripts by the second chapter and just read her comments at the end I would not recommend this book to anyone unless you were looking for the script of the shows!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Not worth reading!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago