Mother Daughter Book Reviews is pleased to welcome author Dorothea Jensen as a guest contributor with us today. Ms. Jensen is here to share information about her upcoming middle grade/young adult book, “A Buss From Lafayette”.
Middle grade/young adult novel A Buss from Lafayette, to be released April 22, 2016 by BQB Publishing
About the Book
Fourteen-year-old Clara Hargraves lives on a farm in Hopkinton, a small New Hampshire town, during the early 19th century. She has a couple of big problems. First of all, she has a stepmother, Priscilla, who used to be her spinster schoolteacher aunt. Clara resents that her late mother’s older sister has not only married her father but is about to have a baby. To make matters worse, “Prissy Priscilla” keeps trying to make the rambunctious, clever, and witty Clara act like a proper young lady. Secondly, Clara has red hair, making her a target for teasing by a handsome older boy, Dickon Weeks, and by her pretty seventeen-year-old Dread Cousin Hetty. Clara, however, has a secret plan she hopes will change this.
During the last week of June, 1825, Clara’s town is abuzz because the famous General Lafayette is about to visit their state during his farewell tour of America. In those eventful seven days, Clara learns a lot about her family, Hetty, Dickon, herself, and about Lafayette. She comes to understand the huge and vital role the young French aristocrat played in America’s Revolutionary War and to see that her problems might not be quite so terrible after all.
Dorothea Jensen has written a warm, funny, coming-of-age novel about a 19th century teenage girl who lives on a farm in Hopkinton, New Hampshire. Set in June 1825 as the Town and its inhabitants prepare for General Lafayette’s Farewell Tour visit, the story begins on June 21 and ends 6 days later, the day that Lafayette pays Hopkinton (and Clara) a call. A lot happens in that fateful week; and we see Clara morph from a precocious, rambunctious, somewhat petulant 14-year old into a wiser, more mature young adult. – Alan R. Hoffman, President, American Friends of Lafayette; translator, Lafayette in America in 1824 and 1825 by Auguste Levasseur
We feel this captivating novel will appeal to young readers as well as adults while also expanding their vocabulary and building on their knowledge of American history. The novel is well written and engaging, and the author expertly weaves historical information throughout. – Greenleaf
Clara’s story is an uplifting read, combining the challenges of youth and family with real lessons in history that transcribe to important life lessons. Well researched, well written, and completely delightful, the story is clever, emotionally poignant, educational, and entertaining. It is also wholesome and historically significant.” –Five Star
About the Author
Dorothea Jensen, born in Boston, Massachusetts, grew up in Chillicothe, Illinois. She majored in English literature at Carleton College. After teaching high school English and serving as a Peace Corps volunteer in Brazil, she earned a master’s degree in education at the University of New Mexico.
In 1989, Harcourt Brace Jovanovich published Dorothea’s novel for young readers about the American Revolution, The Riddle of Penncroft Farm. In addition to other honors, it was named an International Reading Association Teachers’ Choices Selection.
A Buss from Lafayette is set in the small New Hampshire town where Dorothea lives. Two things inspired her to write this story. First was learning that Lafayette passed right by her house during his 1824-5 “Triumphal Tour.” Another was meeting a woman whose ancestor received a kiss from Lafayette. That “buss,” passed down through generations, eventually came to Dorothea. This sparked her interest in Lafayette’s contributions to our struggle for independence and in his last visit to the United States.
Dorothea also enjoys writing rhyming verse. She has written a series of award-winning illustrated modern Christmas stories in verse for school-aged kids featuring Santa’s tech-savvy Izzy Elves.
For further information about A Buss from Lafayette, or to find links to order any of Dorothea’s books, please visit http://www.dorotheajensen.com.