In 1675, a teenaged boy who has trained his entire life for a career as an actor in Restoration London finds himself accidentally transported to Massachusetts Colony, where he knows the Puritans consider the theater to be a terrible evil. It is a time of great unrest and fear, as the Native American tribes are realizing that the English settlers are an unsettling, permanent and growing presence in their midst. For their part, some of the superstitious colonists insist they keep seeing a scalp on the moon, a portent that something
terrible is about to happen. With the outbreak of King Philip’s War this portent might turn out to be all too accurate.
Dorothea Jensen was born in Boston, Massachusetts, and grew up in Chillicothe, Illinois. She majored in English at Carleton College and earned an MA in Secondary Education at the University of New Mexico. She has served as a Peace Corps Volunteer in South America, taught middle and high school English, tutored refugees in ESL, and written grant proposals for various arts organizations
Her first historical novel for young readers, THE RIDDLE OF PENNCROFT FARM, was named an IRA Teachers' Choice Selection soon after publication. It has been used as an enrichment resource in classrooms all over the U.S. for many years.
Dorothea's second such novel, A BUSS FROM LAFAYETTE, is set in 1825 in the small town in New Hampshire where she has lived since 1991. It has won a number of awards, detailed in its book description on this site.
Dorothea is working on a new story set in 17th century Massachusetts called A SCALP ON THE MOON.
Dorothea also writes modern Christmas stories in verse. Modeled on the 19th century classic poem, "A Visit from St. Nicholas" these award-winning Santa's Izzy Elves story poems feature decidedly 21st century elves savvy in modern technology.
The family names in my two previous historical novels for young readers (THE RIDDLE OF PENNCROFT FARM and A BUSS FROM LAFAYETTE) are nearly identical. (HARGREAVES in RIDDLE, and HARGRAVES in BUSS.) This was not actually intentional on my part; it had been so long since I read RIDDLE that I'd forgotten the family name I'd used! Both of these spellings are from my family tree: my great-grandfather's birth surname name in England was Hargreaves, but his parents changed it to Hargraves when they came to America in 1870. Now I have at least one young fan who is convinced that my books are about several generations of the same family. Hmm. I'm thinking of making my main character's name in this story a match for the others in order to keep her happy, but I'm not sure yet.
A Scalp on the Moon
My famous father, James Hargraves, had often boasted that he could act better than any other man in London even in his sleep.