SOMETIMES ONE LITTLE KISS CAN CHANGE EVERYTHING, ESPECIALLY ONE FROM A WORLD FAMOUS HERO OF THE AMERICAN REVOLUTION! Now available in print, digital, and audio editions.
Gold Medalist (Middle School/Historical Fiction) Literary Classics Award; 1st Place Winner (Historical Fiction) Purple Dragonfly Book Awards; Bronze Medalist (Juvenile/Young Adult Fiction) eLit Awards ; Quarter Finalist (Middle Grade) Booklife Prize; Finalist (Young Adult) Book Excellence Awards. Also named on the Grateful American Kids website as one of the best history book for kids to read. Clever young Clara Hargraves has a couple of big problems. First of all, she has a new stepmother, formerly her old maid schoolteacher aunt, who keeps trying to make Clara behave like a lady. Secondly, she has red hair, which means she is constantly teased, especially by an older boy, Dickon, and her beautiful cousin, Hetty. During the last week of June, 1825, Clara's small New Hampshire town is buzzing about the upcoming visit to the state by the Revolutionary War hero, General Lafayette. Could an unexpected playful kiss from a charming, world-famous Frenchman change Clara's life forever?
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.
Early on in my research for this story, I read an Old Sturbridge Village booklet about 19th century general stores. There I found a reference to Simeon's Lead Combs, sold at the time, purporting to turn red hair black. Ah hah! I thought, realizing that I had found another major (ahem) STRAND for Clara's story. Later I realized that Simeon's Lead Comb presented an excellent opportunity for parents and teachers to talk about how modern products promising to improve personal appearance are often less effective than advertised.
A Buss from Lafayette
My plan is simple enough. A few weeks ago, I saw an advertisement for “Simeon’s Lead Combs.” It said that combing the hair using one of these every day would turn red hair into “a beautiful shade of black!” The next time I was in Mr. Towne’s store, I learned that he carries these combs. I do not know if I have enough pennies saved yet, but I will ask Mr. Towne how much this miracle worker will cost. As soon as I get up the nerve, that is.