SOMETIMES A LITTLE KISS CAN CHANGE EVERYTHING, ESPECIALLY ONE FROM A WORLD-FAMOUS HERO OF THE AMERICAN REVOLUTION! Gold Medalist, Middle School/Historical Fiction, 2017 Literary Classics Awards; 1st Place Winner, Historical Fiction, 2017 Purple Dragonfly Book Awards; Bronze Medalist, Juvenile/Young Adult, 2017 eLit Awards; Finalist, Young Adult, Book Excellence Awards. Also among the top ten middle grade fiction entries for the Booklife Prize, and named as one of the best history book for kids to read on the Grateful American Kids website. In June, 1825, everyone around spirited young Clara Hargraves is thrilled because the world-famous American Revolution hero, General Lafayette, is about to visit New Hampshire on his “Farewell Tour.” In one event-filled week, what Clara learns about her family, her friends, and Lafayette himself, profoundly changes her life. "Clara carries the story with the strength of her personality, humorous observations, and seemingly timeless adolescent woes. . .will entertain readers as young as 4th grade while older students will appreciate a teenager's perspective" - KidStuff Magazine. "A full-scale history lesson disguised as a can't put it down story." - I Read What You Write Blog.
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.
Ok. I confess. I could not resist working the word "riddle" into this story as an oblique reference to my earlier historical novel for kids, THE RIDDLE OF PENNCROFT FARM. A riddle was a sieve or grate-like device that would be shaken to separate chaff from wheat, or, in this case, ash from coal and live embers. I learned about it in an extremely dry book about early Pennsylvania agriculture, and loved that I could use it as a pun - in the title, even! When we moved to NH 25 years ago, we actually found a coal-burning stove in one room that had a built-in riddle. THE RIDDLE OF PENNCROFT FARM had just come out, and I got a kick out of '"riddling" the ashes! I think about the only surviving use of the word "riddle" BTW, is "riddled with bullets" - full of holes like a sieve!
A Buss from Lafayette
Just then Joss came into the kitchen, lugging two large buckets, one empty and the other full of charcoal. With a frown on his face, he set down the bucket, and then reached around me to open the door to the firebox under the pot I was stirring. He shook the riddle so the ashes fell down beneath, then carefully scooped them into the empty bucket with a metal shovel. He took fresh charcoal from the other bucket and added it to the firebox. Then he did the same to the firebox under Prissy’s pot.