Now a Quarter Finalist for the Booklife Prize in Fiction!
The vivid descriptions of clothing, family relationships, period-specific customs, and daily routines create a charming picture of life in 1825. . .The characters retell stories of General Lafayette, General Washington, and others, providing readers with a thorough backdrop of history to accompany the book’s main story line about Clara. . .an enjoyable introduction to the post-Revolutionary War period in America, and provides a lovely story about family, determination, and how perspective can change everything. – The Children’s Book Review
“Jensen effortlessly weaves history together with the daily trials of a girl resenting her stepmother’s reminders to behave like a lady. Most schoolchildren know Lafayette’s role in the Revolutionary War only superficially, and Jensen makes him come alive in a way they will remember. Historical accuracy, character development, and engaging dialogue enliven this narrative and make it an enjoyable read.” -Booklife Prize in Fiction Critic’s Report
“. . .an exquisitely detailed and beautifully penned historical fiction novel.. . .Kudos to Dorothea Jensen for a splendidly told tale. I highly recommend picking up a copy.” – Stacie, Goodreads Review
“In Jensen’s middle-grade novel, a young girl in New Hampshire meets the titular, illustrious French hero of the American Revolution during his commemorative trip through America. . . . Her brief encounter with him will forever change how she views herself. . .A winning historical tale that may appeal to young fans of the musical Hamilton.” -Kirkus Reviews
With the current remarkable interest in the American Revolution due to the musical Hamilton, this delightful and poignant book of historical fiction comes along at just the right time to catch the wave, with a focus this time on Lafayette and his many vital contributions to the revolution. . .In many ways the book is a wonderful paean to Lafayette, whose influence on our history has been forgotten by so many. But the book is also the story of fourteen-year-old Clara, a thoroughly engaging young heroine full of tremendous energy and agency. She captivates, charms, and ultimately steals the heart of the reader, young or old . –Midwest Reader, Amazon
Welcome to the website for A Buss From Lafayette, my new historical novel for middle schoolers. A Buss from Lafayette is my first historical novel for young readers since The Riddle of Penncroft Farm!
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In June, 1825, spunky, somewhat rebellious Clara Hargraves (14) has a couple of big problems: her red hair makes her a target for teasing, and her stepmother (formerly her spinster aunt) keeps trying to make her act like a young lady. Clara’s small New Hampshire town is abuzz because Lafayette, hero of the American Revolution, is about to visit on his “Farewell Tour” of America. In one eventful week, Clara learns a lot about her family, herself, and, most of all, about Lafayette and his vital role in America’s fight for independence.
A Buss from Lafayette is set in the small New Hampshire town where Dorothea Jensen 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.
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COME TO ONE OF MY UPCOMING EVENTS
ENJOY MY HOMAGE TO HAMILTON THE MUSICAL.
READ DETAILED BACKGROUND INFORMATION ABOUT A BUSS FROM LAFAYETTE HERE.
DOWNLOAD A FREE READING GUIDE FOR CLASSROOM, READING GROUP, OR JUST YOUR OWN USE! CLICK HERE.
READ, LISTEN, OR WATCH HIGHLIGHTS OF RECENT EVENTS.
At Lafayette School in Everett, MA, with John Kelly, dressed as a French soldier at the time of the Revolution, and Alan Hoffman, President of the American Friends of Lafayette
.On June 21, I was interviewed by Kevin Avard for the Gate City Chronicles program in Nashua. You will find excerpts of this interview on the “Author Interviews/Articles/Q & A” tab here.
On Thursday, May 12, I went to Boston for a radio interview to talk about A Buss from Lafayette on the Citywide Blackout program, broadcast on WEMF. Citywide Blackout “spotlights the independent art scene of New England.” It was great fun talking about Buss with Citywide Blackout hosts, Max Bowen and Gina House. Listen to a podcast here.
On Saturday, June 18, I signed books at the Manchester Barnes and Noble Store, 1741 South Willow Street, Manchester, NH. This was a Book Fair fundraiser for the Manchester Library. I brought along my Fiddlers Two, Sienna and Sara Larson, to play music from A Buss from Lafayette and other tunes from that era. (Thanks, ladies!)Thanks to Nathan for inviting us to participate. Here’s the website: Manchester B&N.
Sara and Sienna fiddling away. On the right is the book poster, some review highlights, and some “artifacts” that play a role in A Buss from Lafayette, along with quotes from the story featuring these items.
Spotting my new book on the “New for Young Readers” shelf at the Manchester Barnes and Noble. Bliss!
On Sunday, June 12, after a wonderful weekend with the American Friends of Lafayette in Boston, I was at the Barnes & Noble store in Nashua, NH, from 3-5 p.m as part of the Teen Book Festival. It is located at 235 Daniel Webster Hwy Nashua, NH 03060 . Here is the store’s website: Nashua Barnes & Noble. Thanks to Janice Wiers for asking me to participate!
P.S. Both B & N stores still have copies of A Buss from Lafayette if you would like to purchase one. : )
BOOK LAUNCH PARTY
Thanks to all those who attended, and to everyone who helped me with this event.
Click here to see pictures and watch an audio/slideshow of Dorothea’s short presentation at the party.
A SMALL BRAGGING MATTER OR TWO
On April 26, A Buss from Lafayette was the Amazon #1 New Release in Teen and Young Adult 19th Century United States Historical Fiction, and the Amazon #3 New Release in Teen and Young Adult United States Colonial & Revolutionary Period Historical Fiction.
On February 8, A Buss from Lafayette was the Amazon #1 New Release in Teen and Young Adult United States Colonial & Revolutionary Period Historical Fiction.