A Buss from Lafayette

Welcome to the website for A Buss From Lafayette, my new historical novel for middle schoolers and young adults.  A Buss from Lafayette is my first historical novel for young readers since The Riddle of Penncroft Farm!

ISBN 978-1-939371-90-4
ISBN 978-1-939371-91-1

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Paperback Edition from BQB Publishing

Paperback from indiebound.com

Paperback or Nook Edition from Barnes and Noble

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On October 18, 2017, I was in Yorktown, Virginia to celebrate the unveiling of a new statue of Lafayette! Check out my blog post about how this statue came into being! Here’s the link:


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The music for the following trailer is a tune arranged by my sister, Louisa Wise (who plays the fiddle on this recording).  She recently renamed the tune “Lafayette” in honor of my book and included it in her new album, “Into the Wind.” Here’s the link to get a copy: https://www.louisawise.com/store. (I think the price is in Australian dollars, as that is where she lives!)

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Here I am bedecked with my Literary Classics Book Award medal. I’ve won lots of awards, but this is the first one I can wear!Screen Shot 2016-07-20 at 8.00.45 AM

A Buss from Lafayette was the 2017 Literary Classics Book Awards Gold Medalist (Middle School/Historical Fiction)!

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So happy to announce that A Buss from Lafayette won first place in the 2017 Purple Dragonfly Book Awards, Historical Fiction Category!


A Buss from Lafayette was one of eight finalists in the Book Excellence Awards Young Adult category.


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This might just look like a bookshelf to you, but it is a shelf of books for sale at the Valley Forge Encampment Store at Valley Forge National Park! Check out what is on the top shelf in the center: my first historical novel about the American Revolution for kids, The Riddle of Penncroft Farm. It looks as if that by putting all the books closer together, there is room for A Buss from Lafayette on there, too!


Here I am (in the hat) helping to lay a wreath on the Lafayette plaque on Boston Common, in commemoration of Lafayette Day. This is proclaimed by the governors of Massachusetts and New Hampshire on the anniversary of the great Revolutionary hero’s death, May 20, 1834.

A Buss from Lafayette recently earned the Bronze Medal in the Juvenile/ Young Adult Category of the 2017 eLit Awards program, a global awards program committed to illuminating and honoring the very best of English language digital publishing entertainment.

Literary Classics is pleased to announce that the book, A Buss from Lafayette, by Dorothea Jensen, has been selected to receive the Literary Classics Seal of Approval.  The CLC Seal of Approval is a designation reserved for those books which uphold the rigorous criteria set forth by the Literary Classics review committee, a team comprised of individuals with backgrounds in publishing, editing, writing, illustration and graphic design.

A Buss from Lafayette, by Dorothea Jensen, is a fun and fascinating read.  Jensen weaves threads of historical fact within this coming-of-age story that will resonate with young audiences on many levels.  Readers will love the tale of the highly relatable Clara and may even learn a thing or two about why Lafayette was so highly esteemed in American in the 1800s.  This book is recommended for home and school libraries and has earned the Literary Classics Seal of Approval. – Classic Literary Reviews

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Happy to announce that A Buss from Lafayette was  recommended  on http://Gratefulamericankids.com as one of the best history books for kids to read! (Note: my first historical novel for kids, The Riddle of Penncroft Farm, was recently added to this list as well.)


I just posted a map showing the locations of events portrayed in A Buss from Lafayette, and an audio of me reading the opening of the story. Check them out here:



Latest News!

A Buss from Lafayette Teacher’s Guide
will be released by BQB Publishing.

Written by Dorothea Jensen, M.A., and Sienna Larson, M.S., this guide will soon be for sale on Amazon, B & N, and other stores as a paperback and as an e-book.  This guide includes: bulletin board ideas, vocabulary exercises, varied handouts, puzzles and games, reading comprehension quizzes, discussion questions, individual and class project suggestions, cross-curricular activities (language arts, reading, social studies, mathematics, health and safety, art, music, dance, drama) and suggestions for real and virtual “field trips.”

Topics covered include the American Revolution, Lafayette’s role in our fight for independence, Lafayette’s Farewell Tour in 1824-5, and everyday life and customs in rural America in the 1820s.

“This document is fantastic and any middle school teacher would love to use it while expanding on the many aspects of this fiction/non-fiction youth book.” – G. Glover, Middle School Teacher and Principal

“There is no more crucial time than now to teach our children about the history of their country. The need for teachers to find ways to make history interesting is crucial. A Buss from Lafayette will provide not only historic background of the revolutionary time. . .but also a story that all children can identify with. . . The teachers’ guide also gives many wonderful suggestions of how to integrate subjects with the historical content of this novel. . . [and] suggests questions that challenge higher level thinking. I highly recommend this for teachers in grades 5-8.” – Susan Elliott, Ph.D., Associate Professor, Quinnipiac University; Literacy and Curriculum Development.

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“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 FictionScreen Shot 2016-07-20 at 8.00.45 AM

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

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“. . .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.” 5.0 out of 5 starsStacie, Goodreads Review

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“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

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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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Booksellers can order A Buss from Lafayette through Ingram, Baker & Taylor, or New Leaf Distributing, or directly through BQB Publishing by contacting Terri Leidich.

Screen Shot 2016-07-20 at 8.00.45 AMCome see new Lafayette statue dedicated!

Yorktown Lafayette Statue to be Dedicated October, 19, 2017.

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You’ll hear about works-in-progress, publications, promotions, giveaways (of audio recordings etc.) and other news!

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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.  P1080464

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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.

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On Saturday, June 18, I signed books at the Manchester Barnes and Noble Store, 17P108046341 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 websiP1080459te: Manchester B&N.  IMG_1424

IMG_1416Sara 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. :  )

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The April 22 launcIMG_1404h party  for A Buss from Lafayette was a huge success and great fun!

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.

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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.