Dorothea Jensen

An Award-Winning Author of Books for Young Readers

Selected Honors


Both A Buss from Lafayette and The Riddle of Penncroft Farm are included in the list of "Best History Books for Kids to Read" on the Grateful American Kids website.

A Buss from Lafayette was a first place winner in the Purple Dragonfly Book Awards historical fiction category.

A Buss from Lafayette was the gold medalist in the 2017 Literary Classics Book Awards, middle school/historical fiction category.

A Buss from Lafayette won the bronze in the Juvenile/Young Adult Fiction category of the 2017 eLit Awards!

A Buss from Lafayette was a quarter-finalist for the 2016 Booklife Prize in Fiction, placing it among the top ten entries in the middle grade category!

A Buss from Lafayette was a finalist in the young adult category of the Book Excellence Awards.

A Buss from Lafayette earned the Literary Classics Seal of Approval!

The Riddle of Penncroft Farm was an International Reading Association Teachers' Choice Selection soon after its original publication in 1989.

As a manuscript, The Riddle of Penncroft Farm won the children's literature competition at The Loft, a Minnesota writers organization.

The Riddle of Penncroft Farm won 1st place in the Historical Fiction category of the 2014 Purple Dragonfly Book Awards, 25 years after its original publication!

The Riddle of Penncroft Farm won the Jeanette Fair Award, given by Delta Kappa Gamma, a teachers organization, for the best children's book written by a Minnesota woman.

The original hardcover Riddle with its Jeanette Fair Award Sticker

The Riddle of Penncroft Farm was a finalist for the William Allen White Book Award (Kansas).

The Riddle of Penncroft Farm was a finalist for the Mark Twain Award (Missouri).

The Riddle of Penncroft Farm was a finalist for the Young Hoosier Book Award (Indiana).

The Riddle of Penncroft Farm was a finalist for the Sunshine State Young Readers Award (Florida)

The Riddle of Penncroft Farm was a finalist for the Rebecca Caudill Award Young Readers Book Award (Illinois).



Before publication, The Riddle of Penncroft Farm won the Children's Literature Competition in the 8-12 year old category at the Loft Literary Center in Minnesota.

The e-book editions of Tizzy, the Christmas Shelf Elf and Blizzy, the Worrywart Elf both received the prestigious Mom's Choice Award, in the Juvenile Level I (Ages 5-8 Years), honoring "the best in family-friendly media."


Dizzy, the Stowaway Elf was Story Monster Approved! The Story Monster Approved program recognizes accomplished authors in the field of children's literature, as determined by panels of both adult and child judges.

Dizzy, the Stowaway Elf received Honorable Mention in the 2014 Purple Dragonfly Book Awards, in the Picture Book for 6 and Older Category. .

WELCOME TO MY WEBSITE

Here I am trying to "buss" Lafayette's new statue in Yorktown, Virginia, after it was unveiled on October 18, 2017!

Coming Soon: A Buss from Lafayette Teacher's Guide


AVAILABLE FOR PRE-ORDER NOW! BQB Publishing Release Date April 1, 2018


“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.

Written by Dorothea Jensen, M.A., and Sienna Larson, M.S., this guide is soon to be re-released as a paperback and e-book from BQB Publishing! 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.

Dorothea Jensen (left) and Sienna Larson (right)

About the Authors



Dorothea Jensen is the author of A BUSS FROM LAFAYETTE, THE RIDDLE OF PENNCROFT FARM, and seven other books. A former ESL, junior high and high school English teacher, she earned a BA in English at Carleton College and an MA in Secondary Education from the University of New Mexico.

Sienna Larson has worked as an ESL teacher in Panama and in Ethiopia and as a homeschool teacher. She also researched and co-authored two books on international education and has created curricula for French and English language instruction for adults and children. She holds a BA in Political Science from McGill University and an MS in Technology from Northern Kentucky University.




A Buss from Lafayette was the Literary Classics gold medalist in the Middle School Historical Fiction category.

Woo hoo! Both The Riddle of Penncroft Farm and A Buss from Lafayette are listed among the "Best Historical Books for Kids to Read" on the Grateful American Kids website!

Here I am helping to lay a wreath on the Lafayette memorial on Boston Common on Lafayette Day, 2017!


Here I am reading Dizzy, the Stowaway Elf to an elfin audience on December 6!

(Making the elf hats was part of the fun.)



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.

Here I am with Alan Hoffman, President of the American Friends of Lafayette, before making speeches at Lafayette School, Everett, MA, on September 14.

On June 21, I was interviewed by Kevin Avard on the Gate City Chronicles television program. Great fun!

On Saturday, June 18, I signed books from at the Manchester Barnes and Noble store, 1741 South Willow Street Manchester, NH. My "Fiddlers Two", Sienna and Sara Larson, came with me to play tunes featured in the book, as well as other music from the era.


On Sunday, June 12, I was at the Nashua Barnes and Noble as part of the Teen Book Festival at the Barnes & Noble in Nashua, NH, 235 Daniel Webster Hwy, Nashua, NH. Thanks for the invitation to participate! (Copies of Buss still available at both these stores, BTW.)


Here I am wearing a dress in the style of 1825, when A Buss from Lafayette takes place! This gown was created by costumer Gay Bean.


You are invited to check out video blogs via the Social and Other Media tab above.


Selected Works

Educational Material: Classroom Guide
A complete "lesson plan" for using A Buss from Lafayette in 5-9 grade classrooms!
Illustrated Christmas Stories in Verse
This Christmas tale in verse celebrates the power of children's imaginations and the magic of books.
What happens back at the North Pole when Blizzy discovers that Tizzy is missing on Christmas morning?
Dizzy the elf, Tizzy's best friend, finds all the adventure he wants (and more) when he hides in the back of Santa's sleigh!
Frizzy tries to cure her S.A.D. (Seasonal Affection Distress) by making something new (and "yuck") that she won't miss when Santa takes it away for delivery on Christmas Eve.
Historical Fiction for Young Readers

In 1825, Lafayette comes to New Hampshire as part of his "triumphal tour" and affects the life of a young girl in unforeseen ways.
"The American Revolution comes alive... A wonderful book that melds both past and present together... "
Regency Romantic Comedy
“Splendid and sophisticated Regency romance...fun to read...fine characterization and period dialogue."

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