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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.


I'm giving away a download of the audiobook, A Buss from Lafayette, via Rafflecopter.

To enter for a chance to win, follow the link below.

A Rafflecopter Giveaway: A Buss from Lafayette Audiobook!

Woo hoo! It's here!. . .

A Buss from Lafayette audiobook is NOW available

on Audible, Amazon, and iTunes!.

( I had such fun recording it, although the learning curve was a killer!)


To purchase, click on one of the links below!

Dorothea Jensen

I am an award-winning author of books for young readers.

I write in multiple genres, both fiction and non-fiction. This sometimes makes me feel as if I am getting on a horse and galloping off in several directions at once, but writing vastly different material simultaneously seems to stave off the Dread Writer's Block.

My work has won many honors and awards, which I have listed in the column on the left side of this page.

My writing efforts, past and present, include:

1. Historical fiction for middle graders/​young adults, with which I hope to hook kids on our amazing national history. (The Riddle of Penncroft Farm; A Buss from Lafayette) I am currently working on a new story, called A Scalp on the Moon.

2. Rhyming stories about Santa's high tech Izzy Elves, which are illustrated modern Christmas stories for kids aged 5 and up. (Tizzy, the Christmas Shelf Elf; Blizzy, the Worrywart Elf; Dizzy, the Stowaway Elf; and Frizzy, the S.A.D. Elf) My next elf adventure will be Bizzy, the Know-It-All Elf.

3. Educational material for using historical fiction in the classroom. (A Buss from Lafayette Teacher's Guide, co-authored with Sienna Larson, who is also a seasoned teacher.)

4. Non-Fictional accounts of historical events, in prose and verse. (The American Revolutions; Go Get Lafayette) These are both under construction.

FYI: My nickname is Deedy, which I recently learned is an archaic word for "busy" as in "full of deeds". Hmmm. I guess that shoe fits!



P.S. If you would like to ask me questions, make comments, or request an electronic visit with a class that has read one of my books, please contact me at jensendorothea@​

For more information about

A Buss from Lafayette,

please visit my other website.

Here's the link!

I just started recording the audiobook of A Buss From Lafayette today and had fun making a video of the opening, too!

Below are video trailers and audio excerpts of my books. Enjoy!

Coming Soon: A Buss from Lafayette Teacher's Guide


(Buy Links at the top of the left column on this page!)

BQB Publishing Release Date 4/1/18

“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.

Fun Stuff &

Selected Works

Any time young readers draw pictures, make videos, or whatever about one of my books, I will post their work here!

Games,pictures of people/places/things, and recipes for historic food found in my historical Fiction.

Games, Pix, and More about the Izzy Elves!

Recordings of music etc. from my historical fiction.

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.

Educational Material: Classroom Guide

A complete unit of lesson plans for using A Buss from Lafayette as a springboard for teaching about the American Revolution and Lafayette in 5-9 grade classrooms.

Historical Fiction for Young Readers

Sometimes a little kiss can change everything. . .especially a little kiss from a world famous hero of the American Revolution!

"The American Revolution comes alive... A wonderful book that melds both past and present together... "


An excerpt of a work-in-progress: amusing myself with history!

Regency Romantic Comedy

“Splendid and sophisticated Regency to read...fine characterization and period dialogue."

Quick Links