WHAT DO I WRITE?
for middle graders/young adults
for using historical fiction in the classroom
in prose and verse
lllustrated Modern Christmas Stories In Verse
(homage to "A Visit by St. Nicholas")
with Santa's high tech Izzy Elves
for kids aged 5+
My former website, abussfromlafayette dot com,
has been taken over by a Nigerian scam group.
All my data from that website has
now been transferred to this one.
Sorry for any confusion!
This website provides basic information about the books I write, but also contains detailed resources for interested readers, students, and teachers.
Each book has the following pages:
1. A home page: cover, synopsis, buy links, honors, and reviews
2. An audios and videos page: author readalouds, interviews
3. A pictures and documents page: downloadable items pertaining to the story
Links to all of these pages are listed in the Selected Works column and on the Works page.
To ask me questions, make comments, order an autographed book or book bundle, schedule a speech, or request an electronic visit with a class that has read one of my books, use the contact page tabbed above, or write me directly at the following e-mail address:
Thanks for stopping by!
I just received an excellent review of Liberty-Loving Lafayette from Reader Views Kids. Below are a few excerpts. Read the whole thing here.
* * *
"...one of the best things I have seen in a while. I think the concept Dorothea Jensen has of teaching younger kids about the history of our country in this way is simply wonderful and I adored it."
"This was a very serious and dangerous period in history and Dorothea Jensen has given it back to children, and yes, even adults, in an extremely fun way."
"Thanks to a little Broadway hit titled "Hamilton," the reader can actually see how this could be put to music and used as an amazing educational tool."
"The book is perfectly written and the pictures on each page are a wonderful addition to the text. Personally, I think that this is an excellent way to make history more interesting to children and it also has a few things to teach adults. "
"the glossary of terms and the extensive list of classroom questions at the back of the book. To me, these extra materials make the book a must-have for classrooms and school libraries."
". . .a wonderful example of how learning can be very fun for students."
—Kathy Stickles for Reader Views
Liberty-Loving Lafayette: How "America's Favorite Fighting Frenchman"
Helped Win Our independence won Best Book for Young Adults in the
General category in the spring round of the Pencraft Awards!
I just found this picture of me reading a "Dick and Jane" book. My first grade teacher, Mrs. Parvin, took pictures of all her students, and we used them to make 1952 (!) calendars for our parents at Christmas. Here's a belated "thank you" to her for taking these pix, and also for teaching me to read!
Another great review for A Buss from Lafayette!
Here are some highlights:
". . .a fine addition to the young adult historical fiction genre. "
"Clara is. . .reminiscent of Laura Ingalls or Anne Shirley, but with traits that make her an individual."
—Jamie Michele for Readers' Favorite. com
Read the whole thing here.
Below is a fun interview I did with John Daly of BQB Publishing, which released A BUSS FROM LAFAYETTE. We cover pretty much all aspects of my decades-long writing career.
ANOTHER GREAT REVIEW FOR
"In well written rhyme, Jensen will engage young readers in the life of Lafayette as a young man (only 19) eager to fight for freedom."
"What I love about this book is that it takes history and makes it come alive for children with verse. It includes portraits and other art from the time of the war and beyond to illustrate the story, and uses some modern phrasing, like 'good to go,' to make it relatable to younger generations of readers."
". . .would be a great addition to classrooms and home libraries, especially for those kids and parents interested in teaching American history." —Serena Agusto-Cox, Savvy Verse & Wit blog
Read the whole thing here.
Liberty-Loving Lafayette just won the bronze medal in the Young Adult Nonfiction category of the 2021 Readers' Favorite book awards.
Teacher's Guide is Now Available at a Reduced Price!
Beginning in September, 2021, A Buss From Lafayette Teacher's Guide will be available from major online retailers (and orderable from any bookstore) through the Past Times Press imprint. As a result, the price for this complete guide for using my award-winning historical novel in the school or home classroom will be coming down.
As we start gearing up for the BICENTENNIAL CELEBRATION of Major General Lafayette's 1820s Farewell Tour of America, A Buss from Lafayette is currently the only historical novel set during his historic visit on the market for young adults and middle school readers The story illuminates this Revolutionary War hero's crucial role in our fight for independence.
Stayed tuned for developments!
A New Izzy Elves GIF!
(Animation by Shayne Hood)
At an American Friends of Lafayette event in Yorktown, Virginia recently, I was honored to meet (again) Major General Lafayette! This time he was portrayed by Ben Goldman, whom I had previously met in Massachusetts during 2018 events at Charlton and Old Sturbridge Village. (I made a speech at the former and wrote a play performed at the latter.)
Hanging Out with Gilbert!
Also in Yorktown, I enjoyed a moment arm in arm with Major General Lafayette. This is the statue for which my husband and I had the pleasure of being the first donors. It was great fun to set the ball rolling!
Another Award for
International Impact Book Awards
Award Winning Author for Young Adult – Excellence for Writing Quality
On Wednesday, May 5, at 2 P.M. there will be a dedication ceremony for the new marker commemorating Lafayette's stop in Hopkinton, New Hampshire on June 27, 1825. This has been a goal of mine ever since I learned about this historic event nearly 25 years ago, and saw the old marker in the village which had the wrong date on it! (See below.) Learn more at TheLafayetteTrail.org.
Highlights from Another Great
Readers' Favorite Review!
". . .Many young students and teens, in general, will say, "History is boring!" That excuse is now gone. Dorothea Jensen has hit a home run in Liberty Loving Lafayette: How 'America's Favorite Fighting Frenchman' Helped Win Our Independence. She gives history a nice twist. . ."
"Dorothea is a former schoolteacher who knows how to get and retain a student's attention. Her text is complemented by the addition of historical portraits from the Revolutionary period. She has carefully chosen the paintings to accentuate the text to keep the reading lively. Even those who do not normally care for history will take delight in reading this book written in honor of Lafayette."
"Not only is this book historically accurate, but it is also very entertaining. She does not use typical text which many young people find is a turn-off to history. She uses delightful verse to keep history interesting."
"Dorothea is truly inspired in her use of verse."
"As a historian, it is my opinion that this book is a terrific addition to the vast number of books that tell the history of the Revolution." —Daniel D Staats, Readers' Favorite
To read the entire review, click here.
A Few Highlights from a wonderful Readers' Favorite
review of Liberty-Loving Lafayette
"In the wonderfully conceived and magnificently presented Liberty-Loving Lafayette: How 'America's Favorite Fighting Frenchman' Helped Win Our Independence, Dorothea Jensen presents her theme in visuals and verse, alternating them page by page as she traces Gilbert's (Lafayette's) dedicated involvement in America's Revolutionary War. . .iambic rhymed couplets that often raise a smile with some intrusions of modern slang (bro, good to go) that will appeal to the present generation. "
"If I were a high school teacher presenting American history, this amazing volume would be center front on my desk regarding not only Lafayette but a collection of the war's other players."
"Dorothea Jensen breathes the history of our colonial period, and her reverence for and joy in the subject will inspire anyone who opens her superb presentation."
"Besides the history, Liberty-Loving Lafayette by Dorothea Jensen is a joy for the senses." —Jon Michael Miller, Readers' Favorite
To read the whole review, click here.
A Few Highlights from a wonderful Kirkus Review of
". . .celebrates the contributions of Marquis de Lafayette to the American Revolution in rhyming verse.
A quotation from Lin-Manuel Miranda's musical Hamilton serves this book both as an epigraph and a tip of the hat to to that production's engaging, modernized portrayal of Lafayette, "America's favorite fighting Frenchman."
Jensen provides a similarly fresh take on Marie-Joseph Paul Yves Roch Gilbert du Motier de Lafayette and his career. . .
Jensen's deft rhymes and meters generally work well throughout. . .
While enjoyable on its own, the book is a useful resource with its historical paintings, glossary, bibliography, and endnotes. These are clear, informative, and full of intriguing tidbits. . .
The verse also has performance potential for educational events.
A well-written, multipurpose war-hero story that's both entertaining and instructive" —Kirkus Reviews
(Read the full review on the Liberty-Loving Lafayette page here.)
A FEW HIGHLIGHTS
FROM A LOVELY LLL BOOKLIFE REVIEW!
"In engaging rhyming verse...Jensen details how the French marquis wound up in the American colonies and got caught up in the war.
The lighthearted storytelling still underscores the subject's significance. . .
This narrative is meant to be read aloud—and would be a valuable companion for classrooms —showcasing its enjoyable blend of history and rhythm.
Jensen proves scrupulous in keeping the text factual, digging into the political realities. . .
Takeaway: Young history buffs will enjoy the rhyming text and historical art in this lively biography of the French hero of the American Revolution."—Booklife
(Read the full review on the Liberty-Loving Lafayette page here.)
A terrific Liberty-Loving Lafayette endorsement from the Midwest Book Review!
"Beautifully illustrated throughout, "Liberty-Loving Lafayette: How 'America's Favorite Fighting Frenchman' Helped Win Our Independence" is a unique, informative, and unreservedly recommended addition to middle school, high school, and community library American Revolution history collections for young readers ages 13-18 in general, and Gilbert du Motier, Marquis de Lafayette supplemental curriculum studies reading lists in particular." —Midwest Book Review
VIRTUAL VISIT TO THE 19TH CENTURY
Old Sturbridge Village (OSV) is a living history museum portraying what life was like in New England in the early 19th century. (I'm happy to say the shop there sells my book set in that era and location, A Buss from Lafayette.) I also had the privilege of writing the script for a re-enactment of Lafayette's stop in Sturbridge in 1824.
Bradford Johnson Blanchard, my great great grandfather, was born in the real Sturbridge, Massachusetts in 1838. I think that the town at that time probably closely resembled OSV in the appearance of village buildings, etc.
Recently OSV launched a program on its website enabling visitors to tour the inside of some of the antique buildings that make up the village. As A Buss from Lafayette also takes 21st century readers inside or outside such buildings virtually (such as the general store and school) this is an excellent opportunity for readers to see what such places actually looked like! Follow the blue link above for the 3-D virtual visit.
Having written three books about Major General Lafayette, I am naturally interested in the effort to mark where he stopped during his Fabulous Farewell Tour of 1824-5. I've been having fun participating in dedications of The Lafayette Trail's historical markers. Here I am with Julien Icher, the young Frenchman who founded and runs The Lafayette Trail, at the dedication of the marker in Claremont, New Hampshire.
I am a member of the board for this non-profit entity. (Donations are always welcome!) The blue link above with take you to the website to learn more about it.
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