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Liberty-Loving Lafayette

 How "America's Favorite Fighting Frenchman" Helped Win our Independence




So, listen up, my children and I'll do my best to tell

How a teenaged French aristocrat served all of us so well.

So begins this short, playful, rhyming narrative describing the huge role the young Marquis de Lafayette played in our fight for independence.


Inspired by Longfellow's "The Midnight Ride of Paul Revere, not to mention the smash hit Broadway show Hamilton, Liberty-Loving Lafayette is told in rhyming couplets.


This poetic rendition of history can be used in classrooms to teach young Americans about General Lafayette, the French Alliance, and the American Revolution.


It can also be performed in classrooms or larger venues as an entertaining short (15 minute) piece dramatizing important American history.


Who the unlikely person was who

inspired Lafayette to help America


How Lafayette's powerful father-in-law

tried to discourage his plan


Why such a high rank was given

to an inexperienced 19-year-old


How Lafayette helped strengthen

the crucial French Alliance


What Lafayette's key successes were

as a military commander in America






 2nd Place

History Nonfiction

Royal Dragonfly Book Awards



Honorable Mention

Young Adult Nonfiction

Royal Dragonfly Book Awards


Bronze Medal

Young Adult Nonfiction

Readers' Favorite Book Awards



2021 People's Choice Award

Biennial New Hampshire Literary Awards




Young Adult

2021 People's Choice Award

Biennial New Hampshire Literary Awards


 History Nonfiction 

Independent Author Network 

Book of the Year Awards



 Young Adult Nonfiction 

 Independent Author Network 

Book of the Year Awards


First Place

Biography: Historical

2021 Firebird Book Award



First Place

Young Adult Nonfiction

2021 Firebird Book Award


Young Adult: Excellence for Writing Quality

International Impact Book Awards



"A perfect example of how a writer can make history/learning history fun. . .the accompanying art is wonderful." —David Bruce Smith, author of Abigail and John, founder of the Grateful American Foundation, and co-founder of the Grateful American Book Prize


"An ode to the great Lafayette, beautifully told and richly illustrated" Alan R. Hoffman, Translator,

Lafayette in America in 1824 and 1825: Journal of a Voyage to the United States, and President, The American Friends of Lafayette


 "A great addition to the [Lafayette] canon"Diane Shaw, Director Emerita of Special Collections & College Archives, Lafayette College


"Dorothea Jensen brings Lafayette to life for all ages"Chuck Schwam, Publisher, American Friends of Lafayette Gazette 




"A quotation from Lin-Manuel Miranda's musical Hamilton serves this book both as an epigraph and a tip of the hat to that production's engaging, modernized portrayal of Lafayette, "America's favorite fighting Frenchman."


"Jensen, who has also written several works of historical fiction for children as well as Christmas stories, provides a similarly fresh take on Marie-Joseph Paul Yves Roch Gilbert du Motier de Lafayette and his career, beginning when he was a teenager: ' Young Lafayette had dinner with the British king's bro, / Who told him the Americans were 'good to go.'


"Here as elsewhere, the information sketched out in the verse is explained more completely in the endnotes. In this case, readers can learn the date, full name of the king's 'bro,' and Lafayette's recorded reaction to the conversation."


"The verses go on to describe Lafayette's career as he made his way to the Colonies and joined the Revolutionary Army. He became a major general, distinguished himself in several battles and missions, was wounded, served and befriended Washington, won support from France, and played a decisive role in the Siege of Yorktown."


"Jensen's deft rhymes and meters generally work well throughout, as when describing Lafayette's voyage to America: 'He endured the trip across despite some nasty mal de mer, / And learned a bit of English by the time he landed there.' "


"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, such as noting the "extremely close friendship between the fatherless Lafayette and the childless Washington."


"The verse also has performance potential for educational events."

"A well-written, multipurpose war-hero story that's both entertaining and instructive."—Kirkus Reviews


To read this on the Kirkus Reviews website, click here.

"Lin Manuel-Miranda's Tony award-winning Hamilton made household names of historical figures audiences previously hadn't known much about. Jensen carries the torch with her second book for young readers (after the YA novel A Buss From Lafayette) about the hero of the American Revolutionary War. In engaging rhyming verse possibly inspired by the musical, Jensen details how the French marquis wound up in the American colonies and got caught up in the war. She peppers the text with modern slang ("bro") and French phrases ("mal de mer") while historic paintings, portraits, maps, and engravings (Élisabeth Louise Vigée Le Brun's sumptuous study of Marie Antoinette; Emanuel Leutze's dramatic Washington Rallying the Troops at Monmouth) bring to life the tale's cast and milieu."


"The lighthearted storytelling still underscores the subject's significance–"Without him we would not have won our Independency," Jensen writes. . ."


"This narrative is meant to be read aloud—and would be a valuable companion for classrooms and projects—showcasing its enjoyable blend of history and rhythm. Jensen proves scrupulous in keeping the text factual, digging into the political realities behind revolutionaries like George Washington embracing a French aristocrat, and her detailed end notes, offer concise explanations ('The French government feared having a celebrity like Lafayette join the fight on the side of the Americans.') that will help alleviate any audience perplexity. Young history lovers and fans will savor this playful rendition of Lafayette's biography, centered around historical documents and works of art."


"Takeaway: Young history buffs will enjoy the rhyming text and historical art in this lively biography of the French hero of the American Revolution."


Great for fans of: 

Jean Fritz's Why Not, Lafayette?,

Selene Castrovilla's Revolutionary Friends.


Production grades
Cover: A-
Design and typography: A-
Illustrations: A
Editing: A-
Marketing copy: A


Unique, Informative, and Unreservedly Recommended

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. It should be noted for personal reading lists that "Liberty-Loving Lafayette" is also readily available in a paperback edition (9780990940814, $10.99), and in a digital book format (Kindle, $4.99). —Midwest Book Review





"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." —Readers' Favorite 


To read the entire review, click here.

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.


"Liberty-Loving Lafayette: How 'America's Favorite Fighting Frenchman' Helped Win Our Independence by Dorothea Jensen is a rhyming narrative of Gilbert du Motier, Marquis de Lafayette, and how he came to the United States to help us fight against the British in the Revolutionary War. 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. While this is a succinct look at Lafayette's contributions, there are resources, a glossary of terms, and larger explanations, as well as a bibliography, in the back of the book for teachers and parents to use and help children understand history a little better.


Liberty-Loving Lafayette: How 'America's Favorite Fighting Frenchman' Helped Win Our Independence by Dorothea Jensen would be a great addition to classrooms and home libraries, especially for those kids and parents interested in teaching American history. Kids will learn about no only the inspirations for Lafayette's decision to come to the United States but also about how he played a key role in military successes."

Rating: Quatrain —Sabena Agusto-Cox, Savvy Verse & With blog


Read the review on the website here.


 Learning History Will Be Fun With This Book

This book is the perfect cross curricular lesson waiting to happen. Social Studies, English Language Arts and Music, students will love it from 3rd grade to 8th grade.


When time in the classroom is precious, Jensen, has handed teachers the structure for teaching the Revolutionary War in verse. Learning history can be fun! 5 Stars —C. Powell




Great work for all ages!

This poem, by Dorothea Jensen, tells Lafayette's story with rhyming words which create vivid pictures. Lafayette was a great person and folks need to hear his story. What better way than listening to a poem with a great beat. Let's preserve history folks!! 5 Stars —Sarah Gillens, Amazon Review


 Beautifully written poetry about a Brutal Period in American history

Liberty-Loving Lafayette: How "America's Favorite Fighting Frenchman" Helped Win Our Independence, by Dorothea Jensen, is a beautifully written piece of poetry that portrays a brutal period in America's history. The author tastefully dances across the pages of history, bringing to life Marquis De Lafayette, a Frenchman of noble principles and with a passion to help free the colonies of the America from the oppression of the Monarchy of England. This jaunty fast-paced poem rides the reader through the battles, following the Marquis, George Washington and other celebrated figures in the American Revolution, as they fight to win liberty and freedom for their fledgling nation. The words roll off one's tongue (best read aloud) giving one a sense of appreciation for a man who is rarely heard of on the usual accountings of the American Revolution, and yet, who played such a crucial role in gaining victory against the Monarchy. Well worth the read - and certainly a recommended read for schools as literature applicable to American history.5 Stars —Réal Laplain, Goodreads

History in Hip-Hop

The abundant illustrations make this lively history in rhyme a real page-turner! 5 Stars —Celeste, Goodreads

A Must Read for Both Young and Old!


It is an established fact that most Americans who are interested in our history are older. One only has to be aware of the ages of the members of historical societies to be convinced of this.

Dorothea Jensen, however, specializes in making history come alive for the young - pre-teens and teenagers. In this her latest work, a short 50 page book, she tells the story of a French nobleman, the Marquis de Lafayette and his pivotal role in winning the American Revolution.

Her narrative starts with the nineteen year old Gilbert learning about the American struggle for freedom from the British, covers his important participation in the conflict and in bringing France into the war, and ends with his participation in the victory at Yorktown, Virginia.

To draw young people into the story, Dorothea richly illustrates her work, and presents the pertinent historical facts in rhyming verse. As you read, you can actually experience the rhythm of a rap performer.

Knowing that the young may have short spans of attention. Dorothea quickly imparts the key points of the story in rhyme. Then she supplements her work with a glossary of terms, and, for those interested, provides comprehensive end notes for each verse detailing the action.

As a life member of the American Friends of Lafayette, and a researcher for The Lafayette Trail Project, I can assure readers that Dorothea covers all the bases of this important story with historical accuracy while making it fun to experience.

A must read for the young (and old) 5 Stars—John Becica, Goodreads Review

Great Book for My Kids!

This book has inspired my children to love Lafayette !!! Thank you Dorothea Jensen...our family has a new hero. 5 Stars —Charles Schwam

A Jaunty Romp Packed with History and Charming Rhyme!

"So raise a cheer for Lafayette, who so loved Liberty. Without him we would not have won our Independency!" How DOES she do it? Jensen is a master word-smith, so clever and amusing in her rhyming poetry! Inspired by The Midnight Ride of Paul Revere, she adapts her style to a very 21st-century audience. It's really quite remarkable how much historical detail she can pack into her rhyming lines and not skip a beat. The book is filled with photographs of famous paintings and portraits of relevant events and personages and the back of the book includes a Glossary and End Notes that expand on the time period and much more. I highly recommend this to parents as well as Social Studies and English teachers and history buffs of all ages. What a hit! 5 Stars —SLoves2read



Learning history can be fun!

This book is the perfect cross curricular lesson waiting to happen. Social Studies, English Language Arts and Music, students will love it. . .When time in the classroom is precious, Jensen, has handed teachers the structure for teaching the Revolutionary War in verse. Learning history can be fun! 5 Stars —C.Powell, Amazon

Good Intro

Very good introduction to the history of Lafayette. 5 STARS —Stephan Patterson. Amazon Review

Someone Should Make A Play or Musical Out of This Book!

I LOVE this book! It's great for adults as well as young people. What a fantastic homage to Lafayette, who's been on our minds so much lately because of his appearances in Hamilton. I love how this book wonderfully encapsulates history with its vivid Lafayette portrayal, and how the author achieves this in such a super-engaging way, through witty, clever rhyme and poetry. And I love its multimedia approach – poetry, history, reproductions of gorgeous historical paintings. It's extraordinary the amount of accurate and sophisticated historical narrative the author fits into this wonderful book and how much the reader learns about this fascinating and important figure in American history. I learned so much about exactly who the heck Lafayette was and what he did for the American cause. Very cool, to know this, and to be entertained to boot. What a colorful figure Lafayette was! 5 Stars—M. Bancroft Johnson, Barnes & Noble Review

Brimming With Interest!

"Dorothea Jensen's latest book is a great read combining the history of Lafayette's essential role in the American Revolution with entertaining rhymes. It has interesting pictures throughout and much background information at the back, brimming with interest for readers young and old. Highly recommended." —L. Wise, Goodreads Review


Attention All U.S. History Teachers!

"As school begins this Fall in its various forms, I recommend that US history teachers add this clever and informative poem to their extra curricula assignments when teaching the history of the American Revolution. Ms. Jensen's poetic synopsis is packed with facts and is a fun method of highlighting the importance of Lafayette's contribution to the Patriots' success." —R. Hampe, Amazon Review


Whimsical Rhyming Narrative

"As a big fan of "A Buss From Lafayette," I was delighted to read Dorothea Jensen's next book, "Liberty-Loving Lafayette!" As a French American (1st Generation), I loved discovering even more about the young and dashing Lafayette. I am proud to know of his amazing – and very French – influence on the fight for American Independence. I also enjoyed Dorothea's use of her whimsical rhyming narrative to tell the tale!" 5 Stars—Allison Brevier, Amazon Review

It Was Amazing!

"I truly enjoyed reading Liberty-Loving Lafayette: How "America's Fighting Frenchman" Helped Win Our Independence by Dorothea Jensen. The clever verses make it easy to understand Lafayette's crucial contributions to the American Revolution in a very enjoyable and memorable way. It makes learning fun for all ages. Also the archival illustrations, the glossary and the notes greatly enriched the story.

This is a jewel of a book that parents and teachers will enjoy just as much as children and teenagers."   —C. Pollak, Goodreads Review


A Great Classroom Rresource

Sometimes a rhyming narrative is just what you need to tell a story, especially if you include pictures. So Dorothea Jensen used this format to tell the story of General Lafayette's contribution to our nation's independence. Heavily researched, Dorothea's new book Liberty-Loving Lafayette presents in words and art the story of how the young Marquis De Lafayette came to the colonies in search of freedom and fought alongside the colonists until the end of the Revolutionary War.


Each left page of Jensen's work contains an image of a person or event portrayed in the narrative. The corresponding narrative relates the story. This book, designed for older students, can be used by teachers of the younger grades as well. It is a wonderful resource for any classroom, but especially for units of study about America's beginnings and fight for Independence.


Additionally, it is a wonderful companion piece to Jensen's award-winning middle-grade book A Buss from Lafayette.—Connie Huddleston, Award-Winning Author

A Fun Way to Learn

"A fun way to learn about an important piece of history and a key historical figure!"—G. Rix, Goodreads Review