Monday, April 25, 2016

Blog Tour/Review: A Buss from Lafayette by Dorothea Jensen

BeachBoundbooks is pleased to be coordinating a Blog Tour for the middle grade/young adult novel A Buss From Lafayette by Dorothea Jensen from April 11 - May 2, 2016.

About the Book

Title: A Buss From Lafayette
Author: Dorothea Jensen
Genre: Middle Grade/Young Adult Historical Fiction
Recommended Ages: 10-17
Number of Pages: 266
Publisher: BQB Publishing
Publication Date: April 22, 2016

Synopsis: Fourteen-year-old Clara Hargraves lives on a farm in Hopkinton, a small New Hampshire town, during the early 19th century. She has a couple of big problems. First of all, she has a stepmother, Priscilla, who used to be her spinster schoolteacher aunt. Clara resents that her late mother’s older sister has not only married her father but is about to have a baby. To make matters worse, “Prissy Priscilla” keeps trying to make the rambunctious, clever, and witty Clara act like a proper young lady. Secondly, Clara has red hair, making her a target for teasing by a handsome older boy, Dickon Weeks, and by her pretty seventeen-year-old Dread Cousin Hetty. Clara, however, has a secret plan she hopes will change this. During the last week of June, 1825, Clara’s town is abuzz because the famous General Lafayette is about to visit their state during his farewell tour of America. In those eventful seven days, Clara learns a lot about her family, Hetty, Dickon, herself, and about Lafayette. She comes to understand the huge and vital role the young French aristocrat played in America’s Revolutionary War and to see that her problems might not be quite so terrible after all.

This story takes place in New Hampshire in 1825. Clara is 14 years old and adjusting to a new family situation. Her mother died one year ago, and one week later, her father married her spinster aunt. On top of that, they're having a baby. Clara misses her mother and the way her life used to be. She is also sorely disappointed with the color of her hair--red! But she has a plan to change that. At dinner one night, her father talks about the Nation's Guest, who arrived in New Hampshire that day. His name--General Lafayette. 

This book was such a fun read! There were a few different storylines going on and I loved the way the author pulled them all together. Clara's family discussed General Lafayette and the contributions he made in helping the United States win the war and become a free country. There is a love interest, Dickon Weeks, who pays her attention. She's clueless when it comes to boys so their exchanges were entertaining. Her stepmother, Priscilla, is trying to turn her into a proper young lady and she wants no part of that. Clara softens towards Priscilla as she learns more about her. Her beautiful 17-year-old cousin Hetty comes to visit and she makes Clara feel like a child. 

This book takes place in one week and Clara learns and grows a lot during that short time period! I especially loved the stories of General Lafayette and learned so much more about him that I didn't know. This is my favorite way to learn history since the stories are brought to life and make me feel like I was there. I also liked the Glossary in the back. I didn't know what "buss" meant so was curious about the title and love the way it fit into the story! This is the first book I've read by this author but it won't be my last!

My Rating=5 Stars
Source: Received a copy via BeachBoundBooks for an honest review

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About the Author: Dorothea Jensen

Dorothea Jensen, born in Boston, Massachusetts, grew up in Chillicothe, Illinois. She majored in English literature at Carleton College. After teaching high-school English and serving as a Peace Corps volunteer in Brazil, she earned a master s degree in education at the University of New Mexico. In 1989, Harcourt Brace Jovanovich published Dorothea s novel for young readers about the American Revolution, The Riddle of Penncroft Farm. In addition to other honors, it was named an International Reading Association Teacher s Choices Selection and is read in classrooms throughout the U.S. A Buss from Lafayette is set in the small New Hampshire town where Dorothea 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. Dorothea also enjoys writing rhyming verse. She has written a series of award-winning illustrated modern Christmas stories in verse featuring Santa's Izzy Elves.

For more information about Dorothea and her books, please visit

Blog Tour Giveaway

Prize: One winner will receive a $25 Amazon gift card or $25 PayPal cash prize, winner's choice Giveaway ends: May 2, 11:59 pm, 2016 Open to: Internationally How to enter: Please enter using the Rafflecopter widget below.Terms and Conditions: NO PURCHASE NECESSARY TO ENTER OR WIN. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED BY LAW. A winner will be randomly drawn through the Rafflecopter widget and will be contacted by email within 48 hours after the giveaway ends. The winner will then have 72 hours to respond. If the winner does not respond within 72 hours, a new draw will take place for a new winner. Odds of winning will vary depending on the number of eligible entries received. This contest is in no way sponsored, endorsed or administered by, or associated with Facebook. This giveaway is sponsored by the author, Dorothea Jensen and is hosted and managed by Stacie from BeachBoundBooks. If you have any additional questions – feel free to send and email to

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Stacie Theis said...

Thank you for your wonderful review. I love learning history this way as well and must confess I didn't know what a buss was before reading this book either! Thank you for taking part in the tour.

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