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A Buss from Lafayette

4.10  ·  Rating details ·  48 ratings  ·  23 reviews
Fourteen-year-old Clara Hargraves lives on a farm in Hopkinton, a small New Hampshire town, during the 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, still grieving for her mother, resents that her late mother’s older sister has not only married her father but is about to ...more
Paperback, 266 pages
Published April 22nd 2016 by BQB Publishing
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Dorothea Jensen I am going to answer this question the same way I answered many, many young readers' requests that I write a sequel to THE RIDDLE OF PENNCROFT FARM. H…moreI am going to answer this question the same way I answered many, many young readers' requests that I write a sequel to THE RIDDLE OF PENNCROFT FARM. Here is my answer: I created these characters and launched them into the world. They now belong to you as much as they do to me! Therefore, put your imagination to work and spin out the story in your head however you like. (However, I will say that Clara definitely does go to the new school when it opens. I believe she was always at the top of her class.)(less)

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 ·  48 ratings  ·  23 reviews

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Mar 22, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: net-g
Clara Hargraves is the heroine of A Buss from Lafayette. She is a young teenager living in New England, and the book is related from her point of view. She is dealing with a new step-mother (her deceased mother's older sister) a spiteful cousin, a clueless brother, and all the intensity of being required to act more like a young lady than like a child. Add to that the visit of a nationally adored hero, the Marquis de Lafayette, and the result is a sometimes overly sweet narrative.

Clara is quite
Aug 24, 2019 rated it really liked it
Quick, enjoyable, historical youth fiction. Lafayette seems to be the one person from revolutionary times that everyone loved.
Mar 03, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: reviews
A Buss from Lafayette is an exquisitely detailed and beautifully penned historical fiction novel that chronicles a week's worth of events that ultimately transform a girl into a budding young woman.

It's the summer of 1825 and General Lafayette is on a farewell tour as the Nation's Guest. People are lining up in the big cities just to catch a glimpse of this remarkable man who helped secure America's freedom from the British.

At the same time, in the small town of Hopkinton a girl named Clara Har
Tonja Drecker
Apr 24, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Clara is a 13/14 year old girl, who's still coming to terms with the death of her mother, quick marriage of her father to her aunt and the fast approaching birth of her half-sister. Add her strong dislike for her red hair, a pesky brother and the horrid idea that she should give up the most fun aspects of life a
Cat Michaels
Apr 18, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: ya
Clara is a likeable teen and a 19th-century tomboy of sorts, who strides a horse and swims in the pond. On the cusp of adulthood, she experiences conflicting feelings toward Dickon, a childhood playmate who suddenly asks her to a dance.  The book-ended connections about Clara’s auburn hair tie the plot together in a charming way.
The narrative moves forward, in part, through Clara’s diaries and letters which offer unique insights into the red-haired protagonist.  This epistolary style keeps th ...more
Apr 27, 2016 rated it it was amazing
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. H ...more
Jan 20, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Great story! I'm glad I discovered this author. She writes so well and makes her characters so believable. Her other book of historical fiction about the American Revolution is "The Riddle of Penncroft Farm," which was published a while back in 1989. It got all sorts of awards and I'm sure this one will too. This one is about a 14-yr old girl, Clara, who lives in Hopkinton, NH in the 1820s when General Lafayette was on his tour of the US to celebrate the 50th year of American independence that h ...more
Nov 17, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Very Impressive!

I am wonderfully impressed by this book! The author brought so many facts about the Revolutionary War and General Lafayette out in such an organic manner! All of the conversations I can clearly see taking place in my mind as the characters discuss events of the War and the actions of General Lafayette. While it is a little more difficult to see a very young female as being outspoken enough to interrupt adult male conversations without rebuke given the time of the setting, her gro
Mar 22, 2016 rated it liked it
The Skinny
A historical fiction book that heavily focuses on the American Revolution and the Frenchman – known as the National Guest in the States – General Lafayette. It is set in June 1825. The story is told from the point of view of 14-year-old Clara Hargraves from New Hampshire. She is struggling with some major changes in her life (like her spinster smarmy schoolteacher aunt now being her stepmother – and pregnant!). As if that is not betrayal enough, now “Prissy Priscilla” is trying to conf
Julie Hayes
Jul 13, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: dnf
I wanted to like this book so badly because it's about Lafayette, and I love Lafayette, but I couldn't. It's not badly written, but I couldn't get into it. The author obviously did her research, but that's the trouble. If you notice the research, there's something wrong. She didn't incorporate it into the story as much as she incorporated the story into the research. I think she would have been better off telling the story in third person rather than first. Her heroine does not come off very wel ...more
Elaine Milks
Nov 12, 2017 rated it it was amazing
A Buss from Lafayette, by Dorothea Jensen, is a delightful historical fiction for younger women. And if you didn’t already know, the word “buss” means kiss. Being a grandmother, I must say that I enjoyed every word of it. It is well-written, entertaining and a wonderful peek into the life of a girl who had just turned fourteen in 1825. The book gives the reader a small window into the history of the American Revolution, when General Lafayette, a man who played a critical role in the victory, is ...more
Dec 09, 2019 rated it liked it
Maybe 3.5 stars - I really enjoyed Clara's story, and as a former history major/teacher, I liked that there was history of the American Revolution and General Lafayette included. The problem was that it wasn't just included, it sometimes took over the whole story. It felt like the author was teaching a history lesson too many times and I found myself skimming over some of those sections. Less would have been more in this book.
Katelyn Marie
May 24, 2019 rated it liked it
3.5 stars but we dont do the half stars here. Not a bad read, I would recommend this read to anyone who is just starting to learn about Lafayette and his incredible career and his legacy in the Revolutionary War...
Dec 03, 2017 rated it it was ok
Did you ever watch "Pop-up Video" as a kid? This feels a lot like that, in that you pretty much already know how the plot is going to go and vaguely on theme facts randomly pop up in ways that are only tangentially related to it. 2.5 stars for holding my interest in spite of that.
Nov 19, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Fun, educational story

I learned a bit of history through this story. It is a fun way to teach about the revolutionary war.
Ila Jo Harrell
Dec 26, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
An ageless delight

This book is a great read whether you are 9 or 90. It has a bit of a history lesson as well as a life lesson in it for all of us. I thoroughly enjoyed this book.
Sep 25, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: middle-grade
Quick read; great children's historical fiction with a lot of real people mentioned. Taught a lot about the Revolutionary War in a fun way.
Oct 05, 2018 rated it really liked it
You know when you see a book title and you think it's a really deep metaphor, but then a) you realize they're just quoting the book, or b) you don't know what "buss" means?
Shelle Perry
Apr 14, 2016 rated it it was amazing

Leo Review

In this coming age novel, Clara Hargraves must come to terms with a step mother she feels is trying to take her dead mother’s place, her flaming red hair that draws attention and teasing, and just being a 14 year old girl.

The book takes place in 1825 and as the title suggests, central to the story is the tour of The States by revolutionary War Hero, General Lafayette. While Clara navigates the inevitable and timeless pitfalls of being a 14 year old, the world around her is a buzz with Lafayette’
Apr 19, 2016 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: History lovers, 10+, Teachers, Homeschoolers
I found the story charming and very educational. I learned a lot about General Lafayette's role in the American Revolution.

I liked Clara's personality and the evolving relationship with her stepmother, cousin, and Dickon, who used to tease her. I think if there had been a little more interaction with each of those characters, it would have been even better.

I think fans of Laura Ingalls' books, Anne of Green Gables, and Larkrise to Candleford would enjoy this.

Some young people might feel this is
Apr 07, 2016 rated it really liked it
As a fan of The Riddle of Penncroft Farm, I was hoping A Buss From Lafayette would be as good, and it is! The characters really came to life for me and the story moved along at a good pace. The heroine, Clara, has some of the same issues as girls of today, even though she’s living almost 200 years ago! Historical fiction fans will enjoy this book, especially as it was based upon a real historical event, General Lafayette’s visit to New Hampshire. I found the glossary helpful and informative. Rea ...more
Sarah Sammis
Dec 07, 2016 rated it liked it
Shelves: cybils, read-in-2016
Although Lafayette's impending arrival is the big story, mostly the book is about the way families change and how Clara and her stepmother come to terms with their relationship. Clara learns things about her stepmother that she didn't know. The stepmother lets her guard down enough to show that she too is grieving for her sister's death. Clara realizes she can love her stepmother and still love her mother.
Kay LaLone
Apr 22, 2016 rated it it was amazing
This book takes the reader back in time to the year 1825. Clara is fourteen and her stepmother is trying to teach her how to be a lady. Her stepmother was looking more like a fairy godmother and less like a wicked stepmother. Clara wanted to learn as much as she could about this Frenchman who had done so much for her country. Entertaining and educational read. I received this book free for an honest review.
Starlia Phillips
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Wendy Phillips
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Feb 22, 2018
rated it it was amazing
Aug 30, 2018
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Dorothea Jensen was born in Boston, and grew up in Chillicothe, Illinois. (This is the same little town where Johnston McCulley, the writer who created Zorro, grew up many years earlier.) She majored in English Literature at Carleton College and earned a masters degree in Secondary Education at the University of New Mexico. She has served as a Peace Corps Volunteer in South America, tutored refuge ...more

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