I'm pleased to be partnering with Beach Bound Books on a Blog Tour for a YA historical fiction, A Buss from Lafayette, and offering a chance to win a $25 Gift Card.
To enter, just click on the giveaway widget entry below by 2 May. Then read on for details about the book, meet author Dorothea Jensen, and find my review. Good luck with the giveaway and happy tales!
About the Book
Fourteen-year-old Clara Hargraves lives on a farm in 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 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
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 the story interesting and engaging.
Jensen sprinkles large doses of early-American history throughout the narrative, which are often recounted in stories told by old-timers or discussed at the family dinner table. In some instances, the historical references go on a bit too long and could be condensed for YA readers.
What tweens and teens will like
Buss hits most criteria for teen angst, even though it’s not a contemporary setting. Girls will identify with Clara’s struggles to find herself and fit in with society. She is in turmoil with her parents, especially with her new mother, and can’t understand why her childhood playmate, Dickon, suddenly asks her to the dance.
What family members, educators will like
Ah, the challenge of teen years, even across the centuries! While Jensen shows Clara’s rebellious side and search for identity, Clara ultimately makes peace with the people in her life and and comes to terms with the changes they face. Best, she accepts her unique talents and physical appearance as gifts to be treasured, not scorned.
This is a great read for those who love early-American history. Librarians and history teachers will want to recommend Buss for Layfayette to girls in their classes.
Tween and teen girls will enjoy stepping back in time with Jensen’s historical fiction/coming-of age tale. Along with snippets of history, it offers just enough teen struggle and budding romance to keep YA readers and history buffs turning the page to find out what happens to Clara.
I received a free digital edition of this book in exchange for an honest review.
For more information about Dorothea and her books, please visit http://www.dorotheajensen.com/.
Blog Tour GiveawayPrize: 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 stacie@BeachBoundBooks.com.
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