A Buss from Lafayette


Young Adult - Coming of Age
266 Pages
Reviewed on 03/31/2022
Buy on Amazon

This author participates in the Readers' Favorite Free Book Program, which is open to all readers and is completely free. The author will provide you with a free copy of their book in exchange for an honest review. You and the author will discuss what sites you will post your review to and what kind of copy of the book you would like to receive (eBook, PDF, Word, paperback, etc.). To begin, click the purple email icon to send this author a private email.

This author participates in the Readers' Favorite Book Review Exchange Program, which is open to all authors and is completely free. Simply put, you agree to provide an honest review an author's book in exchange for the author doing the same for you. What sites your reviews are posted on (B&N, Amazon, etc.) and whether you send digital (eBook, PDF, Word, etc.) or hard copies of your books to each other for review is up to you. To begin, click the purple email icon to send this author a private email, and be sure to describe your book or include a link to your Readers' Favorite review page or Amazon page.

This author participates in the Readers' Favorite Book Donation Program, which was created to help nonprofit and charitable organizations (schools, libraries, convalescent homes, soldier donation programs, etc.) by providing them with free books and to help authors garner more exposure for their work. This author is willing to donate free copies of their book in exchange for reviews (if circumstances allow) and the knowledge that their book is being read and enjoyed. To begin, click the purple email icon to send this author a private email. Be sure to tell the author who you are, what organization you are with, how many books you need, how they will be used, and the number of reviews, if any, you would be able to provide.

    Book Review

Reviewed by Jamie Michele for Readers' Favorite

A Buss from Lafayette by Dorothea Jensen is a historical fiction tale set over the course of a week in the early 19th century, as narrated by a fourteen-year-old girl named Clara Hargraves. She lives in a small town in New Hampshire with her father, her brother Joss, and her pregnant stepmother, Priscilla, who had been Clara and Joss' aunt until their mother died the previous year and their father took her as his wife. Each of the seven parts begins with a journal entry by Clara that blends into the actual events in the subsequent chapters. Most boil down to Clara's resistance to her stepmother's attempts to gentrify her, her chores, what she gets up to in her free time, her hoping to do away with her red hair, her dislike of her brother's friend, and a special visitor who shows her a bit of attention.

A Buss from Lafayette is a cute little story, and Dorothea Jensen has written a fine addition to the young adult historical fiction genre. The quality of writing is lovely and the attention to period detail is excellent and comes across naturally, as opposed to feeling like a lesson. Clara is likable and was almost instantly reminiscent of Laura Ingalls or Anne Shirley, but with traits that make her an individual. I'm not a fan of journal entry books because they feel a bit like cheating, but the way Jensen incorporates them works well here. The first entry is slightly overloaded with information, but those that come after are not, while the innocence of Clara's world - and make no mistake, it is very innocent - is portrayed through her eyes. This is an enjoyable read for the mid-grade to early teen groups because of its light-hearted plot and Clara's age, but also for those of us of a certain age who are looking for a tidy, uncomplicated trip into the sunset of the Georgian era. Recommended.

Heather Stockard

Fourteen-year-old Clara Hargraves has grown up on tales of the Marquis de Lafayette and his bravery, and his coming is the talk of her small New Hampshire town and the country. Clara finds it all very exciting, but she has other things to worry about too. Her stepmother, Prissy, who also happens to be her mother’s sister, is expecting a baby soon, and Clara’s feelings are decidedly mixed. She hasn’t been able to forgive her aunt and father for marrying so soon after her mother’s death. Prissy has taken it upon herself to see that Clara becomes a proper young lady, which does not help their relationship. Clara is also dealing with self-esteem issues regarding her bright red hair, which has been the object of derision by her pretty cousin, and good-natured teasing from her brother’s best friend, Dickon. Clara must come to terms with change and growing up, and a chance encounter with Lafayette helps her in more ways than one.

It’s 1825, more than forty years since the end of the Revolutionary War, and one of its greatest heroes is touring the United States. This provides the background to A Buss from Lafayette by Dorothea Jensen. A Buss from Lafayette is a charming coming-of-age novel. Jensen’s admiration for Lafayette and other Revolutionary War heroes is reflected in the rich historical details and her meticulous research. Clara is a well-written and nuanced character. Her struggles are relatable and her relationships with the other characters are realistically written. This is a great read for any young history lover.