Understood Betsy

Understood Betsy by Dorothy Canfield Fisher

Understood Betsy by Dorothy Canfield Fisher

Understood Betsy is a 1916 novel for children by Dorothy Canfield Fisher. The story tells of Elizabeth Ann, a 9-year-old orphan who goes from a sheltered existence with her father’s aunt Harriet and cousin Frances in the city, to living on a Vermont farm with her mother’s family, the Putneys, whose child-rearing practices had always seemed suspect to Harriet and her daughter. In her new rural life, Elizabeth Ann comes to be nicknamed “Betsy,” and to find that many activities that Frances had always thought too demanding for a little girl are considered, by the Putney family, ordinary expectations for a child: walking to school alone, cooking, and having household duties to perform.

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Handel : The Story of a Little Boy who Practiced in an Attic

Handel : The Story of a Little Boy who Practiced in an Attic by Thomas Tapper

Handel : The Story of a Little Boy who Practiced in an Attic by Thomas Tapper

This is a collection of ten short, entertaining, informative picture-book biographies of famous composers. Each book tells about the childhood and great achievements of a composer, and includes a short musical example.

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Kato Clever and the Big Trouble

Kato Clever and the Big Trouble by Pratham Books

Kato Clever and the Big Trouble by Pratham Books

Kato, the squirrel’s family lived in a garden. One day, some people came there with machines to cut down the trees. how did Kato and his friends save themselves from this big trouble?

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The Story of a Bad Boy

The Story of a Bad Boy by Thomas Bailey Aldrich

The Story of a Bad Boy by Thomas Bailey Aldrich

Thomas Bailey Aldrich was a child when his father moved to New Orleans from Portsmouth, New Hampshire. After 10 years, Aldrich was sent back to Portsmouth to prepare for college. This period of his life is partly described in his semi-autobiographical novel The Story of a Bad Boy, in which “Tom Bailey” is the juvenile hero. Critics have said that this novel contains the first realistic depiction of childhood in American fiction and prepared the ground for Adventures of Huckleberry Finn. Aldrich went on to associate with many of the literati of his time in New York City.

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My Doggie and I

My Doggie and I by R. M. Ballantyne

My Doggie and I by R. M. Ballantyne

This story surrounds a child waif, a young woman, a young gentleman doctor, and an elderly lady. This tale unfolds the story of a bond that brings these unlikely friends together and merges their separate paths of life into one common path. The bond is “Dumps”, or “Pompey”, the “doggie”. With many twists, turns, and uncertainties, the ending may surprise the reader. All’s well that ends well in this doggie “tail”.

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Folklore of the Santal Parganas

Folklore of the Santal Parganas

Folklore of the Santal Parganas

This is an intriguing collection of folklore from the Santal Parganas, a district in India located about 150 miles from Calcutta. As its Preface implies, this collection is intended to give an unadulterated view of a culture through its folklore. It contains a variety of stories about different aspects of life, including family and marriage, religion, and work. In this first volume, taken from Part I, each story is centered around a particular human character. These range from the charmingly clever (as in the character, The Oilman, in the story, “The Oilman and His Sons”) to the tragically comical (as in the character, Jhore, in the story “Bajun and Jhore”). In later parts, the stories will focus on other subjects, including spirits, animals, and legends from this culture.

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The Grey Fairy Book

The Grey Fairy Book by Andrew Lang

The Grey Fairy Book by Andrew Lang

The tales in the Grey Fairy Book are derived from many countries—Lithuania, various parts of Africa, Germany, France, Greece, and other regions of the world. They have been translated and adapted by Mrs. Dent, Mrs. Lang, Miss Eleanor Sellar, Miss Blackley, and Miss hang. ‘The Three Sons of Hali’ is from the last century ‘Cabinet des Fees,’ a very large collection. The French author may have had some Oriental original before him in parts; at all events he copied the Eastern method of putting tale within tale, like the Eastern balls of carved ivory. The stories, as usual, illustrate the method of popular fiction. A certain number of incidents are shaken into many varying combinations, like the fragments of coloured glass in the kaleidoscope. Probably the possible combinations, like possible musical combinations, are not unlimited in number, but children may be less sensitive in the matter of fairies than Mr. John Stuart Mill was as regards music. (Summary from the preface)

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More William

More William by Richmal Crompton

More William by Richmal Crompton

The second of Crompton’s series of 39 books about William Brown, our cheeky 11 year-old protagonist. A hero to some, a dastardly villain to others, this book is structured round a year in his life. Starting with William waking up on Christmas morning and ending with him going to sleep the following Christmas Eve, there are the usual round of misadventures, misunderstandings, and general mayhem in between. When a boy like William wakes up under a motto that says “A Busy Day Is A Happy Day” alongside a copy of “Things A Boy Can Do”, chaos is just around the corner. Includes the very first William short story – “Rice Mould”. Often dismissed as children’s literature, the first few books of William stories were probably aimed more at an adult audience. They resonate with a distinctly English humor, but there are obvious echoes from ‘Tom Sawyer’ and ‘Huckleberry Finn’.

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Robinson Crusoe – in Words of One Syllable

Robinson Crusoe - in Words of One Syllable by Mary Godolphin

Robinson Crusoe – in Words of One Syllable by Mary Godolphin

Mary Godolphin was the pseudonym of Lucy Aikin who undertook translating great literature into single-syllable words so that young readers could enjoy plots that were considerably more interesting than, say, the McGuffey readers or the “Dick and Jane” primers. She produced this volume based on Daniel Defoe’s most famous work, considered by many to be the first English novel.

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