Author Dorothea Jensen is proud to be one of a very few people who has boarded a pirate ship and attacked a dragon-prowed Viking vessel manned by real, horn-wearing Vikings. She was born in Boston, but grew up in Chillicothe, Illinois, site of the Viking adventure. She earned a BA in English from Carleton College and an MA in Education from the University of New Mexico. She has served as a Peace Corps Volunteer in South America, taught middle and high school English, tutored refugees in ESL, written grant proposals for various arts and history non-profits, written one play performed in Noh style, and another celebrating Lafayette's Farewell Tour performed at Old Sturbridge Village.
Her first historical novel for young readers, THE RIDDLE OF PENNCROFT FARM, has been used in classrooms for many years as an enrichment resource for studying the American Revolution. Her second, A BUSS FROM LAFAYETTE, is set during General Lafayette's Farewell Tour of America (1824-5) in the small town in New Hampshire where she has lived since 1991. She also co-authored a teacher's guide for using A BUSS FROM LAFAYETTE to help students understand the Lafayette's Revolutionary role, the French Alliance and other facts about the Revolutionary War.
In addition, Dorothea writes modern Christmas stories in verse. Modeled on the 19th century classic poem "A Visit from St. Nicholas," these award-winning illustrated story poems feature decidedly 21st century elves savvy in modern technology. Five stories have been published: TIZZY, THE CHRISTMAS SHELF ELF; BLIZZY, THE WORRYWART ELF; DIZZY, THE STOWAWAY ELF; FRIZZY, THE S.A.D. ELF, and BIZZY, THE BOSSY BOOTS ELF--the last of which she wrote during the 2020 Shutdown.
Another product of the 2020 pandemic was LIBERTY-LOVING LAFAYETTE: HOW "AMERICA'S FAVORITE FIGHTING FRENCHMAN" HELPED WIN OUR INDEPENDENCE. For this unique work, Dorothea combined her knowledge of history and her delight in versifying to create a short, playful rhyming narrative about Lafayette's role in our Revolution.
Liberty-Loving Lafayette: How "America's Favorite Fighting Frenchman" Helped Win Our Independence
Inspired by the Broadway hit, HAMILTON, and by Longfellow's "The Midnight Ride of Paul Revere," author Dorothea Jensen wrote this short RHYMING narrative about the Marquis de Lafayette and his crucial role in our Revolutionary War. This playful historical account is aimed at young and older adults, as well as middle graders.A glossary, extensive endnotes, and classic pictures supply further information about the historical figures and events mentioned in the poem. Although the poetic narrative itself takes only 20 minutes to read aloud, all of Lafayette's contributions to our fight for freedom are accurately described. (Kirkus Reviews has deemed it "entertaining and instructive.")A Few Things You Will Learn from this Book:
Who the unlikely person was who inspired Lafayette to help America
How Lafayette's powerful father-in-law tried to discourage his plan
Why such a high rank was given to an inexperienced 19-year-old
How Lafayette helped strengthen the crucial French Alliance
What Lafayette's key successes were as a military commander in America
Jensen has previously written two historical novels for young readers (middle graders and young adults) about Lafayette and about the American Revolution. These are entitled A BUSS FROM LAFAYETTE, and THE RIDDLE OF PENNCROFT FARM.
A Buss from Lafayette2016