Understood Betsy

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Overview

Thanks to loving but over-protective guardian aunts, Elizabeth Ann is a fearful, self-absorbed, nine-year-old hypochondriac. Most terrible on her list of fears is "those horrid Putney, Vermont cousins" her aunts shudder at mentioning. When they are suddenly no longer able to care for her, she is, incredibly, sent to live with those very cousins. Upon arrival in Vermont, she is immediately invited by Uncle Henry to drive the carriage. Steering the fearsome horses begins her adventures in New England - and ...
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Understood Betsy

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Overview

Thanks to loving but over-protective guardian aunts, Elizabeth Ann is a fearful, self-absorbed, nine-year-old hypochondriac. Most terrible on her list of fears is "those horrid Putney, Vermont cousins" her aunts shudder at mentioning. When they are suddenly no longer able to care for her, she is, incredibly, sent to live with those very cousins. Upon arrival in Vermont, she is immediately invited by Uncle Henry to drive the carriage. Steering the fearsome horses begins her adventures in New England - and independence. Rules at the comfortable farmhouse are relaxed. Aunt Abigail serves baked beans in the kitchen, Elizabeth Ann - now Betsy - must wash her own dishes, and is expected to walk to school alone. Gradually Betsy comes to enjoy the "queer Putney ways" of her country cousins, not realizing that they are teaching her to think for herself. When the aunts write inviting her to return, Betsy must make a difficult choice.

Timid and small for her age, nine-year-old Elizabeth Ann discovers her own abilities and gains a new perception of the world around her when she goes to live with relatives on a farm in Vermont.

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Editorial Reviews

Emilie Buchwald
This edition is a pleasure to hold and to read. I hope that it will introduce another generation to Understood Betsy, a book that will continue to warm readers well into the next millennium. Riverbank Review
Children's Literature - Ellen R. Braaf
Nine-year-old Elizabeth Ann, who was orphaned as a baby, lives in the city with her two doting aunts. They suffocate her with love, dedicating all their energies to her care. When Aunt Harriet becomes ill, Elizabeth Ann is ordered away by the doctor. Having heard terrible things about her cousins, the Putneys of Vermont, she's terrified when she has to go live with them. As soon as she gets off the train in Vermont, Elizabeth Ann's life is never the same. Her much-feared Great-uncle Henry gently begins the transformation when--with only a brief explanation of how to control the horses--he hands her the reins and lets her drive their wagon home. With the Putney's love and encouragement, the coddled, frail and insecure Elizabeth Ann changes into the robust, confident, and capable Betsy. Dorothy Canfield Fisher's commitment to the Montessori philosophy is evident in this delightful and heartwarming classic. The pencil drawings by Kimberly Bulcken Root add charm to this new edition. 1999 (orig.
New York Times Book Review
Understood Betsy is sure to delight a new generation of very busy, overscheduled chidren whose own chances for early independemce and initiative are limited. It may even teach their parents a thing or two about the best way to raise a child.
—Elizabeth Spires
From the Publisher
"Understood Betsy is as satisfying in its evocation of an earlier, simpler way of life as Laura Ingalls Wilder's Little House books, and psychologically more acute. Fisher is a master of presenting, in a low-key, humorous way, a 'New Englandy' way of doing and saying things . . . Understood Betsy is sure to delight a new generation of very busy, over-scheduled children whose own chances for early independence and initiative are limited. It may even teach their parents a thing or two about the best way to raise a child." —New York Times Book Review
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780816729029
  • Publisher: Troll Communications L.L.C.
  • Publication date: 9/1/1992
  • Edition description: REPRINT

Meet the Author

Named by Eleanor Roosevelt as one of America's ten most influential women, DOROTHY CANFIELD FISHER (1879 - 1958) brought the Montessori Method of child rearing to America, presided over the country's first adult education program, and for 25 years influenced American literary tastes as a member of the Book-of-the-Month Club selection committee. A committed social activist and educational reformer, the popular Arlington, Vermont writer produced 22 works of fiction, including Seasoned Timber and 18 nonfiction books on a wide range of subjects.
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4
( 23 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(15)

4 Star

(2)

3 Star

(1)

2 Star

(3)

1 Star

(2)

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 23 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 14, 2000

    My Favorite Book!

    I love to read, and have read MANY, but this is my favorite! I read it over and over, as a girl, and then read it aloud to my husband and children, several times. Now, the kids are grown and married, and I'm about to read it, again, as my new daughter-in-law has never heard it! Sure, I could let her read it, herself, but this is an excuse for me to live in Betsy's world, once more! When I get to the chapter in which Betsy learns she must soon leave the farm, I cry, every time, though I try bravely not to! I feel that that says something for the author, Dorothy Canfield. She makes her stories truly live! I hope my kids will pass this story on to generations to come, as it is timeless, educational, and heartwarming.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted June 27, 2000

    Read It!

    This book is a great book for girls! Boys may not like it because it is not exciting!Betsy learns to think for herself and to be brave. When she is 8 she is sent to live with her horrible coisins out in the country.Well when she gets there she finds out that they are not horrible at all!And.....well you will have to read it to find out. Its a great book, read it!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted October 12, 2013

    Great book for kids

    This was my favorite book as a child. Didn't disappoint now that I am 69. Will share with my grandchildren,

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted September 25, 2013

    Sweet story....Great book

    It was a great book!

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted June 20, 2013

    Great Book!

    Wonderful!!!

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted January 30, 2013

    sweet

    verrrrrrrrrrrrrrrry cute and inerstin
    gurt 4 kids

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted August 16, 2012

    Never read it

    I never read this book but im giving a three. Because its probably a good book. Once i read it ill rate it again.

    0 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted May 17, 2012

    A childhood favorite.

    This is a story of a young girl growing up and learning self reliance all wrapped up in a very enjoyable story. I was given this book when I was ten years old and it became one of my favorite books of all time. I purchased this copy for a great-niece.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted January 30, 2012

    Ok

    it was ok

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted April 6, 2011

    Classic

    This book changed my childhood. read it. now. seriously. buy it. its free. do it. now.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted July 7, 2010

    Sweet and charming.

    An old family favorite - I was glad to find it in a form that could go on my Nook. A few typos, but nothing really annoying. . .

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted June 17, 2001

    Great book!

    This was a childhood favorite of mine. I always disappeared into the story, and I liked this old-fashioned picture of Vermont farm life. A child reading this gets a glimpse into a world that has disappeared.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted February 11, 2013

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 19, 2012

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 29, 2010

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 4, 2010

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 3, 2010

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 29, 2011

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted May 25, 2011

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 6, 2010

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 23 Customer Reviews

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