Children’s historical fiction, ages 9-12.
If you should visit the Edwin Smith Historical Museum at the Athenaeum in Westfield, Massachusetts, you might meet Deborah, a very special doll.
Her story, which she’ll share with the other antique dolls every night at midnight, that magical hour when the dolls wake up, began three hundred years ago. Deborah, together with generations of girls who loved her, saw—and sometimes took part in—many scenes from American history in her little New England town.
Deborah can remember the terrible Indian massacre at Deerfield in 1704, and the old Puritan settlement of Westfield where little Mindwell played with her. She remembers Mercy Ann, who was so frightened of the Hessians during the Revolutionary War. She can even tell an exciting story about how she and her little mother Martha saved some runaway slaves in the Underground Railroad.
Deborah Remembers was based on many real local events and personalities from New England history. Deborah’s long, rich, often poignant story, which first delighted young readers in the 1950s and 60s, was created by Westfield historian Lillie V. Albrecht. The tale now returns, with annotations by Mrs. Albrecht’s granddaughter, author Susanne Alleyn, to enthrall a whole new generation of readers. Deborah will captivate you and touch your heart.
“A doll’s eye view of American history might be the subtitle of this delightful book. . . . Any little girl who ever loved a doll will love Deborah’s remembrances.”
The Chicago Tribune (1959)
|File size:||2 MB|
|Age Range:||5 - 13 Years|
About the Author
Lillie V. Albrecht (1894-1985), a descendant of seventeenth-century English Puritans, Nantucket Quakers, and Dutch settlers on Long Island, began working as assistant children's librarian at the Westfield Athenaeum in Westfield, Massachusetts, in 1927, and was the first curator of its Edwin Smith Historical Museum, serving from 1928 to 1952. The museum's Colonial Kitchen is now named after her.
The Albrechts lived for many years in Westfield, where Mrs. Albrecht became interested in the town's three centuries of history. It was to teach history that she first started writing short stories for children set among the real people and places of western Massachusetts and created the story of fictional antique doll Deborah.
The stories she wrote about Deborah's adventures in Westfield's history eventually became the full-length children's book Deborah Remembers. Publishers at first turned down a book about a doll's memoirs, but encouraged Mrs. Albrecht to write more historical children's stories. She then wrote Hannah's Hessian, which appeared in 1958 and was an immediate success; soon her publisher was eager to publish Deborah Remembers, which has since become the best-known of her books. Deborah was followed by three more stories set in Westfield and western Massachusetts in the colonial and Revolutionary eras, The Grist Mill Secret, The Spinning Wheel Secret, and Susanna's Candlestick.
Mrs. Albrecht's granddaughter, author Susanne Alleyn, is delighted to bring her books to a new generation of readers.