Dorothea Jensen was born in Boston, and grew up in Chillicothe, Illinois. (This is the same little town where Johnston McCulley, the writer who created Zorro, grew up many years earlier.) She majored in English Literature at Carleton College and earned a masters degree in Secondary Education at the University of New Mexico. She has served as a Peace Corps Volunteer in South America, tutored refugees in ESL, taught junior high and high school English, and written grant proposals for arts organization. She and her husband have three grown children and six grandsons.
Her first historical novel for young readers, THE RIDDLE OF PENNCROFT FARM, was named an International Reading Association Teachers' Choices Selection soon after publication, and is read in classrooms throughout the U.S. as an enrichment resource for kids studying the American Revolution. In 2014, THE RIDDLE OF PENNCROFT FARM won a first place Purple Dragonfly Award in the historical fiction category. Houghton Mifflin Harcourt published an e-book edition of this book in 2014 as well.
TIZZY, THE CHRISTMAS SHELF ELF was Dorothea's first illustrated story in verse, which she wrote for families to read aloud with their elementary school-aged children. She has now completed three sequels: BLIZZY, THE WORRYWART ELF; DIZZY, THE STOWAWAY ELF, and FRIZZY, THE S.A.D. ELF. Modeled on the 19th century classic poem, "A Visit from St. Nicholas", these story poems feature decidedly 21st century elves. The Tizzy and Blizzy stories are recipients of a 2013 Mom's Choice Award in the e-book category. The Dizzy book was "Story Monster Approved" in May, 2014 and received a 2014 Purple Dragonfly Honorable Mention in the Picture Books Age 6 & Older category. The Frizzy story is the first place children's book winner in the new Red City Review Book Awards. It also is a 2014 Santa Choice Award Winner.
Santa's Izzy Elves stories are available in fully illustrated e-book and trade paperback editions, and as downloadable and CD audiobooks narrated by the author herself. Dorothea plans to write a story for each of the remaining Izzy Elves -- Bizzy, Whizzy, Fizzy, and Quizzy.
Dorothea's new historical novel for young readers, A BUSS FROM LAFAYETTE, was released in April, 2016 by BQB Publishing. It is set in 1825 in the small town in New Hampshire where she has lived since 1991. She is now working on a new novel set in 17th century Massachusetts, called A SCALP ON THE MOON.
In addition to writing, Dorothea is an experienced actress and singer. She performed with the Ex Machina Baroque Opera Company in Minneapolis, and also played most of the Gilbert and Sullivan battle-ax contralto and ingenue mezzo roles with companies in Philadelphia and Minneapolis. She nearly always lost the hero to the soprano.