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Understood Betsy - Illustrated Paperback – July 24, 2013
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Uncle Henry, Aunt Abigail, and Cousin Ann, who all call her Betsy, are very different from Great-Aunt Harriet and Aunt Frances. While in Vermont, Betsy learns how to drive a horse-drawn wagon, starts helping with meal preparation, walks alone to a school where Aunt Frances has not told the teachers to pamper her, starts a sewing society among her friends and schoolmates to help a needy boy, and celebrates her tenth birthday by going to the Necronsett Valley Fair over in Woodford where she is accidentally left behind and must get herself and her little friend Molly home by themselves. By the end of her stay, she is no longer pale, thin, and weak, but tanned, muscular, and strong. What will Aunt Frances think when she comes to take Elizabeth Ann home? And will Betsy decide to go with her or will she want to stay with the Putneys?
Understood Betsy is a delightful story. Dorothy Canfield Fisher helped to introduce the Montessori method of teaching into the United States, and this book reflects her belief that children learn best in natural settings rather than artificial environments. This sounds a lot like what homeschoolers have found, doesn't it? Mrs. Fisher's views that school should be a place for actual education and learning rather than a mere formality may seem quaint to some but helps to explain what so many of us have found objectionable with modern public education. The word "gosh" is used a few times, and one man says, "Lord, no." There is one reference to dancing. Some have objected to what they feel is the author's somewhat heavy-handed "preachiness," but it is still a wonderful book and will give children a good view of what life was like almost a hundred years ago.
This novel reminds me of other novels about children. It reminds me a little bit of "Anne Of Green Gables", but, as I recollect, is somewhat shorter. This is a little girl who has lost her parents. She embarks on a series of childhood adventures with various relatives. In he course of these adventures, she learns a great number of life lessons. She also learns a lot about herself. It is truly a delightful story.
As a grandparent, I am looking for stories to read with my grandchildren and grand nieces and grand nephews. This story is perfect for such an endeavor. I believe it will suit a young lady more than a young man.
I thoroughly enjoyed this reading experience. Thank You...
We've been WAY too screen oriented lately and that has to stop so we now are having some family out loud reading time. My kids are enjoying this. Not as thrilling as video games of course but it keeps their attention enough, I don't get complaints. Miracle!
Wonderful book for kids really. Shows how a life revolving around someone does not help them but 'spoils' them (here it's a child). Oddly I read parenting materials catching up with this book recently saying don't praise children for breathing and every little thing, nor let the household revolve around them. Its sets them up for many disappointments and failures in the future.
She write of a young girl loved, but very coddled by her over protective aunts who are raising her because she is orphaned. Something happened where she winds up with her cousins in Vermont, people who her aunts frown upon for they seem "cold" in their views of raising children.
Well nothing could be further from the truth. Betsy's Vermont experience teaches her how to use her brain to problem solve, how to make decisions, how to think for herself... And for the first time ever Betsy no longer fears life from her aunts fearful perspective, but she is happy and finds the true meaning of love. She really finds herself and likes who she is. I highly recommend this book!!