Elizabeth Ann was orphaned at an early age and raised by her maiden aunts in the busy city. Sudden illness forces the aunts to send Betsy to other relatives, The Putnams, who live in the country on a farm. Betsy learns all about the farm and making butter and applesauce and dearly loves her new life. When one of the aunts comes back and wants to take Betsy back to the city. . . such a dilemma!
Children can readily relate to Betsy who is a real girl in a real world where fortune seems to direct her life. She so loves being on the farm and doing all the things a farm girl does, including going to school. When fate again intervenes and tries to take her away from the life she loves, some manner of common sense hitcomes into play and Betsy, though torn, bounds into another day of farmlife, full of caring love for all she comes in contact with, and grows into a beautiful young lady.
Table of Contents:
Chapter 01. Aunt Harriet Has a Cough
Chapter 02. Betsy Holds the Reins
Chapter 03. A Short Morning
Chapter 04. Betsy Goes to School
Chapter 05. What Grade is Betsy?
Chapter 06. If You Don't Like Conversation in a Book Skip this Chapter!
Chapter 07. Elizabeth Ann Fails in an Examination
Chapter 08. Betsy Starts a Sewing Society
Chapter 09. The New Clothes Fail
Chapter 10. Betsy Has a Birthday
Chapter 11. "Understood Aunt Frances"
Dorothea Frances Canfield (1879-1958) was an American author and both an child and adult educational activist. Canfield worked closely with Maria Monterssori in Italy, and was greatly influential in promoting education in the United States.
Dorothy Canfield was born in Kansas, but her family traveled as her father's academic career progressed, he eventually became president of Ohio State University. Canfield settled in Vermont with her husband and children, and continued writing professionally.
Public Domain (P)2006 Alcazar Audioworks
it's starts slow but hang with it and it gets really good. this was part of our homeschool lessons and I struggled to read it aloud with the kids because it starts slow but we enjoyed listening to it together.
'Understood Betsy' shows us a little girl who grows up to enjoy learning, become curious, act with courage and love work. The setting is around 1900 and the risk-averse Aunt Francis, because of other duties, has to put little Betsy under the care of the gauche farmer cousins. Surprisingly, Betsy thrives.
All of my kids, aged 3-12 loved this story. The narration was good, in that the narrator brings out the right nuance in such a way that little kids get what's being suggested but not being said. This story ranks up w Little House on the Prairie and Little Britches
This tale takes me back to a time when hard work and family were important. I enjoyed the story very much. It's a simple children's tale but adults can get much from it, as well.
Have a renewed interest in books after falling in love with audio books. I am listening to all different genres and exploring different authors.
I would describe this book as "old-fashioned." It was okay, and pleasant to read, but not griping. It made me smile in a couple of spots, and I think the narrator did a good job.
This was my favorite book as a child and I read it many times, so I'm fairly biased. :-) But I didn't announce this to the kids when I bought it and several others from Audible. They started listening while I was at work and when I got home both kids and Dad/husband were sitting silently, hanging on every word.
I loved this story because it shows the transformation of a shy anxious child (which I was) into a spunky, confident person (which I am now, partly thanks to the influence of this book). It is a great story but also something of a treatise on the author's beliefs about child development, education, etc. The adults are kind and helpful but also give Betsy the opportunity to learn to think independently, problem solve, etc. She learns to deal with test anxiety, pride, lack of attention, scary situations, etc. There are some heavy topics (including a child with an alcoholic step father) but all dealt with in a way that I felt was entirely appropriate for by almost-5 year old. Characters are not one dimensional. At the end, we are able to see Aunt Frances (Betsy's original caregiver) in a whole new light
The book is about a girl but very appropriate for boys too--my 8 year old son especially enjoyed all the small adventures --rescuing a little girl who fell into the "wolf pit" (no wolves involved), getting lost at the fair, etc.
We all liked the narrator. She does a good job with pacing and emotion and uses slightly different voices during dialogue so you can easily follow who is saying what. Even with how many times I've read the book, I felt like I understood the characters better after hearing this narrator read them. My kids like almost any narrator but I'm really picky so that's a high compliment.
I would recommend pre-reading if you have a child under about 6 or an especially sensitive child--the book starts off with Betsy being sent away from the only family she's ever known. But ultimately, I would highly recommend this book and this performance of it for the whole family.
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