Understood Betsy

Unabridged Audiobook

Written By: Dorothy Canfield

Narrated By: Bobbie Frohman

Publisher: Alcazar AudioWorks

Date: January 2006

Duration: 4 hours 52 minutes

Summary:

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""

AUTHOR
Dorothy Canfield
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.

Understood Betsy, her best known work, takes place in a Montessori-style schoolhouse, expressing her educational philosphy, in the guise of an entertaining children's story.

COMMENTARY
Reviews for Alcazar AudioWorks' production of Understood Betsy
Understood Betsy stands near the top of the list of our favorite read-alouds, and so I must admit it was with mingled anticipation and skepticism that we approached this book-on-CD set.

It had one thing in its favor, right away - the word ""unabridged"" on the cover. But could the reader do it justice?

The answer is a resounding, ""Yes!""

Alcazar AudioWorks has done a marvelous job of bringing Understood Betsy to CD. This CD set was an instant success at our house, from the cheerful man who introduces the book in general and each chapter in particular, to the charming music between chapters (our middle daughter just came into the room, especially to say, ""I like that music!"") to the magic of Bobbie Frohman's reading, bringing the story to life and giving each character an individual voice.

Understood Betsy is the story of Elizabeth Ann, an orphan who is torn from the only home she's known, from the tender care of her maiden aunts in the city. She is sent to the last place in the world she'd want to go - to the farm of her country cousins, a dreadful place where - just imagine it! - children are actually expected to do chores!

The change in her name, from Elizabeth Ann to ""Betsy,"" is only the first of many changes in her young life in this delightful tale where she grows in understanding, while we readers (or listeners, in this case) learn just which of Betsy's relatives truly understand her wants and needs.

If you like to listen to a story read well, I'd highly recommend this one.
We have only one complaint: Five hours of playing time is simply not enough! Because this book-on-CD is unabridged, that's all we get, but it certainly left us wanting more. I guess we'll just have to begin again.
Reviewed By: Jean Hall - EHO Eclectic Homeschool Online
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