Understood Betsy

Dorothy Canfield Fisher (1879 - 1958)

Understood Betsy is a 1916 novel for children by Dorothy Canfield Fisher. The story tells of Elizabeth Ann, a 9-year-old orphan who goes from a sheltered existence with her father's aunt Harriet and cousin Frances in the city, to living on a Vermont farm with her mother's family, the Putneys, whose child-rearing practices had always seemed suspect to Harriet and her daughter. In her new rural life, Elizabeth Ann comes to be nicknamed "Betsy," and to find that many activities that Frances had always thought too demanding for a little girl are considered, by the Putney family, ordinary expectations for a child: walking to school alone, cooking, and having household duties to perform.

The child thrives in her new environment, learning to make butter, boil maple syrup, and tend the animals. When Frances announces she is to be married and has come to "save" Elizabeth Ann from the dreaded Putney cousins, she is amazed to discover that the little girl is quite content to stay. The story ends after Frances has returned home, with Betsy, her aunt Abigail, uncle Henry, and cousin Ann sitting quietly and happily around the fireplace enjoying the knowledge they will now be a family for good. (Summary from Wikipedia)

Genre(s): Children's Fiction

Language: English

Section Chapter Reader Time
Play 01 01 - Aunt Harriet Has a Cough Lee Ann Howlett
Play 02 02 - Betsy Holds the Reins Lee Ann Howlett
Play 03 03 - A Short Morning Lee Ann Howlett
Play 04 04 - Betsy Goes to School Lee Ann Howlett
Play 05 05 - What Grade is Betsy? Lee Ann Howlett
Play 06 06 - If You Don't Like Conversation in a Book Skip this Chapter! Lee Ann Howlett
Play 07 07 - Elizabeth Ann Fails in an Examination Lee Ann Howlett
Play 08 08 - Betsy Starts a Sewing Society Lee Ann Howlett
Play 09 09 - The New Clothes Fail Lee Ann Howlett
Play 10 10 - Betsy Has a Birthday Lee Ann Howlett
Play 11 11 - "Understood Aunt Frances" Lee Ann Howlett