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Five Little Peppers and How They Grew

Five Little Peppers and How They Grew by Margaret Sidney
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Ben, Polly, Joel, Davie and baby Phronsie are the five children of the late Mr. Pepper and his hard-working wife. The family is desperately poor and Mrs. Pepper and Ben have to work out of the house to keep the home fires burning. Young Polly takes over the reins of the household and becomes a surrogate mom to her little brothers and sister.

This heart-warming tale has provided hours of entertainment to generations of children and parents. Five Little Peppers and How they Grew by Margaret Sidney is the first in a series of twelve books featuring the lives of the Pepper family.

In this first book, we find the young Peppers struggling with a lack of money but yet they remain cheerful and brave, working together to make life easier for the mother. When the series begins, the youngest, Phronsie, or Sophronia, is a baby of three, and is doted upon by the entire clan. She loves dolls and is a kind hearted little girl, always willing to sympathize with anyone in need. Mrs. Pepper, or Mamsie, as the children call her, is the person who keeps her brood together and inculcates the values of sincerity, honesty, humility and hard work in them. The eldest two, Ben and Polly are capable assistants to their mother. Joel is the live wire in the family, while Davie is the quiet and reflective one. They all live together in their Little Brown House. A disaster leads to a chance meeting with a kind hearted philanthropist, J Horatio King, whose generosity and wealth change the lives of the Pepper family forever.

This charming, if slightly dated, story was first published in 1881. It followed the tradition of children's novels at the time, where a family learns to overcome hardship and triumphs in the end. Like Louisa M Alcott's Little Women series, the Pepper books went on to trace the lives of the five well into adulthood, marriage and parenthood. Phronsie, the youngest is a young lady of twenty by the time the last book ends.

Measles, poverty, adventures, a kidnapping, lots of humor and old fashioned values make Five Little Peppers... a delightful read for both parents and children. In the late 1930s and 40s, a series of films were made based on the books. However, the script was quite different and merely used the characters created by Margaret Sidney.

This endearing tale that combines homespun wisdom with gentle humor is indeed a great addition to your children's book shelf!


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Reviews (Rated: 4 Stars - 5 reviews)

Reviewer: - June 6, 2014
Subject: ok
This is a very good book. But there is some thing that I don't like. I don't like the reader for chapter 3, 4, and 5.
Reviewer: - December 13, 2013
Subject: Good!
I love this book! It's so good.
Reviewer: - October 2, 2013
Subject: Varied
I unfortunately submitted a review after the second chapter, which was a mistake. The first reader, Amy Benson is wonderful, then chapters 3-6 are nearly impossible to understand, due to a poor recording quality combined with a strong foreign accent. The other various readers are pretty good, but if you want to know what happens in chapters 3-6, you might want to read them. I understand how hard it is to speak correctly in another language, but I don't believe this is a good forum to practice, unless you can be more understood.
Reviewer: - October 2, 2013
Subject: Excellent reading!
This reader lives the story, and has a new tone for each character. Wonderful!
Reviewer: - October 2, 2013
Subject: Five little peppers and how they grew
I liked the girl Sarah reading the first chapter. She read quite well and was articulate. It was a surprise to have a new reader on chapter two. But she read well. It was a shock to have another reader on chapter three. She was from Holland or Germany and I couldn't understand her. She reads for a few chapters then there is someone else. But I quit listening at chapter 3.


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