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Understood Betsy Book Summary and Study Guide

Detailed plot synopsis reviews of Understood Betsy


Elizabeth Ann, also called Betsy, is a sheltered nine-year-old girl who discovers self-confidence when she moves to her Putney Cousin's Farm. Elizabeth Ann or Betsy is a sheltered nine-year-old girl. She grew up in Middle America town in a good mid-size town. Betsy lives with her Aunt Frances, Aunt Harriet, and her Aunt's ward, Grace. Aunt Frances, who really was Betsy's cousin once removed, took care of Betsy since she was a baby after her parents died in a horrible car crash. Aunt Frances overtly cared for Besty in every possible way, in turn Betsy becomes a pale and thin girl. She could not do anything without her Aunt Francis reassuring hand and guidance.
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Aunt Francis worry over Betsy becoming so pale and thin, she decides to take the girl on a walk, though Betsy does not have an energy and refuse to walk, Aunt Francis assumes that she is sick. So Aunt Francis calls a doctor, after the doctor reassuring that nothing is wrong with Betsy but he hears Aunt Harriet coughing. It turns out that Aunt Harriet has pneumonia, and she is ordered to go to the sea side. Aunt Francis and Grace will have to take turns taking care of Aunt Harriet and reluctantly agree to have Betsy to send over to one of the relatives.
The first relatives to volunteer were the Putney Cousins in Vermont. Aunt Francis does not like the Putney's because they have children do chores and she thinks that it will be too much for poor Betsy or any children. Aunt Francis first sends Betsy to the Lathrop Cousins. Though the Lathrop Cousin's does not want Betsy and sends her to the Putney Cousins. Betsy begins her adventure to the Putney Farm in Vermont. Betsy goes on the train by herself, she is confused and does not know what to do without her Aunt Francis. When she arrives to the station, she is met by a grizzle looking man, which later she finds out it is her Uncle Harry. Uncle Harry hoist her up to the carriage and rides along the road. He gives Betsy the rein of the horses, and for the first time Besty creates her own thought. She figures out how to make the horses keep on walking forward and to stay on the road. When they arrive at Putney Farm they meet her Cousin Ann, a no non-sense women, and her Aunt Abigail.
Slowly Betsy starts to wash the dishes, learns how to turn butter, and to not be afraid of large animals. Her arms starts to get stronger and she is outdoors more often and starts to assist her independence and her unique personality. Betsy starts to relay on her Cousin Ann and Aunt Abigail differently from her Aunt Francis. She turns to her family members for advice and thinks how they will react to a situation instead of assuming that they will protect and heal every single wound she receives. Betsy becomes familiar with the small New England town where all the children are in one school room instead of multiple, where neighbors know each other and help each other out without being showy about it. Betsy understands herself as she goes on the journey of being a frail nine year old girl to a strong confident ten year old.
Though as she starts to really enjoy her life at the Putney Farm, her Aunt Francis comes back. Aunt Francis exciting tells about her own news about being engaged and will have to travel a lot with her fiancée. Though she will like to keep Betsy with her, Betsy says that she would rather stay at the farm. Though she starts to understand her silly Aunt, instead of seeing her Aunt as a savior, she starts to see her as a child to be protected. Betsy feels that she is more of an adult compared to her Aunt but she will forever protect her.
Best part of story, including ending: I really liked how the character grew in the story, and it felt as though you were there the whole year that she grew to be a confident girl.

Best scene in story: I loved the scene when Betsy and Molly goes to the carnival, because during the time Betsy has to figure out how to get home to the farm with Molly. She figures it out by using her own wits and you can see Betsy's transformation of forming an opinion and becoming a self reliant adult.

Opinion about the main character: I liked how she grew stronger and started to see the world around her. She became more caring of others as she lived on the farm and that was great to see.

The review of this Book prepared by Erin Okamoto a Level 2 American Robin scholar

Chapter Analysis of Understood Betsy

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Plot & Themes

Tone of book?    -   upbeat Time/era of story    -   1900-1920's Family, loving relations    -   Yes Special relationship with    -   aunt Is this an adult or child's book?    -   Age 7-10

Main Character

Gender    -   Female Profession/status:    -   student Ethnicity/Nationality    -   White (American) Unusual characteristics:    -   Super sensitive soggy jelly muffin

Setting

How much descriptions of surroundings?    -   8 () United States    -   Yes The US:    -   Northeast

Writing Style

Amount of dialog    -   roughly even amounts of descript and dialog

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Dorothy Canfield Fisher Books Note: the views expressed here are only those of the reviewer(s).
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