Five Little Peppers and How They Grew
(Digireads.com, July 1, 2004)
The first in a series of books about the Pepper family, these imaginative children's stories have delighted readers since their original publication in 1881. This first novel introduces Ben, Polly, Joel, Davie, and Phronsie, the children of their widowed Mamsie, Mrs. Pepper. While very poor, the Peppers live in a supportive little town in their beloved Little Brown House. The family faces many challenges, such as sickness and an overflowing generosity stinted by their financial straits, yet they accept and overcome many obstacles with an optimism and good-naturedness that is as surprising as it is commendable. When little Phronsie is later placed in great danger, the Peppers meet young Jasper King, who will ultimately change their fates and lead them to the unexpected conclusion of the novel. This heartwarming tale is a testament to perseverance in the face of hardship, incorruptible kindness, and the power of family love that conveys a message well worth learning to this day.