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Five Little Peppers Books In Order

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Publication Order of Five Little Peppers Books

Five Little Peppers and How They Grew (1881)Description / Buy at Amazon
Five Little Peppers Midway (1890)Description / Buy at Amazon
Five Little Peppers Grown Up (1892)Description / Buy at Amazon
Phronise Pepper (1897)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Stories Polly Pepper Told to the Five Little Peppers in the Little Brown House (1899)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Adventures of Joel Pepper (1900)Description / Buy at Amazon
Five Little Peppers Abroad (1902)Description / Buy at Amazon
Five Little Peppers at School (1903)Description / Buy at Amazon
Five Little Peppers and Their Friends (1904)Description / Buy at Amazon
Ben Pepper (1905)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Five Little Peppers in the Little Brown House (1907)Description / Buy at Amazon
Our Davie Pepper (1916)Description / Buy at Amazon

Five Little Peppers series by Margaret Sidney
Author Margaret Sidney wrote the “Five Little Peppers” series of children’s fiction books. The series began publication in the year 1881, when “Five Little Peppers and How They Grew” was released.

After writing the fourth book of the series, called “Phronsie Pepper”, Margaret felt that she had finished the books. She stated this in the introduction to the book. Letters from her readers from all around the world prompted her to continue writing about this family, which she would do for almost twenty more years. All of the later books are set before the third book in the original series.

Six of these books are “background” and are set around the same time of the first three books.

The books follow the lives of the five kids (Ben, Polly, Joel, Davie, and Phronsie) of Mamsie and the deceased Mister Pepper that are born into poverty in one small rural “little brown house”.

Mrs. Pepper, who is called “Mamsie” by the kids, is a widow struggling to keep her five kids educated and healthy. She is the moral backbone of the family and her kids are entirely devoted to her. She later gets married to Dr. Adoniram Fisher with the full approval of her brood.

The oldest of the five kids is Ebenezer (Ben) who has blue eyes. He is an avid scholar but willingly puts his schooling aside for providing for his family. With his sister, he manages the younger kids and will sacrifice anything he can for them. At the start of book one, he is eleven years old.

Mary (Polly) is the eldest daughter, and is ten years old at the start of the series. She is a bright, busy, and cheerful child that makes the family’s life as happy and comfortable as she can. She is so eager to cook for the family, as well. She loves flowers, music, and her baby sister with the same passion.

Joel is the middle Pepper and the middle boy and is the most active. At the start of the series he is eight years old. He is an enthusiastic sportsman that loves parties, entertainment, and treats. Joel is the most troublesome of the kids, often getting himself into mischief or just causing others grief with all the things he says. He settles down a touch in college and gets active in some student church group.

Davie is the youngest boy and the quietest of the children. He allows the world to go on all around him while calmly absorbing each of the family’s doings. Davie is an obedient student, and is equally willing to give up anything at all to make Ben or Joel happy. A bit of a dandy late in his adolescence, he is teasingly called “Davina” by the other students.

Sophronia (Phronsie) is the baby and the pet of the Pepper family. She starts the series as a wide-eyed blonde at the age of three that sees the good in just about everybody. She is anxious to help anybody in need. Phronsie calls her dolls Seraphina and Baby, her kids and treats them as such. She is particularly devoted to Mr. King and Polly.

Mr. J Horatio King, Senior is the Pepper family’s benefactor. He is an older widower and is in uncertain health when the series starts. Bringing the Pepper family into his home revitalizes him. He is of quick temper and firm opinion, “Grandpapa” is a family man who looks to ease every pain and concern in the lives of his kids and the Peppers.

Jasper, Junior is Mr. King’s son. He is equally as willing to bake pies with Polly as he is to go out sledding with Ben. Jasper and Prince, his dog, befriend the Peppers after rescuing Phronsie from an organ grinder. His affection for them ultimately leads him to request their company in the household once he marries Polly.

Marian King Whitney is Mr. King’s adult daughter. Her sons, Van, Percy, and Dick Whitney make up the rest of the King house. Mr. Whitney ends up being Mrs. Pepper’s cousin, making the Peppers distant relatives of the Kings. Mrs. Whitney is a second mom to the Pepper kids. The three sons, while infatuated with Polly, are also frequently at odds with each other and with Joel.

Four films were made based off these books, produced by Columbia Pictures in 1939 and 1940. They were vehicles for Columbia’s young star Edith Fellows, who played Polly. The rest of the kids were Tommy Bond (playing Joey), Charles Peck (playing Ben), Bobby Larson (playing Davie), and Dorothy Ann Seese (playing Phronsie). The four films had little to do with the books, but were quite popular with filmgoers.

“Five Little Peppers and How they Grew” is the first novel in the “Five Little Peppers” series and was released in the year 1881. Times are tough around this little brown house. Widowed Mrs. Pepper must sew all day in order to earn enough money to pay the rent and feed the five growing Peppers. She faces poverty and trouble with her smiling face, stout heart, and the help of her jolly family. Ben, Polly, Joel, Davie, and Phronsie.

“Five Little Peppers” is the second novel in the “Five Little Peppers” series and was released in the year 1890. Five years after the events of the first book, the Peppers live with Mr. King in his huge mansion, however, his spiteful cousin appears to be determined to spoil all of their happiness.

“Five Little Peppers Grown Up” is the third novel in the “Five Little Peppers” series and was released in the year 1892. While the Five Little Peppers grow up, Polly finds romance as she gives piano lessons in order to help support the family.

“Five Little Peppers at School” is the eighth novel in the “Five Little Peppers” series and was released in the year 1903. Davie and Joel Pepper are at boarding school attempting to learn things like manners and self-reliance while Polly has to cope with snobs and gossips at her school. A horrible train accident leaves the brakeman’s wife a widow with kids to support, Polly attempts to help them out by raising some money for them. Will she make it all work?

Book Series In Order » Characters » Five Little Peppers

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