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Margaret Sidney Books In Order

Publication Order of Five Little Peppers Books

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

Publication Order of Little Maid Books

A Little Maid Of Boston Town (1898)Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
A Little Maid of Concord Town (1910)Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle

Publication Order of Standalone Novels

Half a Year at Bronckton (1881)Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
The Pettibone Name (1882)Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Who Told It to Me (1883)Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
The Little Red Shop (1889)Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
The Judges' Cave; Being a Romance of the New Haven Colony in the Days of the Regicides, 1661 (1900)Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Sally, Mrs. Tubbs (1903)Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle

Publication Order of Non-Fiction Books

Old Concord (1887)Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Old Concord: Her Highways And Byways (1888)Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
The Old Town Pump (1895)Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle

Publication Order of Collections

Ballad of the Lost Hare (1882)Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
The Minute Man a Ballad of the Shot Heard Round the World (1886)Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
An Adirondack Cabin (1890)Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle

Margaret Sidney is the pseudonym of children’s author Harriett Lothrop. She was born in 1844 to an architect from New Haven Connecticut named Sidney Mason Stone. When she was a child, her family often traveled extensively in New England and it was from these travels that the creative but then young Sidney got the material and inspiration for her future characters and stories. Margaret started publishing in 1878 when she began sending some of her short stories to the editor of “Wide Awake,” a very popular children’s magazine in Boston. Her stories were so popular with readers that Daniel Lothrop the editor requested that she write a 12-part series on the lead protagonists she had named “the Peppers.” She published her first full-length novel “The Five Little Peppers and How They Grew” in 1881 and the novel went on to become a bestseller and spawned several more titles that were just as successful. Sidney’s stories did not grow from her soul and heart like those of Hawthorne or from her childhood like those written by Louisa May Alcott. Rather she writes stories from her imagination as she crafts adventures full of mischief but with characters responsive to good deeds and kindness.

In 1881, Sidney got married to her editor Lathrop, who would later found the Boston based D. Lothrop Publishing Company. Together they got one child in 1884 who they named Margaret. When her husband died in 1892, she had to take care of their child alone though the child had a good life. Together, the Lothrops had bought “The Wayside Cottage” in Concord, Massachusetts, though daughter and mother shuttled between Europe and their home in the United States for several years. The Lothrop house had once been the residence of Nathaniel Hawthorne and since none of the remaining Lothrops had any interest in living in it, it has been turned into a museum and National Historic Landmark. Just like her husband, Margaret Sidney was an active participant in national and local historical and civic causes including the protection of their historical home. She also got involved in the commemoration and celebrations of the many works of the author Nathaniel that she greatly respected. She was also a member of the Old Concord Chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolutions and for several years, she was the president and founder of the National Society of the Children of the American Revolution.

While she loved children and writing children’s fiction was a pleasure, she wrote other kinds of fiction too. Sidney wrote nonfiction, fiction, and poetry including the 1898 published Old Concord which targeted an adult audience. Many of her articles were featured in newspapers and magazines such as “The Christian Union” and “The Practical Housekeeper.” His novel “The Wayside” was his last tribute to writers from Concord and the town’s rich history. Sidney died in San Francisco in 1924 while living with her daughter. She was buried back home in Concord Massachusetts alongside several illustrious authors such as Nathaniel Hawthorne, Louisa May Alcott, and Henry David Thoreau.

Margaret Sidney’s “Five Little Peppers and How They Grew” introduces Phronsie, Ben, Davie, Joel, and Polly. Phronsie was still a baby when their father died and their mother Mrs. Pepper had a hard time trying to support the children. Despite their circumstances, the family is full of adventure, spirit, and love. Polly and Ben do whatever they can in support of their family but then a bout of measles is threatening the health of the entire clan, in particular, Polly and Joel. There are tons of adventure and it is during one of these escapades that they make friends with Jasper King. The friendship will enrich the Peppers in all manner of ways and prove very beneficial. It is an old-fashioned story that stars delightful children that made Margaret Sidney’s name as one of the most talented authors in children’s fiction. While it was published in the nineteenth century it could arguably the time’s Harry Potter.

“Five Little Peppers Midway” by Margaret Sidney continues the story of the Pepper family and their mother. The story is set five years after the events of the first novel in the series given that Phronsie is now an eight-year-old. In the meantime, Mrs. Pepper got a job with Mr. King, a wealthy man who needed a housekeeper. The Peppers are now informally adopted children that live in the Boston house of their benefactor and call him grandpa. However, the high life of splendor and wealth has not changed the beautiful hearts or attitudes of the Peppers. Polly decided to take up piano lessons and is passionate about everything to do with music though it is a time when upper-class women stayed at home. It is probably because she was not born in the upper-class since her mother is technically an employee at King’s house. Moreover, Polly intends to be a piano teacher and get a job when she is grown up. Nonetheless, Polly has plenty of friends in high society and has huge goals she intends to achieve despite her humble beginnings. Many of them are condescending and arrogant but when it comes to Polly, she gets their respect and adoration. This is probably because she is very creative in making costumes, making plays and stores, and being the life of the party.

“Five Little Peppers Abroad” by Margaret Sidney continues the story of the Pepper family. The novel is set immediately after the events of the second novel of the series. Mrs. Pepper got married to Dr. Fisher who had saved Polly’s eyes when she was afflicted with measles. The narrative is told from an omniscient perspective though Polly is still the lead and gets the love and adoration from people she meets for her kind nature and bright smile. She got much of her personality from the inspiration of her hard-working, compassionate, and pragmatic mother. The novel reads like a captivating travel piece of what it was like to journey across Europe at the end of the 19th century. While there are some hairy moments, there is also a lot of fun when the Peppers take in some interesting travelers into their group.

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