Reading Aloud Understood Betsy
I have been reading aloud *Understood Betsy by Dorothy Canfield to our 2nd -3rd grade literature class at homeschool co-op each week. It is a charming little story published in 1917 about an orphan girl who, through a series of events she at first considers to be horrible, ends up living with “those awful Putney cousins.”
She begins to learn something brand new about herself while learning that the Putneys might not be so awful after all.
“It is possible that what stirred inside her head at that moment was her brain, waking up. She was nine years old, and she was in the third-A grade at school, but that was the first time she had ever had a thought of her very own. At home, Aunt Frances had always known exactly what she was doing, and had helped her over the hard places before she even knew they were there; and at school her teachers had been carefully trained to think faster than the scholars. Somebody had always been explaining things to Elizabeth Ann so carefully that she had never found out a single thing for herself before. This was a very small discovery, but it was her own. Elizabeth Ann was as excited about it as a mother bird over the first egg that hatches.”