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Five Little Peppers and How They Grew

Five Little Peppers and How They Grew

Foreword by: Ann M. Martin
For Ages: 9 - 12
  • reading group guide
Five Little Peppers and How They Grew was originally serialized in an 1880 edition of Wide Awake, a children's magazine. The publisher of the magazine, Daniel Lothrop, loved the Pepper stories so much that he published a hard-cover edition of the story -- and married the author in 1881. In 1883 the couple moved to historic Concord, Massachusetts, and resided in a house called the Wayside, which had previously been home to Nathaniel Hawthorne and also to Louisa May Alcott, the author of Little Women.
Choose a format:
  • Aladdin | 
  • 352 pages | 
  • ISBN 9781416916178 | 
  • June 2006 | 
  • Grades 4 - 7
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Reading Group Guide

AN ALADDIN READING GROUP GUIDE TO FIVE LITTLE PEPPERS AND HOW THEY GREW

ABOUT THIS BOOK
The Pepper children -- Ben, Polly, Joel, Davie, and Phronsie -- live in the Little Brown House with their hard-working "Mamsie." The Peppers are poor, but their love for one another and enthusiasm for living keep them happy. When a boy their age, Jasper King, comes to stay in nearby Hingham, Ben and Polly strike up a friendship with him. Can the Peppers help Jasper out of his loneliness? Can he help them out of their poverty?

DISCUSSION QUESTIONS
  • Why does Mrs. Pepper say that her children "haven't had any bringing up; they've just scrambled up"? What would she most like to give them if she could?
  • How is each Pepper affected by the measles? Whose sickness is worst? Who takes care of the Peppers when they are sick?
  • What is Polly's old stove like? Why does she need a new stove, and how does she get one?
  • What makes the Peppers decide to celebrate Christmas for the first time? What happens when they do?
  • What worries Polly about leaving her family and the Little Brown House?
  • Describe Jasper's father, Mr. King. How does he become friends with Phronsie? Why does he want the Peppers to come and live with him?
  • What do we learn about the Peppers and the Kings at the end of the book? How will this news change the relationship between the two families?
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About the Author

Margaret Sidney

Margaret Sidney's real name was Harriett Stone (1844-1924). She was born in Connecticut and authored twelve books about the Pepper clan. She is buried in Sleepy Hollow Cemetery in Massachusetts.

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