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3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 3.00 (9,844 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Margaret Sidney Narrator: Rebecca Burns Publisher: Tantor Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Related: The Five Little Peppers Series Release Date: November 2009 ISBN: 9781400181278
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Mrs. Pepper, a widow, and her five children lived in a plain little brown house where she struggled to feed and clothe her lively brood. The family had little in the way of luxury and hardly any of the things that many of us today take for granted. But they had such fun and good times together and loved one another so dearly that when a very rich little boy discovered the warmth and happiness that flooded the little brown house he felt himself lucky to be in it. And as it turned out, his coming brought luck to the Five Little Peppers too.

The adventures of this poor but loving Pepper family—Ben, Polly, Joel, Davie, and the adored youngest, Phronsie—have charmed young audiences for more than a century. Overflowing with warmth, suspense, and many delightful surprises, this classic remains as compelling as ever.

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Listener Opinions

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Laura | 2/12/2014

    " My all-time favorite growing up!!! "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Courtney Burns | 2/11/2014

    " A sweet book from my childhood. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Ginny | 2/11/2014

    " I thought I had read and enjoyed this book as a child, but when I read it for a children's literature discussion group I found I didn't remember anything about it. I rarely dislike a work of childten's literature, but I found this book tiresome and the characters much too precious. I would nevet have bothered to finish reafing it if not for the discussion group. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Diane Mueller | 2/8/2014

    " This was my all time favorite book when I was a child. I must of read it four or five times. I just wanted to be part of the Pepper family. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 lesleymac | 2/7/2014

    " very sentimental. nostalgia for me. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Amy | 2/6/2014

    " I want my kids to act like the little Peppers! "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Sarah | 2/1/2014

    " I do not know why I occasionally enjoy late-Victorian stories of the Virtuous Poor Family That Makes Good, but every so often I do. This has practically every trope in it; from the Curmudgeonly Old Man Won Over By the Sweet Toddler to the Family Revelation at the end. Not for everyone, but at least it doesn't start moralizing. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Marianne | 1/31/2014

    " It was a hard book to get interested in, but it gives you a glimpse into the beginning of children's literature. It tells a story of how children are expected to act. Interesting read because of when it was written, but again hard to keep your attention. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Nick | 1/31/2014

    " I really wanted to like this. I read it to my little girl and was promised a charming story. While the characters were charming there really wasn't any story worth mentioning. My daughter was bored and was asking when we were going to bed. She never does this. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Rebecca | 1/31/2014

    " I received this book as a gift from an elementary school teacher, and I absolutely loved it. It is kind of like Louisa May Alcott's books. I don't know how many times I re-read it, but I know I had even started recording myself reading it aloud because it was such a favorite. (The things we do as kids!) "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Erin | 1/30/2014

    " Little Women is a much better novel. This novel reads like a rip-off of Little Women. Still, I liked this book as a child "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Stephanie A. | 1/29/2014

    " A brilliant children's classic - sweet, simple, wholesome family story. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 G-- | 1/25/2014

    " No wonder the 70s were a shock to me. I was reading Five Little Peppers. I was worried about Phronsie the baby and how Mrs. Pepper had to work so hard to scrape together bread to put in her children's mouths. I was wondering how Polly and Ben would "help mother." "Oh, dear!" I exclaimed, "'tisn't nice," as my classmates were reading Judy Blume's Forever. Is it any wonder that I turned out a little, shall we say, odd? "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Molly | 1/22/2014

    " I loved this! Cut of the same cloth as Little Women. I need to read the rest! "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Lucy Vazquez | 1/21/2014

    " This was a fun little read. The condensed version of the actual book. It made me giggle and smile and wish that someday I can have children like the Five Little Peppers. Such cute kids! "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Rachel | 1/21/2014

    " This book was sad in times but got better! "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Laura | 1/20/2014

    " Loved it when I was little, and still have the tattered old antique copy! "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Amanda | 1/19/2014

    " I kept comparing the Peppers to the All of a Kind Family and the All of a Kind Family won. It seemed like they spent half of the book with measles. I did like the Christmas chapter. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Heidi | 1/18/2014

    " I loved this whole series when I was young. My books are all well worn out! "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Ashley | 1/17/2014

    " My grandma gave me this book and I read it with my dad. It is a very special book and I enjoyed it very much. I highly recommend it to read. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Grace Best-Page | 1/17/2014

    " I remember liking it when my mom read it to us as children, but I looked at it again as a grownup and it made me gag. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Jade | 1/16/2014

    " my vision of an idyllic childhood. complete with monkey grinder. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Bucket | 1/15/2014

    " I had this book as a child. Re read it online last year, and still loved it. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Gretchen | 1/15/2014

    " Oh I love this book! One of my favorites when I was younger. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Lynda | 1/14/2014

    " One of my favorites when I was a child. I read several of the titles. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Becca | 1/13/2014

    " This was one of those titles I picked up and read because it's famous. It seems like this is one of the children's books that everyone in my grandparent's generation read. I couldn't finish it. The widow with her five young children have meager meals and skimp on everything due to their financial difficulties. Every character is upbeat, syrupy sweet, cooperative, happy, etc. I'm not against these things at all, but the author writes in such a way that there is very little character development and the plot seems very episodic. It's all Pollyanna and no substance. I like the Boxcar Children books better, because they at least have a little mystery, and still have to demonstrate teamwork, positive thinking and determination. The Five Little Peppers just failed to engage me at all. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Sandra aka Sleo | 1/13/2014

    " When I was ten I loved it. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 K. | 1/9/2014

    " We quit this book, it was so boring! "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Lisa | 1/8/2014

    " I so wanted my childhood to be like this! Somehow I missed the part about how much more difficult life was at this time. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Lauren | 1/4/2014

    " This was an old fashioned book that was okay. Not much to say about it except it was hard to read. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Amber | 12/19/2013

    " The was a very endearing book. The children enjoyed the adventures of the Peppers and were tickled at the long, lost relations ending. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Rebecca | 12/18/2013

    " I received this book as a gift from an elementary school teacher, and I absolutely loved it. It is kind of like Louisa May Alcott's books. I don't know how many times I re-read it, but I know I had even started recording myself reading it aloud because it was such a favorite. (The things we do as kids!) "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Jessica | 12/13/2013

    " Love this book! The characters are so fun and memorable and the adventures are both exciting and comical. Such a great book! "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Dolphe | 12/12/2013

    " This had been my Grandmother's favorite book and I read it as a youngster. It still stays with me. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Ann | 12/9/2013

    " A simple, easy read. I love this sweet story! "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Christy | 12/6/2013

    " I read this as a Read a Loud to Braden. Some of the language is archaic and was difficult for him to follow but otherwise such a charming little story about family love and contentedness. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Kris | 12/3/2013

    " This is a must read in the same vein as the Harry Potter books, the Little House on the Prairie and the All of the Kind Family. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Buffy | 12/1/2013

    " This was my favorite book as a kid. I found it in one of my old boxes the other day and realized that I haven't thought about it for years. It was amazing... I think.. haha. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Lorie Bonano | 12/1/2013

    " One of the very first books that I recall reading and re-reading. A classic book that still sits on my reading table. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Sara | 12/1/2013

    " Blah. Not a bad book, but not very interesting. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Amanda | 11/26/2013

    " Not as great as I was expecting a classic to be. Sometimes it was really fun to read, and then at other times I wanted to off Ms. Sidney some plot and character development advice. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Janelle | 11/23/2013

    " I, too, am waiting for my ship to come in! "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Carol | 11/9/2013

    " My mother made me read this. I did not like it. Forty years and a degree of early onset senility has not improved my memory of it. Pablum! "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Marie | 10/21/2013

    " I fondly remember reading this book numerous times in my youth. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Addie | 10/4/2013

    " I haven't read this for a while, but I do remember loving it!! "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Nancy | 9/24/2013

    " I personally didn't want them to grow, it meant even more stupid books to read about them. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Denise Lowe | 9/2/2013

    " The story of a family whose means are few and so must learn to make do with cooperation and imagination. Heartwarming. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Rebecca | 8/29/2013

    " This was my favorite book when I was younger. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Deirdre | 7/16/2013

    " Dear book still in memory from my childhood. Could I read it today? Who cares? Growing up in a 50s home of constantly suppressed anger & sadness (that later broke out into divorce & madness), stories of loving families dealing with adversity provided a haven & hope. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Mandi | 6/22/2013

    " A classic that should not be missed! Precious story! "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Alysia | 6/15/2013

    " I loved this book as a child. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Becky | 6/14/2013

    " A light minded fun read. One of those books that great for when you're sick. I loved the perspective of a child in earlier years, my how it's changed! "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Amanda | 4/29/2013

    " Not as great as I was expecting a classic to be. Sometimes it was really fun to read, and then at other times I wanted to off Ms. Sidney some plot and character development advice. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Sarah | 4/21/2013

    " I read this book while I would wait in the pick up line at school. It was sweet and enjoyable. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Cathy | 4/11/2013

    " One of my first novels ... I read it many times as a young girl, so impressed with the values and courage within. I am sure it would be much too tame for this generation, although the values are sadly needed. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Bethany | 4/10/2013

    " Good, sweet story. I love the girl characters and Davie. And Ben. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Bucket | 3/31/2013

    " I had this book as a child. Re read it online last year, and still loved it. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Mariad | 3/30/2013

    " i liked this book it wasn't the best book i could of read though,i did like the characters "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Jamie | 3/20/2013

    " A darling book--I remember seeing this on the shelf in the attic bedroom at my Grandma Roni's house! "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Allison | 2/16/2013

    " All I can say is that I expected more. It had potential to be a cross between Louisa May Alcott and L.M. Montgomery but it wasn't. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Tracy | 2/13/2013

    " I find myself re-reading this book. Fond memories of reading it as a child. I am the proud owner of a 1881 edition. Just when you think things are bad, read how Ben, Polly, David, Joel, and Phronsie deal with life in the little brown house, oh, and they are all under the age of 11. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Donna | 2/4/2013

    " Another favorite book from childhood - I had the hardcover edition. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 CLM | 2/3/2013

    " First in another great orphan series - Ben, Polly, Joel, Davie, and Phronsie actually have a mother, who is bravely bringing them up on virtually nothing. If only their deceased father's family hadn't turned their backs on the young Pepper family! "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Kristen | 1/25/2013

    " Serialized in 1881, this book chronicles the foibles of the five Pepper children growing up poor and fatherless. Despite circumstances, they are very optimistic and show a great love for each other. A good read for young readers too. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Lorelei | 11/20/2012

    " A favourite children's book. We just finished reading it aloud to my 11yo, and we all loved it. It's a terrific look into a world that doesn't exist any more with likeable characters that are, more or less, quite believable and realistic. I would recommend it to just about anyone. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Marne | 9/28/2012

    " My mom used to read this to us when we were kids. I loved it - I don't know if it was all about the book or more about my mom. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Jamie | 7/25/2012

    " A darling book--I remember seeing this on the shelf in the attic bedroom at my Grandma Roni's house! "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Jamie | 4/28/2012

    " A darling book--I remember seeing this on the shelf in the attic bedroom at my Grandma Roni's house! "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Arwen | 4/27/2012

    " A sweet and simple story of children doing their best to help their mother. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Allison | 4/26/2012

    " It was a really good book. It was one of the longest I've read, but I got through it pretty quickly. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Mommy Farris | 4/16/2012

    " This was one of my mother's favorite books when she was growing up. I am blessed to own the very copy that she read several times as a girl. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Jeannette | 3/4/2012

    " I absolutely loved this book as a kid. The copy I had was falling apart, but a few years ago I found an identical pristine copy in a thrift store. yay "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Belinda | 3/2/2012

    " After finishing Cheaper By The Dozen I decided to read this since it is mentioned in the above book. Just as I was convinced that it was a very tiresome story I couldn't put it down. It went from being very victimist (could that be a word?) to fun. Now I just have to buy the other 12 or so books... "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Tracy | 2/24/2012

    " I find myself re-reading this book. Fond memories of reading it as a child. I am the proud owner of a 1881 edition. Just when you think things are bad, read how Ben, Polly, David, Joel, and Phronsie deal with life in the little brown house, oh, and they are all under the age of 11. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Andrea | 2/13/2012

    " This was a wonderful books about family, love, and friendship. We really enjoyed reading it, but glad to move on. It took us over 2 months to finish this! "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Heidi | 2/6/2012

    " I loved this whole series when I was young. My books are all well worn out! "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Laurie Benoit | 1/30/2012

    " Read as a child and absolutely loved. Similar to a Heidi book. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Bonnie | 1/14/2012

    " This might be the only book I ever remember being read to as a child. Don't know if it was my mother, my older siblings, or if I was even able to start reading it at 7 years old. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Jade | 6/22/2011

    " my vision of an idyllic childhood. complete with monkey grinder. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 JoDee | 4/19/2011

    " I have never forgotten the lessons of being thankful for what I have, which I learned from reading this book and seeing how their family struggled through adversity. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Mckinley | 3/23/2011

    " A bit too simple and Pollyanna-ish for me. And of course the ending isn't that surprising really since this is the sort of book where everything needs to work out not just happily but correctly/ properly too. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Carissa | 3/22/2011

    " Loved it! Very sweet story about 5 poor admirable children and their gentle hardworking widowed mother. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Ann | 3/11/2011

    " A simple, easy read. I love this sweet story! "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Deirdre | 2/23/2011

    " Dear book still in memory from my childhood. Could I read it today? Who cares? Growing up in a 50s home of constantly suppressed anger & sadness (that later broke out into divorce & madness), stories of loving families dealing with adversity provided a haven & hope. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Bethany | 2/14/2011

    " Good, sweet story. I love the girl characters and Davie. And Ben.

    "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Sarah | 2/14/2011

    " I read this book while I would wait in the pick up line at school. It was sweet and enjoyable. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Joan | 2/12/2011

    " I loved this as a kid. I found it tiresome. Lots of shreiking made it seem noisy in my head. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Christina | 2/8/2011

    " My mother read this when she was little. She read it to my brother and I. I will read it my children. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Sadie | 12/29/2010

    " Such a cute book!!!!!! must read!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Amy | 12/12/2010

    " I want my kids to act like the little Peppers! "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Lorelei | 11/25/2010

    " A favourite children's book. We just finished reading it aloud to my 11yo, and we all loved it. It's a terrific look into a world that doesn't exist any more with likeable characters that are, more or less, quite believable and realistic. I would recommend it to just about anyone. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Patricia | 11/10/2010

    " One of the first books I read as a child, and I it taught me to make something work, even a cake that doesn't turn out the way you want it to. Delightful! "

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About the Author

Margaret Sidney was the pen name for Harriet M. Stone, who was born in New Haven, Connecticut, in 1844. During the 1870s, her short stories about the Peppers began appearing in periodicals and newspapers. In 1881, these stories were published in book form under the title Five Little Peppers and How They Grew.

About the Narrator

Rebecca Burns is a published narrator of children’s books and books for young adult. Her published credits include Pollyanna, The Jungle Book, The Wizard of Oz, and numerous other classic titles.