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Extended Audio Sample The Five Little Peppers and How They Grew Audiobook, by Margaret Sidney Click for printable size audiobook cover
3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 3.00 (9,827 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Margaret Sidney Narrator: Grace Conlin Publisher: Blackstone Audio Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: January 2006 ISBN: 9781455171323
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The five little Peppers are an adorable family of children growing up in a small town and cared for by their widowed mother. She is so poor that the pittance she earns as the town seamstress fails to support or even sustain the family.

The children are happy despite privation, and the smallest pleasures cause delight and merriment in the little house. Everything happens to this brood while mother is away sewing, and no matter how dangerous the situation, they come out of it safe and smiling.

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Quotes & Awards

  • “The Peppers’ good spirits, their love for each other, and their pleasure in simple homemade fun still charms me…I wish them a long and happy life of at least another hundred years.”

    Betsy Byars

  • “One of the seminal books of American children’s fiction…Grace Conlin brings flair and passion to the task and does a superb job…her characterizations are distinctive and strong.”

    AudioFile

Listener Opinions

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Sandra | 2/11/2014

    " Loved this as a child of 6 or 7. It may seem simplistic now, but as a child it was more than complicated enough. Some people want to bash it for the tone it's written in, but that makes about as much sense as bashing the dialogue in a 50's gangster movie for sounding dated. It was appropriate for it's time. (Written in 1881) "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Christy | 2/5/2014

    " I read all the Pepper books. I remember them to this day, 50 years later, with incredible fondness... "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Jason | 1/31/2014

    " I inherited this book from my mother and eventually read it in middle school. I breezed through it and really enjoyed it. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 K. | 1/27/2014

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

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Ryan | 1/24/2014

    " I am perfectly aware of the sentimental, ridiculous cheese of this book and I love it anyway. Who would not want to hang out with the Peppers in their idyllic poverty, spend time in the little brown house listening to the laughter of Joel and Davie, the sweet prattle of Phronsie, Ben's amazing stories and really anything that Polly says? Of course they are chosen by Dame Fortune for a different existence! "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Gwenyth | 1/23/2014

    " One of those books from my childhood, passed onto me by my grandmother and father. I would like to go back and read it again someday. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Ashley | 1/21/2014

    " 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. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Maria M. Elmvang | 1/21/2014

    " SUCH a charming book. I loved it, and little Phronsie is utterly adorable :-) "

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

    " Another wonderful story from my childhood that has remained in my memory all these years. I also shared this one with Makayla. It is the story of hardship, love, & perserverence after the 5 Little Peppers lose their father. In late 1800 America it was very hard on their mother to keep this close-knit family together but she managed to. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Nick | 1/16/2014

    " 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. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Lorelei | 1/12/2014

    " 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. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Kathi Olsen | 1/10/2014

    " A slice of my childhood reads that I really used to enjoy. Still think it's good. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Jeannette | 1/5/2014

    " 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 lesleymac | 12/28/2013

    " very sentimental. nostalgia for me. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Matthew Johnson | 11/17/2013

    " it was and ok book but it wasnt my type "

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

    " 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... "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Ruth | 10/21/2013

    " I really enjoyed this story. Good lesson about being thankful for what you have. Perfect to read to elementary kids. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Michelle | 9/21/2013

    " Another book I loved as a child. I was always fascinated with the "whole family working together to make it" kind of stories. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Ashlee | 8/16/2013

    " I read this book the summer before I started 5th grade, it belonged to an elderly aunt who was an English teacher for decades (she always introduced me to THE BEST books!) I loved being a Pepper that summer. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Dorothy Elliott | 8/4/2013

    " Iloved this book. It was so refreshing and nostalgic "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Ann | 2/23/2013

    " I loved this as a kid and I am so glad I visited with it again "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Camea | 1/8/2013

    " One of my all time favorite childrens books. I read this one over and over again. Who doesn't aspire to have this perfect little family as their own? Who wouldn't want siblings that care so much for eachother? And it doesn't hurt to have a wealthy benefactor either. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Jill | 12/19/2012

    " This is a lovely story and I am going to order the rest in the series and read them to my children. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Jenny | 6/18/2012

    " Oh, this book was so great! My kids loved it! "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Sadie | 5/23/2012

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

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Kerri | 2/10/2012

    " Its always nice to re-read an old favorite and still love it! "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Joan | 1/11/2012

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

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Sandra aka Sleo | 11/29/2011

    " When I was ten I loved it. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Marion Raub | 11/14/2011

    " I thought this was a sweet, easy to read novel with endearing characters and a glimpse into life during the late 1800's. It would be perfect for young girls and probably interesting for boys too. "

  • 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

Grace Conlin (1962–1997) was the recording name of Grainne Cassidy, an award-winning actress and acclaimed narrator. She was a member of the Woolly Mammoth Theatre Company in Washington, DC, and won a Helen Hayes Award in 1988 for her role in Woolly Mammoth’s production of Savage in Limbo.