Thursday, May 17, 2018

The Riddle of Penncroft Farm: Decade-Old Deletions!



My first historical novel for young readers, The Riddle of Penncroft Farm, was published by Harcourt, Brace, Jovanovich in 1989 and has been in print ever since. Yesterday, I went by an apple orchard in bloom up on top of the hill where I live in New Hampshire. "Ah," thought I, this reminds me of the passage in Riddle in which Aunt Cass talks about how beautiful it was when the apple trees were blossoming on Penncroft Farm, and how wonderful it smelled.

Because of this, I stopped to take a movie of the scene, which is below:



When I got back home, I got out Riddle to find the descriptive passage I was thinking of.
You may imagine my surprise when I discovered that it is not in the book! The HBJ editor must have removed it when I wasn't looking! Here is all that's left:

 (Aunt Cass is showing Lars around Penncroft Farm)

"Here's the orchard. It doesn’t look like much now, but generations back it was a working orchard with more than a thousand fruit trees— apples and pears and peaches.” 

“Are these Seek-no-further apple trees?” I asked. Aunt Cass sighed. “No, those all died and were hopped up for firewood years ago."      -The Riddle of Penncroft Farm © 1989 by Dorothea Jensen

I cannot believe that I didn't notice this was gone for almost thirty years. Oh well. Enjoy the video and imagine Aunt Cass describing it to Lars.