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Aunt Jane's Nieces on the Ranch facts for kids

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Aunt Jane's Nieces on the Ranch
First edition
Author L. Frank Baum
(as "Edith Van Dyne")
Illustrator Emile A. Nelson
Country United States
Language English
Series Aunt Jane's Nieces
Genre Young adult fiction
Publisher Reilly & Britton
Publication date
Media type Print (hardcover)
Pages 276 pp.
Preceded by Aunt Jane's Nieces on Vacation 
Followed by Aunt Jane's Nieces Out West 

Aunt Jane's Nieces on the Ranch is a 1913 novel by L. Frank Baum writing as "Edith Van Dyne". The novel depicts a story of racial tension on the California ranch owned by the progressive-minded Arthur Weldon and Louise Merrick Weldon, who have entrusted their baby, Jane, nicknamed "Toodlums," to a Mexican governess named Inez.

Louise's uncle, John Merrick, is not pleased with her choice and brings Mildred Travers, a white nurse from New York to serve as governess. Out of appreciation to Uncle John, the Weldons accept her as nominal head governess with Inez as an assistant, finding her of great value. Inez does not see it that way and becomes very possessive, as well as protective, of baby Jane.

The ranch was built by a Spanish lord and contains secret passages within some of the walls. Inez and some other Mexicans insist that the house is haunted, but the Weldons are convinced that the sounds are only of rats. Mildred, in fact, has a connection to the house, as her father was a friend of the former owner, who was delighted to show her the entrances to these passages that no one else has seen.

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