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Grace Harlowe facts for kids

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Grace Harlowe is the protagonist and eponym of four series of books for girls, published by Altemus between 1910 and 1924. At least some volumes were reprinted by Saalfield Publishing. The High School Girls Series, College Girls Series, Grace Harlowe Overseas Series, and Grace Harlowe Overland Riders Series were written by Josephine Chase, under the pseudonym Jessie Graham Flower.

Titles in the series

The High School Girls Series

  • Grace Harlowe's Plebe Year at High School; The Merry Doings of the Oakdale Freshmen Girls (1910)
  • Grace Harlowe's Sophomore Year at High School; or, The Record of the Girl Chums in Work and Athletics (1911)
  • Grace Harlowe's Junior Year at High School; or, Fast Friends in the Sororities (1911)
  • Grace Harlowe's Senior Year at High School; or, The Parting of the Ways (1911)

The College Girls Series

  • Grace Harlowe's First Year at Overton College (1914)
  • Grace Harlowe's Second Year at Overton College (1914)
  • Grace Harlowe's Third Year at Overton College (1914)
  • Grace Harlowe's Fourth Year at Overton College (1914)
  • Grace Harlowe's Return to Overton Campus (1915)
  • Grace Harlowe's Problem (1916)
  • Grace Harlowe's Golden Summer (1917)

Grace Harlowe Overseas Series

  • Grace Harlowe Overseas (1920)
  • Grace Harlowe with the Red Cross in France (1920)
  • Grace Harlowe with the Marines at Chateau Thierry (1920)
  • Grace Harlowe with the U.S. Troops in the Argonne (1920)
  • Grace Harlowe with the Yankee Shock Boys at St. Quentin (1920)
  • Grace Harlowe with the American Army on the Rhine (1920)

Grace Harlowe Overland Riders Series

  • Grace Harlowe's Overland Riders on the Old Apache Trail (1921)
  • Grace Harlowe's Overland Riders on the Great American Desert (1921)
  • Grace Harlowe's Overland Riders Among the Kentucky Mountaineers (1921)
  • Grace Harlowe's Overland Riders in the Great North Woods (1921)
  • Grace Harlowe's Overland Riders in the High Sierras (1923)
  • Grace Harlowe's Overland Riders in the Yellowstone National Park (1923)
  • Grace Harlowe's Overland Riders in the Black Hills (1923)
  • Grace Harlowe's Overland Riders at Circle O Ranch (1923)
  • Grace Harlowe's Overland Riders Among the Border Guerillas (1924)
  • Grace Harlowe's Overland Riders On the Lost River Trail (1924)

Plot overview

The four series follow Grace Harlowe and her friends through high school, college, abroad during World War I, and on adventures around America. In The High School Girls Series, Grace attends Oakdale High School with friends Anne Pierson, Nora O'Malley, and Jessica Bright. The four promote fair play and virtue while winning over troubled girls like Miriam Nesbit and Eleanor Savell, playing basketball, and founding sorority Phi Sigma Tau. The group becomes friends with boys in their acquaintance: David Nesbit, Tom Gray, Hippy Wingate, and Reddy Brooks, forming "The Eight Originals."

The College Girls Series sees the friends part ways: Grace, Anne, and Miriam depart for Overton College, while Jessica and Nora attend a conservatory. The Eight Originals gather on holidays, but the seven College books focus on the three at Overton, along with new friends like J. Elfreda Briggs. They form Semper Fidelis, a society devoted to aiding less fortunate students at Overton. Following graduation, Grace rebuffs offers of marriage for "what she had firmly believed to be her destined work," managing Harlowe House at Overton. By the end of the series, she and most of her friends have married within their circle.

Grace Harlowe Overseas Series follows Grace and many of her friends to Europe to serve in World War I. A number of the college friends join a Red Cross unit known as the Overton Unit, but as the war progresses, they grow more scattered. At one point, the remaining principal characters consist of Grace and J. Elfreda, while the rest fall to the periphery. Grace and her husband return with a daughter, Yvonne, whom they adopted in France.

Grace Harlowe Overland Riders Series follows Grace and some of her friends through adventures on horseback around North America, upon their return from Europe.

Other characters

Anne Pierson: She becomes Grace's best friends in Grace Harlowe's Plebe Year at High School. She remains a prominent character right up to Grace Harlowe's Golden Summer. Anne is gentle, quiet, studious and brilliant at elocution and drama. Although from a poor family, she earns her way through college by acting with a highly reputed theatre company. Her gentle ways and practical experience of poverty help her friends befriend less fortunate girls like Mabel Allison (in the High School series) and Ruth Denton (in the College series).

Nora O'Malley: She has been friends with Grace for a longer time than Anne. She is Irish-Catholic, good at singing and basketball, with a hot temper but kind heart. After the High School series, she goes to study in a Conservatory of Music, but returns to a more prominent role in the Overseas and Overland Riders books.

Jessica Bright: Another old friend of Grace's from her pre-high school days, Jessica is a quiet, gentle girl, good at playing the piano. Unlike the other 4 high school chums, she is motherless and has no brothers or sisters. She is often lonely at home and this leads her to adopt Mabel Allison as her foster-sister in Grace Harlowe's Junior Year at High School.

Tom Gray: He first meets the circle of friends in Grace Harlowe's Plebe Year at High School. He is nephew of Rose Gray, the 'fairy-godmother'of the freshman class of Oakdale High School for Girls. He is an expert woodsman and ultimately takes up a post in the Department of Forestry. He marries Grace after nearly two years of unsuccessful courtship.

David Nesbit: Brother of Miriam Nesbit, he is a special friend of Anne Pierson and ultimately marries her in Grace Harlowe's Problem. He has an aptitude for mechanics and designs model airplanes in the first two books of the High School series.


Grace Harlowe books can be found for sale online and occasionally at used book stores and sales. Since they were in print for fewer years than series like Nancy Drew or The Bobbsey Twins, they can be more challenging to find (although scarcity and value, as with any series, depend largely on condition, edition, and specific title). Given their limited publication dates, books in the Grace Harlowe Overseas Series seem to be among the most difficult to find in any condition, and often bring the highest prices.

Contemporary Series

Altemus published series books with pages of advertising for other series. Some that can be found in Grace Harlowe books include: The Automobile Girls, Madge Morton, The Meadow-Brook Girls, and boys' series like: Dave Darrin, Submarine Boys, and The High School Boys. Altemus even occasionally cross-referenced series, as when Madge Morton makes a cameo appearance in Grace Harlowe's Problem.

Other contemporary series published for school girls include: Betty Gordon, Marjorie Dean, The Outdoor Girls, The Moving Picture Girls, Jane Allen, Betty Wales, Ruth Fielding, The Girls of Central High, Friendly Terrace, Fairmount Girls, Helen Grant, Hadley Hall, Nancy Lee, Isabel Carleton, Molly Brown.

  • Full text of Grace Harlowe books by Jessie Graham Flower available at Project Gutenberg
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