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When her parents have to take a trip to California, spoiled New York City girl Hildegarde Graham is sent to stay with her mother's old nurse in the country where she learns the value of simplicity, kindness, and a more democratic sensibility. Laura Elizabeth Howe Richards (February 27, 1850 - January 14, 1943) was born in Boston, Massachusetts, to a high-profile family. During her life, she wrote over 90 books, including children's novels, biographies, poetry, and others. In 1917, Laura won a Pulitzer Prize for Julia Ward Howe, 1819-1910, a biography, which she co-authored with her sister, Maud Howe Elliott. Her children's book Tirra Lirra won the Lewis Carroll Shelf Award in 1959. Queen Hildegarde, published in 1889, was one of her most famous works.