Monday, January 29, 2007

We are hearing a lot of American Girl stories right now

A couple years ago our oldest daughter read many, if not all, of the American Girl Stories. These are fun, educational books. The stories are set in various eras of American history. The books are well researched. The reader learns about what a young girl might have thought and did long ago.

My second daughter's favorite character is Felicity, because Felicity tames a horse that is pretty wild. Felicity lives during the Revolutionary War. Our daughter learned that the Revolutionary War split families apart, and how the gun powder got stolen by the British.

For each girl there is the same basic pattern. The first books introduce each girl. The second book has the girl learn a lesson, often about friendship. The third book has a surprise for the girl, around Christmas time. The fourth book is about their birthday. In the fifth book the girl "saves the day." The sixth books is about the changes the girl is going through. This pattern allows the reader to feel comfortable and know what to expect.

After last Friday's trip to the library we've been hearing one of the stories about Addy. My daughters got one of the stories on tape. My second and third daughters have been listening to the tape again and again. Addy is a young black girl who lives during the Civil War time. She with her mother escapes to the North.

There are many other books. There is one about Kaya, an Indian American girl in the mid 1700s. Josefina is in the Southwest when it was controled by Spain. Kristen is a ioneer girl in the midwest. Samantha lives during the early 1900s. Kit survives the Great Depression. And finally Molly lives during World War II.

Wikipedia has some background information on American Girl. I hadn't know the history of the books. Pleasant T. Rowland created the dolls because she was looking for high quality dolls, but couldn't find them. The books are reasonably priced and can be found in many libraries. The dolls are expensive and can chew up a lot of money.

I like the American Girl series. I have read all six of the Molly stories. They were well written and I was surprised by how much historical information was in the books. If you have young daughters who haven't been exposed to the American Girl books, I'd encourage you to check them out. But beware there may be some pleads for the dolls and all the accessories.

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Anonymous said...

Our second oldest dd loves these books as well. Her favorite are the Kaya series, and she probably would not have read the rest of them except that one of the wonderful librarians at our library began an American Girl Book Club. The girls read as many of the books for one girl each month (they are reading them in chronological order) then get together and discuss the character and the time-period then make an associated craft. Last month was Addy, so the craft was a quilt made of paper. My daughter loves it and can't wait to get together with the other girls every month. There are an average of 30 girls involved in the club.
My dd even wrote to the author of the Kaya books and received a signed picture postcard in return. Very cool!
Thank you for mentioning these. I was reluctant about them at first because of the commercialism surrounding them, but they are wonderful books, and my dd hasn't been too concerned about the associated "stuff" (she did get a Kaya doll for Christmas from grandma and grandpa).
Blessings! (ugh. Blogger isn't letting me sign in... it's me, The Tutor at Apollos Academy)

Anonymous said...

My DD is also a huge fan. I was a reluctant Mommy too because I really don't like the marketing and expense but I read a great article about using the dolls to teach your daughter about this stuff and it has actually helped me. I don't have a link to it but it's on the "Fun & Games" page of the Emily Rose Dolls Clothes site.