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Thursday, February 16, 2012

American Girl Historical Characters Books



Quite by accident I found Meet Felicity, An American Girl, Book 1 for 99c at a used book store sometime last Autumn. I wasn't expecting Ana to jump right into it. So, I left it around strategically, no pressure. She has to be in the mood to pick it up, check it out, and hopefully enjoy reading it. And then I conveniently forgot about it.

About a month ago, Ana started telling me about Kirsten and how her friend Marta dies of cholera on a boat in this book she was reading at school. Turns out she was reading Meet Kirsten, An American Girl, Book 1. Last week she declared she finished reading 5 Kirsten books and loved them all and wanted more!

Those familiar with these classic American Girl books of Historical Characters can possibly understand how compelling, engaging, unique, and enriching they can be, especially for a modern six year old whose day-to-day life and struggles are completely different from her counterparts in the books.

Kirsten Larson's story impressed Ana immensely. A Pioneer Girl of Strength and Spirit. Ana has no idea about the American Girl dolls or movies or the whole commercial franchised aspects of it.

I think she enjoys "period pieces", getting to know a slice of American history at a time through the young girls. Especially now that she has been doing her American Presidents Research, terribly curious about why they let George Washington bleed to death in the name of curing him, and totally fascinated by how people loved him so much that they wanted him to be their new king (which he refused , of course) and tidbits like that.

She is fascinated by the clothing - she has already made several requests for sewing some old-fashioned clothing for her.

Anyway, finally, after waiting around to be noticed, Felicity beeped in her radar, thanks to D fishing it out and placing it right under her nose.

Felicity Merriman, A Spunky, Sprightly Colonial Girl, is soon becoming something of an inspiration, what with her wanting to ride horses and standing up against animal cruelty and such.

American Girl has kept up with the times, of course, and there are contemporary books and magazines featuring today's young girl, but, the ones I have sampled somehow seem rather hollow, farcical, and unappealing, lacking the wholesomeness of the historical characters. That's just the parental point of view, naturally, which is typically nostalgic for "the good old times".

Possibly after she reads a few more books, I might let Ana visit the American Girl Historical Characters online for fun.

It appears that Ramona The Brave (third in the series, starting with Beezus and Ramona a few weeks ago) and Meet Felicity are neck-to-neck now, with Ana's head practically oscillating between the books held in each hand, unknowingly calculating the optimal frequency which amplifies and maximizes the reading experience.

"There are so many books, Mama, I wish I could stay home and read all day!"


Indeed, little girl! I wish I could do the same as well. Sigh.

[image courtesy: americangirlpublishing.com]

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