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Topic: Where should I start on the American Girl series?

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Subject: Where should I start on the American Girl series?
Date Posted: 12/9/2007 10:44 PM ET
Member Since: 10/2/2007
Posts: 33
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My daughter and I watched two of the American Girl movies today on the Hallmark channel.  She loved them and I would like to get her some of the books for Christmas.  Where should we start in this series?  I looked on PBS and there were over 900 books listed.  Are there collections for each doll or what?  Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.

Date Posted: 12/10/2007 1:40 AM ET
Member Since: 10/25/2005
Posts: 719
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Find the doll that she likes best and start with her books.  Each doll have 6 regular stories:  Meet(the dolls name),  Learns a lesson, christmas story,  birthday, saves the day, changes for(the dolls name). Kaya has different titles.  Each doll has 5 short stories some are only in a vol of 5 stories and some you can get seperately.  Each doll has a World book which tells about real life in the time period that the doll is from.  Some of the dolls have other special books if you want to know about these look at my wish list.

    We have been  reading these as a family for the last several years. We started with Josephina and then we went in order my time period.  So we have read Josephina, Kirsten, Addy, Kit and Molly.  Each doll is a time period.  Kaya is an indian from 1764,  Felicity 1774 right before the Revolutionay war,Josefina  from Mexico in 1824, Kirsten from the frontier 1854, Addy a slave from 1864, Kit fromthe depression 1934, Samantha from the victorian era from 1904. Molly from WW II,  They have just come out with JUlie from the 70's. 

  If you have more questions send me a pm. I hope this helps. JEan

Date Posted: 12/10/2007 9:54 PM ET
Member Since: 10/2/2007
Posts: 33
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Thank you so much!  This information has helped alot.  I found a few books at a flea market but had no idea where or how to start.  I love the idea of reading the books in order by time period.  This would really help to show how things changed through the years especially for girls.  We watched the movies about Felicity and Samantha.  I'm thinking one of the dolls and some books would make a wonderful gift, maybe from Santa.

Date Posted: 12/12/2007 2:06 AM ET
Member Since: 2/21/2006
Posts: 457
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Stacy~

My daughter has read all of the American Girl books, except for the series about the new character, Julie from 1974.  (She'll get those for Christmas.  Ssshhh!)  I don't think it matters which character you read first, but the 6-book series for one character should be read in the order that Jean mentioned.

Besides the 2 movies you've seen, there's also a movie about Molly, the girl from 1944 (WWII era).  It's out on DVD/video.  There will be a movie about Kit, the girl from 1934 (Depression era) released to theatres next summer.  She's my daughter's favorite, so we can hardly wait!

If you visit American Girl online (americangirl.com), you can find out all kinds of information about each historical character.  There are also games for your daughter, if she likes that kind of thing.  Half an hour on americangirl.com is my daughter's idea of FUN!

~Jori

Date Posted: 12/20/2007 10:53 AM ET
Member Since: 10/2/2007
Posts: 33
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Thanks Jori for all the information.  I checked the American Girl website and it is awesome.  I was a little overwhelmed by all the stuff, but now have an idea of where to start.  My brother found some books for my daughter for Christmas that were not on the website though.  The are hardback books of short stories of each the girls.  Those should probably peak her interest and then we will know which girl is her favorite.  Her birthday is coming up, so maybe she will get more then.  Of course, I can always get great books from PBS!!  Looking forward to watching more of the movies as well.

Date Posted: 12/20/2007 5:03 PM ET
Member Since: 2/16/2007
Posts: 559
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can I ask what a good age to start these would be? my daughter will be 6 at the end of the month. thanks

Date Posted: 12/20/2007 6:00 PM ET
Member Since: 2/21/2006
Posts: 457
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Jennifer~

My 10-year-old daughter says that the Molly or Samantha stories would probably be the most interesting ones for a girl your daughter's age.  = )  If your daughter is not yet reading, these are great bedtime read aloud books (a chapter or two at a time).  If your daughter is a beginner reader, she could probably read one chapter a day with your help.  If she's an excellent reader, then wind her up and let her go!

I think children of any age can enjoy these stories!

~Jori

Date Posted: 12/20/2007 9:33 PM ET
Member Since: 2/16/2007
Posts: 559
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Thank Jori! My daughter can read pretty well already. we are already reading Little house on the prarie books, a chapter a night (me reading to her). I might give the Molly or samantha books a try then! thanks for the help!

Date Posted: 12/20/2007 11:55 PM ET
Member Since: 1/20/2007
Posts: 149
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I have been collecting these books like crazy (my daughter JUST turned 6).  We haven't started reading them yet, as we are hip deep in the Little House sequels. 

But I wanted to mention that Kirsten is a pioneer girl in the 1850's, kinda close to the time of Laura & Mary (they are the 1870's +)

Enjoy

jP

Date Posted: 12/21/2007 12:23 AM ET
Member Since: 10/2/2007
Posts: 33
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Do you think the Little House on the Prairie series is to difficult for a 7 year old?  It has been forever and a day since I read those books.  My daughter is in 2nd grade and is probably reading on a 3rd grade level.  She loves to read to us, but still likes to be read to as well.  I'll have to check these books out as well as the American Girl books.  Thanks ladies for all the great advise and suggestions.  Happy Holidays!!

Date Posted: 12/21/2007 11:45 AM ET
Member Since: 1/20/2007
Posts: 149
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The original Little House books have reasonably large print and paint great word pictures.  They were written as children's books and a lot happens when the girls are about your daughter's age. 

The American Girl's stories are specifically geared for "8 & Up".

That said, my neighbor is reading American Girl to her 5 year old.  I started reading the Little House series (back to back to back, etc) to my 4 1/2 year old.  Rather than repeat the whole series all over again at her request at 5 1/2, I was able to switch her to the wonderful sequels about the Rose (daughter), Caroline (mother), Charlotte (Gma), & Martha (Grt Gma) Years

I'd say give her a shot at reading any of those books (Little House/AG) & if she stumbles too much, switch them to together-time books.  They all give a really neat look back to how life was then compared to now.

JP

 

Date Posted: 12/22/2007 7:16 AM ET
Member Since: 2/16/2007
Posts: 559
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thanks i will check out the Kirsten books as well!

 

I bet your daughter would do well with the Little house books Stacy B., my almost 6 year old is enjoying them and i catch her reading over my shoulder at times. I know she doesn't know all the words yet but i bet she knows a bunch of them. She is doing first grade work (we homeschool) so I bet your daughter would do well.

Date Posted: 12/22/2007 11:22 PM ET
Member Since: 9/26/2005
Posts: 4,490
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My daughter started reading the AG books before turning 5.  We went to AG Chicago for her sixth birthday (which is across the country for us) and we'll be going to AG LA for her 8th birthday.   She has loved all the stories since she started.   If you have a half-priced books in your area, that is a GREAT place to get the box sets which are the six original stories for one girl.  We've bought Addy, Josephina, Felicity and Molly's box set at HPB and I've collected all the others here. 

FYI, my daughter started reading Little House (the first one, Big Woods) in kindergarten and has made it thru 3 of the books.  Frankly, I fall asleep listening to her read these as they are soooo boring compared to modern children's books.  Unless your daughter is dying to read them, I would not force them on any young girl.  Not saying anyone here is forcing there kids to read it, but just know there are better pieces out there these days...

Date Posted: 1/2/2008 2:47 PM ET
Member Since: 10/2/2007
Posts: 33
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Thank you ladies for all your suggestions and support.  My daughter was so excited to get her first American Girl books for Christmas.  Of course, with the excitement of being out of school for two weeks and all the other gifts she got for Christmas we haven't done a whole lot of reading.  I can't wait to start reading these with her and trying some of your other suggested reading.  Thanks for helping start my daughter on a lifetime love of reading.  Sounds like you guys have already started this with your children.  Happy New Year!!

Date Posted: 1/3/2008 9:10 PM ET
Member Since: 7/19/2007
Posts: 594
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I just posted a bunch of these books and would love to send them together to save on postage!  Check out my shelf!  Order and PM me so I know to pack them up together!