Thursday, August 18, 2011

Book #38: Meet Kit: An American Girl

I had forgotten just how enjoyable the American Girl series of books can be. A colleague and I will be hosting an American Girl Club program next week focused on 1930s girl Kit Kittredge, and in preparation I decided to read at least the first book in her series. True to the American Girl formula for books, the first title is Meet Kit: An American Girl, in which the reader becomes acquainted with Kit's life, her friends and family, and the time period in which she is growing up.

The writing style is enjoyable yet simple enough to be accessible to children just starting to read chapter books--and these series make a great introduction to historical fiction (Dear America would be next!). In this particular book, we meet Kit, a school-age child whose family has been fortunate in the Depression up to 1934. When the family's circumstances start to fall, they take in boarders. This event not only allows Kit an opportunity to understand the importance of support and helpfulness in her family, but also a chance to meet some new people who will likely become friends in subsequent books. Up next is Kit Learns a Lesson, the school story of the series. The order and broad subjects of these books may be predictable, but they are still excellent vehicles for interesting and accessible historical information. Plus, the theme of what it means to be an American Girl and a friend are always there. Not too bad for a reader just starting out.

Or for a program, for that matter! We'll be doing an American Girl matching game, talking about the differences between the 1930s and today, decoupage-ing picture frames, watching a Shirley Temple clip, and having snacks: chocolate chip cookies, invented in the 1930s, and black cows, that soda fountain staple. Looks to be a fun time!

I would suggest any of the American Girl series of fiction books for young girl readers with an interest in history, in realistic stories about girls, and series fiction with recurring characters.

1 comment:

  1. I love the American Girl books! They were informative and entertaining at the same time. I was obsessed with the Felicity books when I was a kid, and I spent my entire childhood wishing I lived in colonial times. I love that so many libraries have AG programs.