What I am Reading – American Girl Books

I have always admired the American Girl book series.  The books send a positive  messages to girls about self esteem. They show girls that problems exist, but with intelligence and hard work things can change for the better.   Here are two books that I have enjoyed  recently.  The first one is Chrissa by Mary Cassanova set in the present day and the second is Julie and the Eagles by Megan McDonald is set in 1974. These  stories are appropriate for girls ages 6 to 10.

Chrissa is a great book for girls that deals with the real issues of bulling and fitting in at school. It is written in the first person and girls will relate to Chrissa because she is honest and open about her feelings and her life.  Her grandfather has recently passed away so her family moves in with her grandmother to give her support and company. It is a nice home, but Chrissa misses her old friends. She starts her first day at a new school and gets stuck sitting with the “Mean Bees” who are basically the school bullies.  They steal her valentines and swimming permission slip, making her feel terrible about school and herself.  It is when Chrissa stands up for Gwen another victim of the click, that she begins to find the strength to fight for herself.  It takes her time to go to the adults in her family and at school because she is afraid.  This book shows that children should be given the tools from their families and schools on how to deal with intimidation by others.  Chrissa is a role model for girls because she is just like them.  She is trying to deal with growing up and trying to find happiness in a complicated world.

Julie Allbright is a 9 year old girl living San Francisco in 1974. One day while Julie and her best friend Ivy Ling are in the park they find an injured baby owl that has fallen out of a tree.  A kind lady tells them about the Randall Museum right up the street, that helps animals that are injured.  Julie and Ivy meet Robin who helps the owl and tells them about the work done for animals at Randall.  Julie gets to know a family of eagles. She becomes determined to help them by raising money and awareness for their safe release into the wild. This is a superb story for children to learn about caring for animals and conservation.  Julie as written by McDonald has the mannerisms and language of a young girl down completely and girls will find this story inspiring and engaging.

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