Saige Paints the Sky

Saige Paints the Sky by Jessie Haas is the second book of two about Saige, American Girl’s 2012 Girl of the Year. WARNING: This is the second book and while this review is spoiler free, reading it might accidentally spoil what happens in Saige.

The sequel picks up right where the first book leaves off. There’s still no art program in the school and Mimi is still in the rehab center. Saige misses spending time with Mimi after school at the ranch, riding horses and painting in the art studio. Mimi let’s Saige ride her horse, Georgia with Luis, her next door neighbor but Saige finds out that Mimi might sell Georgia and this worries her. Also, Saige is having problems balancing her two friends Gabbi and Tessa.

Honestly, I feel like this book didn’t need to be written and reading it dragged out the story line. I was very happy with how everything wrapped up at the end of the first book. This book was around 120 pages and I read these American Girl books in about an hour. So the fact that like 10 pages in, it felt like it was dragging says something. I also think that if I was eight or nine years old reading this, it’s something I wouldn’t have noticed.

I did still enjoy reading the book. I liked getting to know Saige more. I really loved reading about her painting and riding horses, the things she’s most passionate about. I love how Saige is willing to fight for those passions. I think Saige is a good role model for little girls.

I enjoyed reading Saige Paints the Sky but I couldn’t shake the feeling that the second part was unnecessary and because of that I give it 3/5 stars.

Much Love,

Kait

Saige Paints the Sky

Isabelle

Isabelle by Laurence Yep is the first book in a series of three about Isabelle, American Girl’s 2014 Girl of the year.

Isabelle has just started school at Anna Hart School of the Arts. And while she’s excited to finally get to go to school there, she can’t help but noticing that all of her classmates are so talented, especially Jade, her older sister. The Autumn Festival is coming up and while she does great helping her mom design costumes, Isabelle can’t help but feel like she’s falling behind her classmates in the dace room. She has to learn to stop comparing herself to others and become her own dancer.

I’d bought Isabelle off eBay in March. She didn’t come with her book so, when I was at the American Girl store for Melody‘s release and saw it was on sale for $3, I picked it along with the other two books in her series up without hesitation.

This was a nice fun read. I liked how it was simple and to the point without unnecessary characters and subplot lines. I really enjoyed the writing. I liked how the story was resolved but there was just enough at the end so that i’m intrigued to read the next book.

What I really liked was how Isabelle was dealing with the feeling that she isn’t as good as the others students at her school. This is something that we all go through at some point, feeling like we aren’t good enough. I applaud American Girl for taking on such strong themes and for doing it in a way that not just me as an adult can relate to but in a way that someone who is eight or nine years old, the target audience, can relate to. And while I won’t say what it is, (it would be a spoiler) I love the lesson that Isabelle learns at the end of the story.

Overall, I give Isabelle 4/5 stars and I can’t wait to read the second and third parts of Isabelle’s story!

Much Love,

Kait

Isabelle

No Ordinary Sound: A Melody Classic 1

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Melody Ellison is American Girl’s newest historical character. No Ordinary Sound: A Melody Classic One by Denise Lewis Patrick is the first book of two about her.

Melody Ellison is nine years old and she’s living in Detroit in 1963. She’s been choose to sing a solo for youth day at her church and she’s having a hard time decide what song to sing. She takes advice from her older bother who is a really good singer and whose dream is to be a Motown singer. She also takes advice from her grandmother, Big Momma, who is also a singer. What ultimately, inspires Melody to choose a song is the words of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. There are many unfair things happening during Melody’s time, even to Melody’s own family. It’s a tragedy that happens at a church in the south that leaves Melody silent. Will she be able to raise her voice and sing at youth day?

First things first, Melody is such a cute doll. I got her a week ago right when American Girl released her and I don’t like to play favorites with my dolls but she’s definitely one of mine.

Melody’s story struck a cord with me (musical pun intended). I remember learning about the Civil Rights Movement all throughout school but reading about it from Melody’s point of view. I liked seeing how Dr. King influenced her and gave her hope. They way that melody took the bombing of 16th Street Baptist Church broke my heart. I almost cried reading that part.

I loved how bold and brave Melody is. She fights for what’s right and she won’t stand for the discrimination. Eventhough she’s a fictional character, I admire her.

I liked this Beforever bind up better that Maryellen’s. My biggest problem with Maryellen’s volume one was that it felt like it was three different short stories tied together in to one novel. This was not the case with Melody. Melody’s story was one story and I really appreciated that.

This story was beautifully written and because of that, I give it 5/5 stars. I will definitely be reading part two of Melody’s story in the very near future.

Much Love,

Kait

No Ordinary Sound: A Melody Classic 1

The One & Only: A Maryellen Classic 1

img_7257Sick of the American Girl book reviews yet? Well, too bad if you are because i’m coming at 1bc1d5232ecc045155b91fa789de7fd9you this week with another one (and there are more to come). This week, I’m telling you about Maryellen, A girl who is growing up in 1954.

First, let’s talk about how adorable this doll is. Her dress is so pretty and those side bangs are just too cute! Especially when reading the story and you learn how they come about. I want this doll and I can’t promise that I won’t buy her at some point during the year…

I don’t know how to start with describing this book because it’s like three stories in one. You get to meet Maryellen and her family, go with her when she starts the fourth grade and spend the holidays with her and her family. Maybe it’s because when I was a kid, the books that went with American Girl dolls was a series of six so I can see where one “book” would have ended and where the next would have started. I know Maryellen is the newest doll in the historical, or beforever (as it’s now called) so her books were never released as a six part series. I don’t like these new bind ups and will not be buying anymore expect for the ones that are only releases in this way, such as Maryellen.So basically, a very valid excuse to be a frequent visitor at half price books!

Maryellen reminds me a lot of myself when I was her age. She is obsessed with the movies and television and often pretends that she is a in a TV show. I love her active imagination. Something else I thought was relatable in the book was that like me, Maryellen’s first day of fourth grade was horrible. I loved reading about all her siblings and all their such distinct personalities.

I didn’t like how this was written in third person. It’s not something that took away from the story but is a personal preference in writing style. Also, I didn’t like how all the other family members are mentioned and have distinct personalities but Maryellen’s dad is barely mentioned- I think though that just has a lot to do with how families were in the 1950’s. The dad worked and that was pretty much all he did- provide for the family.

Overall, I had a fun time reading about Maryellen and I can’t wait to read her second set of stories. I gave The One and Only: A Maryellen Classic 1 4/5 stars.

What do you guys think about American Girl’s rebranding of the historical characters?

Much love,

Kate

The One & Only: A Maryellen Classic 1

Lea Dives In

img_7256Lea Dives In  by  Lisa Yee is the first book in a series of three about American Girl’s 2016 Girl of The Year, Lea Clark.

Lea is ten years old and she could not be more excited to leave her town of St. Louis to go visit her big bother who is studying abroad in Brazil and she’s just as excited about swimming in the ocean for the very first time. Lea wants to be a great traveller, just like her grandmother, Ama, was. But when Lea gets there she has a bad experience with the ocean decides that she’d much rather take pictures of it than swim in it. Also, things with her brother aren’t how she’d hoped they’d be.

I loved reading about Lea. This book is what made me decide that I wanted to buy Lea’s dollht_american_girl_lea_clark_02_jc_151230_16x9_992 for my birthday. Isn’t she beautiful?

Everything I liked about this book, is pretty much the same thing I like about all the other American Girl books i’ve reviewed on this site but i’m going to tell you anyways. I love how simplistic this is. There are no unnecessary side plot lines. This book isn’t trying to be cool and hip to reach out to the target demographic. Lea Dives In, tells an authentic story that girls of all ages can relate to. Something that I really appreciate is that while yes, this book is the first of three, all the loose ends were tied up at the end of the story but you know exactly what to expect in the next book.I liked Lea Immediately and I didn’t want to put her story down.

Some thing specifically I liked about Lea Dives In, is that significance of  the dress the doll comes in as well as her necklace are explained. I think this is something that jumped out at me versus some of the other Girl of the Year books I read because i’ve been eyeballing this doll for quiet sometime. Still, I don’t remember seeing this in the girl of year books for the dolls I have (Marisol 2005, Nikki 2007, Mia 2008 & I have Isabelle from 2014 who i got off ebay this year but I still need to read her books).

Have you read Lea Dives In? Do you have the Lea Clark doll?

Much Love,

Kate

 

Lea Dives In

Kailey

img_6632 I wasn’t kidding when I said I enjoyed reading Saige. I ordered Lindsey (and many more since then) on amazon but I didn’t want to wait to read another American Girl Story. So, I went at looked at the American Girl books on my bookshelf and I came across Kailey by Amy Goldman Koss, the one American Girl Book that I own and somehow didn’t read as a child.

Kailey is ten years old. Weather she’s surfing on her boogie board or exploring the tide pools, there’s nothing that she loves more than spending the day at the beach. One day when she’s at the beach she’s sees a sign up from a developer who wants to put up a movie theater. Witch means moving the rock and ultimately loosing the tide pools. So, Kailey comes up with a plan to save her cove.

I loved Kailey’s energy. She was spunky and determined to do what ever it took to save the cove. I also like that she’s a good friend, often thinking about her best friend’s happiness.

Like with Saige I enjoyed the simplicity of the book. I enjoyed that there were no unnecessary characters and no unnecessary subplots. All the characters were well developed and the story concluded with no loose ends.

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Kailey Girl of the Year Doll 2003

A thought that occurred to me while I was reading was that Kailey was published in 2003. She was ten years old in the book, and that was 13 years ago, so that makes her 23 today. I wonder where she is now? Personally, I picture her to have gone to  college and Study marine biology, like her mom. I’ll be she’s gone on to be an activist.

I had fun reading Kailey and I really enjoyed reading her story. I gave it 4/5 Stars.

I am no where close to being done with reading American Girl stories! I’ve been having so much fun reading them. I want to read all the stories for the girl of the year and for the newer historical characters. Plus, I want to collect all the original books from when I was a kid. Do you know what ones i’m talking about? The ones where there was six stories.  I don’t like the new beforever bind ups.

Did you ever have any of the girl of the year dolls growing up? I had a few of them, Marisol from 2005,  Nikki from 2007, Mia from 2008 and I just recently bought Isabelle from 2014 off Ebay.

Much Love,

Kate

Kailey

Saige

img_6635 Saige by Jesse Haas is an American Girl novel. The middle grade novel follows Saige who loves to paint and ride horses with her Mimi. Saige is looking forward to starting the fourth grade and taking art class. On the first day of class, Saige’s best friends, Tessa, reminds her that they only get art class every other year due to the school’s budget and that this year is a year they get music. This disappoints Sage so she and Mimi put together a plan to raise money to have after school art classes. They start planning a fiesta as a fund raiser. Things are going good until Mimi falls and breaks her leg. Since they’ve been back at school, Saige and her best friend, Tessa. So Saige relies on the help of her new friend, Gabi, to help her with the fiesta.

I was browsing at half-price books- seeing the american girls books made me feel nostalgic. I’ve always known about the new dolls that have come out and I’ve even seen a couple of the more recant movies but I hadn’t picked up any of the books. When I saw that Saige was only 2.49, I decided to pick it up.

The thing I loved most about Saige was how simplistic the writing was. It was straight to the point. There were no unnecessary characters, no unnecessary sub plots and, perhaps my favorite thing everything in the story concluded. There were no loose ends.

Something I really loved was the part of the story that talked about Saige and her best friend Tessa growing apart. This is something that happens not just in the fourth grade. It reminded me of my best friend and I our senior year in high school. The book handled this story line in a realistic way.

Thats something else I loved about this book, it handled situations in ways that would be

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Saige Girl of the Year Doll 2012

realistic for a ten year old. I feel like in the young adult books I read that doesn’t happen. So it makes me really happy that in this particular book, that did happen.

This book wasn’t trying to be hip. It wasn’t packed with pop culture references on every page and it didn’t use the lingo. You have no idea how much I appreciate this. It’s something I find in a lot of the books that I read that are for the younger audience and I hate it so much.

I really enjoyed reading Saige, I gave it 4/5 stars. I would defiantly recommend this to girls who are in elementary school but really, it’s a story for everyone.

There is a sequel Saige Paints the Sky and I’m definitely going to be picking it up sooner rather than later. Also, not gonna lie, I’m definitely going to be reading more of the American Girl stories that I have not read and reread some of my old favorites!

Who is your favorite American Girls? Mine growing up was Molly.

Much Love,

Kate

Saige