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

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

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

americal-girl-doll-of-the-year-saige
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