Monday, June 6, 2016

Six New Series for American Girl Book Fans

I heart the American Girl books.

My sister and I read them all, way back when there were only three (gasp!) American Girls. Following tradition, my girls love these books as well. I trust the American Girl books. The Blossoms are getting a good dose of history and I'm confident that quality character traits are always reinforced within their stories. But, when you've exhausted the American Girl books, what to do?

Why not try some of these?

History Mysteries series by various authors

These books are actually by American Girl but you may not always find them beside the American Girl books on your library's shelves. I've read a few of them, as I love a good mystery. The girlies have read virtually every one on the library's shelves, as well as a few on Kindle. If you're thrifty, they occasionally go on sale on Amazon.  Like the original American Girl books, they are set throughout history, but the main characters aren't official American Girls.  The writing is what you'd expect from American Girl - quality and the plots are suspenseful.  Perfect, in my book.

Blossom1 - "My favorite is Hoofbeats of Danger because it's about horses! I also liked the Night Flyers."
Blossom2 - "I liked those ones too because they're about animals and they're really interesting."

The American Adventure series by Norma Jean Lutz

I stumbled on these gems at the homeschool convention a few weeks ago. Regrettably, I bought only four. They devoured them in mere days. I should've taken the man's advice and bought every book they had. After all, they're out of print. Thank goodness there are such web sites as, ebay and Amazon.  The Blossoms are craving more of these adventurous paperbacks.

Blossom1 - "I enjoyed the books because they're super adventurous and exciting."
Blossom2 - "So far, I liked Dream Seekers."

Liberty Letters series by Nancy LeSourd

I picked up these beauts at another convention stand. Apparently, Blossom1 had been already been eyeing them up. There are four in the series. She's chomping at the bit for me to snag the remaining two for their shelves. Liberty Letters are usually written as correspondence between two young girls during periods of American history.

Blossom1 - "I couldn't put it down, it was so good!"
Blossom2 - "I didn't read 'em yet."

The Royal Diaries series by various authors

Our local library just got a set of the Royal Diaries for their shelves. In only two trips, Blossom1 and Blossom2 have read almost all of them. They keep talking to me about ladies from history I formerly knew very little about. Isabel, Victoria, Kristina, Cleopatra and so many interesting ladies are featured. They are written as the diaries of each of these royals. I wouldn't mind a set for our home library, as they are gorgeously bound in hardcover and gilt gold, giving them an endearing heirloom look.

Blossom1 - "It is cool to realize how their actual lives were."
Blossom2 - "They are interesting and I like how it's about royal people."

My America series by various authors

Also written in a diary format, the My America series covers many different eras of history. From the Titanic to Pearl Harbor and so many more, I've even picked up some My America books at garage sales. If you have sons, there are a few of the My America series that are written from the perspective of a young boy. This is another great firsthand historical fiction option that whets the girls' appetites to learn more on different periods of history.

Blossom1 - "My favorite was The Starving Time."
Blossom2 - "We Are Patriots is interesting because it's about surviving in the Revolutionary War."

Living History Readers series by various authors

Pioneers of America - Click Image to Close

How 'bout another fantastic convention find?!  Queen Homeschool Supplies has about thirty of these Living History Readers.  I was pleasantly surprised to see that they cover many, many, MANY different periods of history.  I wasn't thrilled with the price of $9.95 each, but I couldn't find them elsewhere.  Since I love the living history vantage point and I loved that they were essentially collections of short stories, I bit the bullet and bought four.  If you've got a reluctant reader, these are at the easier end of the reading spectrum and the short stories approach isn't as overwhelming as a traditional chapter book might be.  The Blossoms read all four books the week I got home.  I've never regretted the $40.00 I paid for them and I hope to buy more in the future.  It should be noted that the Rugged Mountain Man, an avid American history buff, picked these up a time or two and enjoyed the unique glimpses into real history as well.

Blossom1 - "I enjoyed reading about their adventures and how they saved their families during the pioneer times."
Blossom2 - "I liked them a lot.  They were interesting because there were cool stories."

There you have it, friends, the tried and true historical fiction recommendations from your resident 8 and 10 year old experts on all things American Girl and the like. 

Happy reading!