Children's Reading List: American Girl Julie and Lapbook


Well, my daughter has done it! She's finished reading ALL of the American Girl historical books!

Julie's books were the last to be read. Julie lived in California in 1974. I admit I was more leery about these books than the others. I wondered how the hippie, free-love movement would play into these books. There is a book that deals specifically with gender equality as well and I wondered how this would be presented. Julie's parents are divorced, which was another factor that played into my unease. [Part of my concern is related to American Girl's website, which, in my opinion, takes the feminist agenda beyond gender equality and into the realm of gender superiority]

I did not preview the books before my daughter read them. I did, however, talk with my daughter about my concerns. I asked her to be on the look-out as she read for anything that bothered her and to talk with me about it. And I asked more questions about the books as she read each one. Some good discussions were born out of these talks and my concerns, so I am glad we could talk about it together. Part of growing up is realizing that other people have different views - we don't all think alike and that is fine - and yet we should know where we stand on things.

We discussed President Nixon and Watergate, as well as laws about gender equality in schools and sports. We talked about families and how divorce used to be uncommon. We made the connection between women going to work during WWII while their husbands were off fighting in the war (something we talked about when reading Molly's books) and women wanting to continue to work outside the home after WWII, creating 2-income families as well as the need for daycare.

As we have done with all of the other American Girls, we made a lapbook for Julie. A lapbook is like a fancy character study. All of the templates we used can be found here, for free.

Here's my daughter with the cover of the lapbook - a drawing of Julie.

This is page one of the lapbook, with tabs detailing Who is Julie, Mother, Father, Nutmeg (Julie's pet bunny rabbit), Changes in Julie's Life, and 4 fun facts about life in 1974.

Here my daughter is showing page 2 of the lapbook, with tabs describing Julie's Favorite Things, styles of Housing in Julie's day, Conflict that Julie experienced with others, some facts about the world in 1974, and a map showing where Julie lived (San Francisco).

My daughter began reading the American Girl books in September and now has finished all of them.
My favorite part - the fact that my daughter is learning about American history but she thinks she's just reading for fun!

I'm so proud of her! She has earned a trip to Chicago to the American Girl store. We are planning that trip right now and will surely post some pictures afterwards.


Post a Comment