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Does it Make Me Weird to Love This Book So Much?

April 22, 2010

Lanie

written by Jane Kurtz
American Girl Publishing, Inc., 2010
Chapter Book / Jr. Fiction

Welcome to the big, brilliant world of American Girl.  You do know there is now an American Girl store in Colorado, right?  (How could you not?!)

Despite my best attempts NOT to be a consumer mom, I can’t help but love the whole American Girl experience — the dolls, the books, the learning, . . . everything!

My eight year old daughter received the book Lanie, the 2010 American Girl of the Year, for her birthday last month but it was me who read it cover to cover in one sitting.  My daughter just started it today . . .

Yes, I am weird.

But, . . .  in my defense, Lanie’s characters were so believable and engaging that even I (a mom) could relate to them. For instance, I could empathize with Lanie, whose her best friend and aunt left Lanie feeling lonely and displaced.

And, I loved how Lanie, an “outside” girl, and her little sister, Emily, both aspired to be scientists like their aunt! In fact, Lanie recorded her scientific observations throughout the book in little “Factoids”.

“Factoid / The gestation period for a rabbit is about 31 days. For a human, it’s 280 days.” (Recorded just before Lanie took her pet rabbit for a walk — on a leash.) 

Then, hoping to get her “inside” family to be more “outside”, Lanie determined to finish the garden her aunt envisioned but make it a pizza garden — all because of sister, Emily’s, picky eating habits.

The hypothesis: If it looks like pizza and we call it pizza, Emily will eat it (usually). So Dad started serving every meal in pizza form: something flat and round on the bottom, with some kind of sauce or cheese spread over it, and little bits of food for the toppings.  You’d be amazed how many different foods can be made to look like pizza.

Remind you of any children you know? Throughout the book, I chuckled at the crazy inventions of Lanie’s dad, especially his tuna-fish pizza.

Lanie encourages a life outdoors, science for girls and an appreciation for both  nature and family.

MEET THE AUTHOR: Meet Jane Kurtz, when she visits Colorado on May 1. Also, don’t miss my interview with Jane Kurtz about how she became a writer, how she came to write an American Girl book and the background behind her charity, Ethiopia Reads.

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