Book Group–Grace!

It’s that time again everyone, book group discussion!!!  This month we are going to discuss the book “Grace” which was for the Girl Of The Year for 2014.  I will admit that Grace’s collection was probably one of my all time favorites, I have quite a few pieces from it.  I wasn’t quite as excited for the story when I initially heard about it, but first impressions can be wrong!

The book starts out with summer vacation and Grace along with her friends Maddy and Ella making plans for what they are going to do for the summer.  However, as that saying goes, “Life is what happens when you start making plans” and Grace suddenly finds out that she is going to be heading to Paris with her mother to help out her aunt who has been put on bed rest while pregnant.  She’s not too happy about it, but makes the best of things regardless.

I really enjoyed this book, and thought it was very well written.  We have no “nasty girl” situation, instead the issues between Grace and her cousin Sylvie contribute the conflict to the story.  Sylvie speaks no English and Grace speaks next to no French, so it creates a bit of a problem!  I saw some similarities to Kanani and her cousin in this part of the story, and I love how the girls eventually come to a resolution to their problems.

Other things I totally loved about Grace–lots of French words along with a very nice section at the end of the book explaining what they all mean.  I also totally related to Grace’s reaction to being on a plane for the first time.  I have a fascination with aviation, and there isn’t a plane trip that doesn’t go by that I don’t marvel at the technology involved as well as everything looking tiny as the plane climbs.

One thing that the book brought up that I thought was excellent was Grace’s difficulty in cooking while in France due to the fact that all of the measurements are in metric.  I had an issue one time with a recipe I was giving to a friend who lived in the UK due to this, and I have a friend who has complained of the reverse!  I also liked the fact that the difference between macaroons and macarons is explained.  Just one of those things that drives me crazy!

I also learned what gargoyles on old buildings are for.  I’ve seen my fair share of them on our trips to the UK and Ireland and never really gave it a thought, but they aren’t just there for decoration.  They are for diverting rain on buildings built long before gutters and rainspouts were invented.

I don’t want to give too much away, but we also learn how Bonbon the dog comes into Grace’s life.  I thought it was one of the cutest parts of the story.

Overall, I really liked this story, and since I bought the whole set, I’m looking forward to reading the other two.  The book seems like it’s thicker than some of the American Girl books, but it is kind of deceiving.  The pages are laid out a little bit different, but I don’t think the word count is all that much longer.  I found it a very easy read too, so it took no time at all to finish it.

Did you enjoy Grace?  What were some of your favorite parts of the book?

The book for March will be “Meet Felicity”.  April will be “Saige”.  There will be no book group for May due to prior commitments.  I am thinking I may do one over the summer, I will keep everyone posted.  Otherwise, we will pick it up again in the fall. 


9 thoughts on “Book Group–Grace!

  1. Hi! I agree with you completely on this one. The challenges come through differences and a desire to overcome those differences. Some of my favorite parts you mentioned above.

    The one thing I didn’t like was the one mishap. I know everyone was busy, but I can’t believe absolutely no one noticed and didn’t say anything to her until it was too late. 😦

  2. Oh, one other thing I would have liked is a photo album in the back with the glossary. I’ve been to Paris and have seen the sites Grace mentions. I could draw from my own experiences to visualize the landmarks; the target audience probably does not have this background. Illustrations or photos in the story or in the back would be quite helpful.

    • I never thought about it, but yes, that would have been very helpful. Sort of like what they do with the historical books.

  3. I enjoyed this book as well. It was the first American Girl book that I read. Along with Grace’s relationship with Sylvie, I liked her relationship with Maddy and Ella. Here she was in Paris experiencing new things, but she was still worried that her friends were having fun and planning without her. I think this is something girls could relate to. One of my granddaughters (she is 8) is not at all interested in dolls, but she loves to read. I have gotten her interested in American Girl books. She really enjoyed this one.

    • I definitely think this book was a book that most young girls could relate too, more so than some of the other Girl Of The Year books. How awesome that you’re granddaughter is enjoying the books, even if she isn’t into the dolls!

  4. +++++SPOILER ALERT+++
    I liked the book a lot more than I thought I would. It was different than what I had expected, but it was a good different. I liked Grace’s personality a lot, and I thought she was very sweet and caring. My favorite part was when she found her courage and did something she never thought she could’ve done (singing with Colette and Sophie with the street musicians) and the author did a great job of really emphasizing that. I love the complete wonder and awe she had of Paris and how proud of herself she was in that moment and it really carried it through her whole trip. The only part I didn’t like was the fact that she had a cell phone and she seemed a bit fixated on taking photos of everything constantly (it bothered me with Lea as well as, but at least Lea had an actual camera) and it just bothers me when little kids have cell phones, and feel the need to constantly document their lives, but that’s just me! Live in the moment, kids! I guess it’s just the way our culture is going now, though so it fits right into the book and this time period. 😉
    I think we can all relate to getting frustrated and sort of “shot down” and I felt bad for her during that part, but I think it was a great lesson for younger readers to realize that things may not always be the way we envision them, but it’s important to keep trying.
    The ending was really nice and I’m not going to lie, I almost got a little teary about the Bonbon part and how happy she was.
    Overall, the story really did make me like the doll and character a lot more. I’d be interested in reading the rest of Grace’s books. 🙂

    • I agree, this story was much better than expected, and I’m very glad now that I have so much of Grace’s collection. I’m looking forward to reading the other two as well, I hope they are as good. Quite honestly, I think of all of the GOTY stories, it’s probably one of the best out there. There were just a lot of nice details in the story that really helped bring it to life.

  5. [Spoiler alert]
    Grace’s trilogy is really good. I think each book is really good, but things with her friends at home get a bit sticky when she gets back. The jealousy, hurt feelings, and feeling left out syndrome kind of takeover. Grace learns a lot as her story progresses.

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