Book Group–Saige

It’s that time again, book group!  This will be the last one for a while, but I’m happy to say that for me, we are going out on a high note.  I LOVED “Saige”, I think it is now my favorite GOTY story.  I’ve said it before that she is my favorite Girl of the Year doll, and now I can honestly say that her story is my favorite too.

Saige and her story came out not long after I’d been to Albuquerque for the Balloon Fiesta and it really hit a soft spot for me.  Unfortunately the company my husband was working for at the time was on shaky ground so I couldn’t quite justify spending that kind of money on a doll.  However, here I am, 5 years down the road, a proud owner of Saige, Rembrandt and several of her outfits.

Which brings me to one thing I don’t quite understand.  Why, when American Girl released Saige and her collection did they name the dog Rembrandt???  That’s her grandmother’s dog!  Her dog is named Sam.  (Insert head scratch here.)  I still had to get one though as I’m a huge border collie fan.

Anyhow, on to the book!  I thought it was a great story that hit on a number of subjects that are relevant to not only current situations within schools (cutbacks to arts) as well as the problem of how to deal with changing friendships.  There is no real antagonist in the story, but Saige does reach a bit of a crossroad with her best friend.  I thought this was an incredibly realistic part of the story and something that many young people have to deal with over the course of time.  I liked how the author handled it the whole way around, I think it is a very relatable situation and the resolution was very well done.

I especially liked how Saige’s grandmother was portrayed.  I also liked how she and her new friend problem solved together.   As a horse lover, I liked the descriptions of not only the horses themselves, but the different items and techniques used to train the horse (and the dogs).  Plus how she and Gabi “saved the day” with their idea at the fund raiser.  And I would be horribly remiss not to mention the references to the balloon festival!

Albuquerque, New Mexico is considered one of the best places in the world for hot air ballooning.  On any given day (when the weather cooperates) you may see a balloon in the air.  I enjoyed how they mentioned that her dad owned a balloon and took people up in it periodically.  Each year Albuquerque hosts one of the biggest (if not the biggest) hot air ballooning event in October and let me just say, it is one of the most amazing things I’ve ever been to.  The year we were there they estimated at one of the mass ascensions (where large groups of balloons go up at one time) there were over 650 balloons launched in one morning! It was truly breathtaking, I highly recommend it as a place to visit if you can.  The only drawback is if Mother Nature doesn’t want to help–not just rain, but winds as low as 12mph can ground everything.  Lucky for us, we were there for 5 days, so we were able to get to see a mass ascension as well as balloons on other days just drifting around above the city.  I’m hoping at some point we get to go again.

I don’t want to go into too much detail in case I would spoil it for someone who hasn’t read it yet, but I think it’s a must read in the American Girl series.  Did you enjoy “Saige” as much as I did?

Since this is the last book group for a few months and it hits on a subject near and dear to me, I thought I’d share a few pics from our trip to the balloon festival:



4 thoughts on “Book Group–Saige

  1. I have not read Saige yet, but your review made me want to! I started collecting American Girl after Saige (Isabelle was the GOTY when I started) so I never got my hands on her, but I know I would’ve gotten her if she was out when I started. I think Jane Seymour plays her grandmother in the movie, so I would love to check that out as well. When I was about 10, a hot air balloon landed in the field next to our house and the driver offered my friend and I a chance to go up in it (it was tethered to the ground.) I’ve been amazed by hot air ballooning ever since! I had an opportunity to ride one again in Australia and it was the coolest thing!
    I enjoyed your balloon photos and would love to see something like that in person!

    I’m glad you enjoyed the book! I’ve never been out west before, but have some family in AZ (Albuquerque) so I would love go to some day!

    • How cool that you got the opportunity to go up in one!! I’ve never done that, maybe someday. At the Balloon Fest you have to sign up and it’s a lottery to choose who gets to go–and it’s mega expensive as well!!

  2. I really enjoyed Saige’s books. I read it back in the early days of my blog, so to date only Melody has officially read it. I completely agree on how the author used detail and emotion and diplomacy to get through situations instead of whining or tantrum throwing.

    One of my favorite parts was the added real girl story at the very end. She’s from Pennsylvania!

    The friend who inspired me to blog (not Hanna but her aunt) used to live in Rio Rancho and would send me photos of the balloon festival. She also sent me a link to the Spanish Barb Horse Association: Very interesting stuff there. Not sure if that come in on book 1 or 2.

    Link to my review:

    I too wondered about the Rembrandt thing, but I believe that comes up in book 2. The funny thing is I mention wanting to add a few things from her collection to my own, but I think the only thing I ever got were her parade hat and helmet and her necklace. I think all were on sale (definitely the necklace was).

    If you like book one you should enjoy book 2 as well.

    • Yes, I love the story about the girl at the back of the book. The balloon festival is just incredible, I hope we can go again sometime.

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