American Girl Offers Free Books To Read Online!

I was just poking around the AG website a little bit ago and noticed this:

 

So I clicked on the “free online library” button.  Lo and behold, there are two books for this week that you can download, totally free of charge!  It says “Week 1” on it, so I’m assuming that through this crisis, they are going to put up new books each week.  What a cool way to have some new reading material and catch up on some books you’ve maybe not purchased yet!  Thank you American Girl!  There is also a teachers guide which would make this a handy lesson for so many things–this week the historical story is Nanea, so you could incorporate this as not just a reading lesson, but history as well.

I hope you are all doing well.  Crazy times, but we can get through this mess.  Please stay home, by staying home you could save a lot of lives.  And if you have to be out, be sure to observe social distancing.  And no, this isn’t a snow day.  It’s not time to have a slumber party or invite all your friends over to watch movies or whatever.  Stay in your own home with the people you live with all the time because you don’t want to be exposed to or possibly expose others if you might be getting sick.  We are all missing people we love and care about right now, we have to do this together for everyone.  Things are being cancelled left and right and everything seems so uncertain.  Hang in there.  We can do this.

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:

 

 

Book Group Reminder–Saige!

Just a quick reminder that we are going to discuss Saige on the 15th.  I haven’t read this one yet, so I’m really looking forward to it.  Saige is my favorite of all of the Girls Of The Year (as far as the dolls) so I’m hoping the book doesn’t disappoint!

This will be the last book group for a while, we won’t be having one in May because my schedule is going to be crazy busy.  Hopefully we will start again in the fall, perhaps October.  See you on the 15th where we can discuss Saige!