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:

 

 

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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!

Book Group–Meet Felicity

Hello everyone!  It’s bookgroup time again and this month we are going to discuss Meet Felicity!

I hope everyone was able to find a copy of it so they can participate in the discussion!  I had never read any of the books in Felicity’s series before this.  I borrowed Evil Twin’s set, and I’m so glad I did.

Felicity’s stories are set in Williamsburg, VA during Colonial times, just before the Revolutionary War.  This is a time period that is of particular interest to me, so I was anxious to see how it was depicted in the books.  I thought that Valerie Tripp did a terrific job in explaining some of the details pertaining to this era, particularly women’s dress and some of the day to day occurrences for a young girl growing up in this time period.  I think it’s easy for us to forget that everything was not as simple as it is today, and that something as simple as the clothing you wore could be very complicated!  I sure wouldn’t want to have to wear a corset or stiffeners, they sound downright uncomfortable.

I loved that Felicity is a bit of a tomboy and very independent in her thoughts.  She reminded me a bit of Kit in how she didn’t want to do the things that were necessarily expected of her as a girl.  I also really enjoyed how she came to discover Penny, and how their relationship evolved throughout the book.  I was especially surprised at how the book ended, and I’m anxious now to read the others as well!

We do have a nasty character in this book, but unlike most of the Girl Of The Year books, the nasty character is an adult!  The copy write date on Meet Felicity is 1991, but I thought it very relevant to many things we have going on in today’s world that we see on the news on a regular basis.  I don’t want to say too much and spoil it for anyone who hasn’t read the book yet, but it’s definitely something to think about as you read.  We also have a developing friendship for Felicity that comes as a bit of a surprise.  I will be curious to see if this is continued throughout the rest of the series.

Meet Felicity is a very quick read, as are most of the earlier historical books.  I always enjoy the section at the back of these where they talk about different things from the past and explain them to the reader.  Overall, I liked Meet Felicity, I wouldn’t say that it was one of my favorites, but I liked the subject matter and how it was presented.

What did you think?

For April we will be reading Saige.  There will be no book group again until October, I will announce the books for then sometime over the summer.