October Book Group–“Meet Rebecca”

Hello everyone!  I’ve missed our little book chats, I’m glad to get back to doing these.  This month the book to discuss is “Meet Rebecca”.  Let’s get started!

For me, this book was okay but didn’t impress me a bunch.  I guess the best way to describe it is it’s too formulaic.  Maybe I’m being a bit harsh as a good bit of the book is spent explaining some of the Jewish words and customs to the reader, and that isn’t a bad thing, but it lacks some of the good story telling that I’ve encountered in some of the other books like Meet Kit and Meet Marie-Grace simply because it would have made the book way too long.

I did like the way Rebecca decided to earn some money and how she had a change of heart in what to do with the money.  I also liked her Bubbie and her frequent comments about how things were changing which I imagine were common issues for people of her generation who came to the United States.  Just being uprooted from ones homeland and then experiencing many of the enormous changes the world was going through at that time in history had to be a very traumatic and scary experience for many of the immigrants.  It reminded me of a woman who I used to know whose family immigrated to the US from Germany right around the time of World War II.  The story she told about how her parents mailed money and clothes to family there so that they could celebrate a family wedding there in conjunction with the event here in the US was fascinating to me.  It was a great example of the family ties crossing the ocean, much the way they did with Rebecca’s family trying to figure out how to get some of their family out of danger in Russia.

The biggest downside to this book is the underlying story about the perils facing those still living in Russia.  Perhaps this is why this book was a let down to me as this is a part of history that I’ve done a lot of research about.  It would be very difficult to pay much attention to it in a book of this type as it would be a whole book in itself!  Plus I have to remind myself that these books are aimed at a grade school to middle school reader and it probably wouldn’t be all that interesting to them on a larger scale.  Hopefully it inspired some readers to go and do some research on their own as it’s a very complicated but interesting period in Russian history.

Overall, the book wasn’t horrible, but I found it hard to get excited about.  I do plan on reading the rest eventually though, and I’m hoping that we see more of Cousin Max and the annoying Leo.  I did get tired of hearing Rebecca continually complaining about not being allowed to do anything because she wasn’t old enough.  Maybe it was just me though.

What did you think of “Meet Rebecca”?

The book for November will be “Aloha, Kanani”.  We will be taking December off due to the holidays and will resume in January.  I will give the book list for the first part of 2018 next month so everyone has time to locate them. 

A New Doll In The House!

My love of American Girl dolls started in 1990 back when it was still Pleasant Company. I ran across one of their catalogs while my husband and I were on a day trip-I was hooked. He was paying attention and got me Samantha for Christmas that year. I’ve loved her all these years and really never saw another doll in the AG line that I liked nearly as much. A couple of years ago I bought Sam a friend in a generic version, but she didn’t instill those feelings I had with Sam.  I’m ashamed to admit that I’ve never even named her!

Several times over the years I’ve considered buying one of the My American Girl Dolls. I wanted it to be the same coloring as me and completely different from Samantha. Unfortunately they never came out with a doll with light skin, light brown hair and hazel eyes. Enter Rebecca Rubin from the historical collection! I was excited when I saw her, but put off buying her until just a couple of weeks ago. I told my husband that she could be my early birthday gift (my birthday isn’t until September) and he said that was fine by him. I’m lucky, he’s an easy going guy who doesn’t mind my obsessions 😉

I ordered her on the Monday before the fourth of July, she arrived that Thursday-yay! I was impressed at the speed in which I got her and also that she was shipped Fed Ex. I also ordered two outfits that were on clearance.

I felt like a kid waiting for Santa, I kept watching my Fed Ex tracking. She arrived around lunch time. Meet Rebecca 1

Meet Rebecca 2
I have to say that I feel about her like I did Samantha. She’s so cute and I love that she resembles me a bit. She even has curly hair at the ends like I do when I let my hair dry naturally. I think I made a great choice.

I did notice a few things very different. Keep in mind that Samantha is an old Pleasant Company version. Right off the bat I noticed that there was a huge difference in the type of hair they used in her wig. Samantha’s is more like the old Dynel wigs they used to make in the 70’s and 80’s, Rebecca has almost Barbie doll texture hair. I would definitely NOT recommend Rebecca for a younger girl as I can see where this texture combined with the “natural” curl could turn in to a rats nest rather easily. I did not buy the special comb for this hair type as I’m very careful with my dolls hair and I figure I can buy one at a salon supply store cheaper.

Meet Rebecca 3Rebecca is on the left, Samantha on the right.


The other thing that I noticed is that Rebecca is definitely a bit more curvy and thinner. I had read about this on an AG blog not too long ago. She also seems to have a bit bigger butt. Some have accused Mattel of trying to “Barbify” the AG line–I wouldn’t say that she’s even close to Barbie in her shape, but she’s definitely different from the Pleasant Company dolls. It doesn’t matter, I still love her.

The barrette that came with her looks as though it could break easily if played with too much.  I remedied that with a hair clip.  I will just put it away and only use it for special situations.  Her clothing is typical AG clothing, well made overall.  The shoes were a little difficult to get off, but not bad.

Now for the outfits I bought:
Meet Rebecca 4
I thought this outfit was too cute and since it was on clearance, I decided to take a chance on it. Overall I think it’s well made, the hoodie is just beyond adorable. Not wild about the design on the front of the tank top, oh well. Most disappointing is the pants, they don’t fit all that well. Put it this way, if Rebecca had to sit down, we’d get a nice butt crack shot. Argh. I didn’t try them on Samantha yet to see if they fit her any better. Perhaps they will fit NoNameDoll if nothing else. The sandals are very cute, but also not the best fitting. Come on AG, for what you charge for this stuff, I would expect it to fit better. It’s not like you are making clothes for people of all different sizes!

The other outfit I purchased were these darling PJ’s with slippers that Samantha is modeling:
Meet Rebecca 6

Overall this outfit was easy to get on and fit Samantha very well. The only issue was getting the slippers on–geesh!!!! Perhaps AG should come out with a little doll sized shoe horn, it seems like so many of their shoes are difficult to get on and off. I was impressed though that once I did get them on, Samantha could still stand on her own. I didn’t know if all that knit material would throw off her balance, but it didn’t.

There was another outfit I wanted but when I went to place my order, it was gone. 😦 It is now back in stock, so I am debating on ordering it and another item or two in the sale section.
Meet Rebecca 5

Samantha seems to be thrilled with her new friend, she and NoNameDoll can have a real slumber party now! I haven’t told Samantha that I’m currently bidding on a used Kit on Ebay. I’ll break it to her slowly before she gets here should I win. Kit looks just like one of my nieces did when she was that age and I decided I had to have her too. Then I’m done…I think…until they come out with something new I like 😉

In case you are wondering, Samantha’s outfit in the last photo is from Springfield as are her sneakers.