|Samantha, An American Girl (c) 1998|
I listened to the Samantha Story Collection about Samantha, a little girl growing up at the beginning of the 20th century. The stories were written by Susan S. Alder, Maxine Rose Schur, and Valerie Tripp.
Samantha is a good example for young readers. She is a wealthy, yet compassionate girl who is not afraid to befriend anyone who needs and appreciates her help. She is extremely altruistic, going to great lengths to help her friend Nellie many times throughout the series. Yet she doesn't come across as a character who is fake, or too good to be true. She seems realistic and genuine, and her actions show the value of friendship and believing in one's own abilities.
Since the story happens around 1904 there are various themes that are addressed, which were realistic concerns of the time, particularly women's suffrage, and child labor in unsafe factories. These themes are addressed in a way that the target audience, children, can understand, and also that adults can appreciate.
I recommend the Samantha Story Collection to young elementary aged readers. Adults reading with children will appreciate the stories as well.
I have not read all the American Girl Series, but from what I have read, the books are well written, entertaining, and teach valuable morals to their readers.