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Meet Kirsten: An American Girl (1986)

by Janet Beeler Shaw

Series: American Girls (Kirsten 1), American Girls: Kirsten (1)

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2,850264,377 (3.95)3
Nine-year-old Kirsten and her family experience many hardships as they travel from Sweden to the Minnesota frontier in 1854.

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Kirsten is a pioneer girl who settles on the frontier.
  BLTSbraille | Sep 18, 2021 |
  lcslibrarian | Aug 13, 2020 |
  lcslibrarian | Aug 13, 2020 |
Kirsten's story is well-paced and sure to capture the attention of its readers. Kirsten and her family are approaching America on a ship, which is pummeled by a storm. Despite the awfulness of being cooped up inside where the smells of people's sickness is unavoidable, at least Kirsten has a friend whose family also came from Sweden to America. Once in America things do not get easier. Kirsten gets lost and no one can understand her, and then her friend gets mortally ill. Finally, they reach Minnesota and are greeted by family.

I enjoyed the Kirsten story better than Josefina's, mainly because Josefina's narrative so seemed so flat. She never really came alive for me. Kirsten's narrative is told in a more engaging manner, Kirsten seems more rounded and interesting and the tale builds in a way that makes one want to keep reading. Recommended for 6-9 year olds. ( )
  Marse | Mar 18, 2020 |
These damn American Girl novels making feel all the feels. It could be the nostalgia talking but I absolutely loved this. I love what an age-appropriate history lesson these books teach without sugar coating it too much. This one really gives you a sense if just how scary it would be to journey across the ocean to an unfamiliar land, all in hope of making a better life. I cried a few little happy tears when they finally reached the Uncle's farm. ( )
  EliseLaForge | Nov 20, 2018 |
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For my mother, Nadina Fowler
First words
"That's America!" Kirsten said happily.
Kirsten looked down at her dusty boots. Saying good-bye to the people she loved was the hardest thing in the world to do. She didn't want Marta to see the tears that stung her eyes. So she took a deep breath before she said, "Marta, I'll tell you what my grandmother said to me before we left Sweden. Mormor said, "When you're lonely, look at the sun. Remember that we all see the same sun."

"Do you do that?" Marta asked. Do you look at the sun and think of your grandmother?"

"When I miss Mormor, I look at the sun and pray for her," Kirsten said.

Now Marta managed a small smile. "Then when I miss you, I'll look at the sun. Will you do the same?"

"Yes. And say a prayer. I will. I'll say, 'God bless Marta.'"

"I'll say a prayer, too," Marta agreed. "And I'll be looking for you everywhere." (ch. 3, pgs. 26-27)
Then Kirsten felt Mama's arms around her, and Papa patted her on her shoulder. "Enough crying. Stop now, Kirsten," he said.

But Mama cradled her and said softly, "Let her have her tears." (ch. 4, pgs. 39-40)
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Nine-year-old Kirsten and her family experience many hardships as they travel from Sweden to the Minnesota frontier in 1854.

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