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Samantha Learns a Lesson (American Girl: Samantha, 1904) (1986)
by Susan S. Adler
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Samantha wants to win the gold medal in the speaking contest, but she's worried about Nellie, the poor servant girl who has become her friend but cannot read.
This book is a good historical fiction book since it describes what it was like to be a young lady during the Industrial Revolution, and the Women's rights movement. As well as what it was like to go to school during that time and to live in the city and work in a factory instead of going to school during this time period.
Another cute story in the American Girl: Samantha series. In this one, Samantha learns a little something about her privilege through the eyes of her friend Nellie, a girl from a poor family who used to work in a factory before Samantha's grandmother found the family servant work in a house two doors down.
We also see Nellie's very first opportunity to attend school and the problems that entails.
Samantha Parkington is more fortunate than most orphans; she lives with her wealthy Grandmary and attends the prestigious Miss Crampton's Academy. Samantha's friend Nellie has returned with better circumstances and is now enrolled in public school. Although Samantha's friendship with Nellie, a servant, is ridiculed and questioned, Samantha continues to tutor and help Nellie adjust to school. Eventually, it is Nellie who teaches Samantha the true lesson of American progress!
The "Looking Back" section of this historical novel addresses education in private and public schools in 1904.
This story Samantha begins to help someone of a lower class in society learn how to read and do her schooling. At the same time, Samantha writes a speech about progress in America. She later discovers that there is more than she knows, and changes her speech at the last moment to the horrors of children working in factories.
This story reminded me about Laura Ingalls Wilder. I loved reading her stories as a child.
This can be used to talk about the inventions that have made a difference in our history, and how they changed over time.
This story can also be used to talk about how early schools worked. (Curriculum, recess, public schools,and private schools.)
Belongs to Series
American Girls (Samantha 2)
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When nine-year-old Nellie begins to attend school, Samantha determines to help her with her schoolwork and learns a great deal herself about what it is like to be a poor child and work in a factory.
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Melvil Decimal System (DDC)813.11 — Literature English (North America) American fiction Colonial 1607-1776
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