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Felicity Learns a Lesson: A School Story by…

Felicity Learns a Lesson: A School Story

by Valerie Tripp

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I was really pleased with this book and overall the series of "American Girls" that I have acquired recently. I had wanted to read them for some time to see the quality of them for young children and found that they are something I would definitely want to share with them. This book focuses on Felecity going to learn some lessons that would have been suitable for the time period right before the Civil War. It is interesting to see how much care went into making these almost historically accurate as possible. The author, Valerie Tripp, spent great care in making sure that every single moment felt like something that could have really happened to this fictional character. I commend her for this aspect to her writing. The book is truly a gem that will teach great morals to your children and also help them to understand a vastly different way of living than what they are used to today. ( )
  SoulFlower1981 | Jan 20, 2016 |
Summary: In Felicity Learns a Lesson, Felicity helps give us a glimpse into Colonial America and what young girls learned in school. Along with her friend, Elizabeth, we see a divide starting with those on both sides of the pre-Revolutionary War.

Personal Reaction: I think this is a beautifully written story with so many historical contributions that make you feel as though you are seeing a classroom from Colonial America. I think this is so great that so much historical context is included in this book!

Classroom extensions: I think it would be so neat to ask students what they learn from their parents as in Colonial America young girls learned so much from their mothers. I think it would be neat to see if students were learning how to cook, sew, or anything that is considered traditional, or if they are interested in learning any hobbies or skills. ( )
  CelesteJoy | Sep 19, 2015 |

Felicity, a young girl growing up in the colonial days, would rather spend all her free time being a kid, than learning how to be a lady from her mother. Unfortunately, she grows up pretty fast when she has to decide what is best for her: her friendship with her closest friend, or supporting the boycott of tea.


I love all of the American Girl books. I think that they give the reader an insight to what their lives could have been if they were living in that time period. Even though they are fiction, they are well-written and make the reader actually want to believe this really happened to the girls.

Classroom Extension

1. I would have the class write a paragraph about what they would be feeling if they were in Felicity's shoes.

2. I would read this book when we were going over a history lesson about colonial days, and the Boston Tea Massacre and explain that children their age had to go through everyday life like we do. ( )
  KaleyHarper | Mar 27, 2011 |
Felicity would rather spend time outside , but her mother feels it is time for her to learn to be a gentlewoman. Felicity's attends lessons on tea, manners, and penmanship with two other girls, one of which she becomes fast friends with. However, even tea time becomes complex after the Boston Tea Party. This story is an excellent example of how even a brief book for younger readers can have well developed characters and plots. The peek into the past further explains the historic context the book is set in. An excellent addition to the popular American Girl series. ( )
  MissyAnn | Sep 10, 2010 |
ISBN 0590459872 – I’ve put off reading any American Girls books because I’ve really disliked the entire AG phenomenon, with extraordinarily overpriced dolls and all the extras. Having finally read a pair of them, I consider myself ashamed of myself for judging a book by the product it promotes.

Felicity is a young tomboy-ish girl in 1774, when her mother decides that it’s time for her to start learning the things she will need to know as an adult – and those things don’t include the education Felicity is interested in. She begins to take lessons from Miss Manderly, along with sisters Elizabeth and Annabelle Cole. Elizabeth and Felicity become friends, but Annabelle is a snobby Loyalist and when Felicity’s father shows himself to be a Patriot, Felicity finds she has to decide for herself what she believes in.

When an unmarried woman, an old maid in her time, is the person who teaches young girls what they’ll need to know in order to be good wives, the world is off-track, I think. I found it mildly offensive that the reader is supposed to believe that Felicity just accepted the role she obviously didn’t look forward to. Even if that’s an accurate reflection of the time, the author could have done better. The information casually sprinkled throughout is nice (“a pomade of hog’s fat and cinnamon” ought to get them asking questions!). The educational materials at the back of the book are a fantastic addition to a pretty good book and the illustrations are awesome, with a resemblance to the illustrations in older editions of Little Women, a rare occurrence in books for older children. But I still don’t like the dolls, et al.

- AnnaLovesBooks ( )
  AnnaLovesBooks | Aug 8, 2008 |
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Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Valerie Trippprimary authorall editionscalculated
Andreasen, DanIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Felicity Merriman sat high atop the roof of her house and tilted her face up to the sun.
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Shortly before the Revolutionary War, nine-year-old Felicity, who lives in Williamsburg, is torn between supporting the tariff-induced tea boycott and saving her friendship with Elizabeth, a young loyalist from England.

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