In the midst of the Great Depression, Abilene Tucker’s father sends her to live in the town of his youth, Manifest, Kansas. Abilene immediately begins searching for stories of her father or signs of his time in the town. Although she is disappointed in her search for her father’s stories, Abilene finds that Manifest is full of secrets and a past that many choose to keep hidden. Through the stories of Miss Sadie, the town’s Hungarian diviner, old newspaper articles, and a collection of old letters, Abilene pieces together that secret past. In the process of revealing and sharing that story, Abilene helps the citizens of Manifest heal and grow closer together. She also helps her father and herself.
Clare Vanderpool’s clever story gives insights into both the World War I time period and the Great Depression. She introduces a strong heroine and an endearing town, filled with intriguing characters and mystery. This is an interesting story for mature child readers (9 or older) and is a good introduction into important times in American history. This book also teaches good lessons about the power of community and the importance of accepting differences.
This Christmas classic tells the story of the Bird family and their youngest daughter Carol. Born on Christmas Day, Carol has a loving nature and a giving heart. However, she also suffers from chronic illness. For her tenth birthday, Carol’s one wish is to give a proper Christmas to their less fortunate neighbors. A sweet story of giving, but be aware of a tender and bittersweet ending.
In classic fairy tale style, M.M. Kaye presents the story of a princess blessed by her fairy godmother to be ordinary. When Princess Amy fails to fit the storybook mold, her life becomes filled with ordinary and wonderful adventure. Written in the style of a fairy tale, but with a unique twist, The Ordinary Princess is a perfect mother/daughter book. Make sure to look for an edition with illustrations by the author.
Anne Shirley with her red hair, sharp tongue, and active imagination is a classic character. Her stories are fun for girls of all ages.
This classic series actually begins with Little House in the Big Woods. These autobiographical books written by Laura Ingalls Wilder provide a detailed description of life on the American frontier.
Heidi, the goat girl of the Alps, continues to be a great character for young girl readers. Her love of life and loyalty for her grandfather and friends is inspiring.
These books may be harder to find, but the search is worth it. If they aren’t in your local library, Amazon does carry copies. Based mostly on the author’s life, the Betsy-Tacy books create a wonderful picture of small town life during the 1920′s.
Ramona is a classic, spunky girl perfect for early readers. Her adventures are entertaining for adults as well, making these books great for reading aloud.
Igraine is a young knight on a quest to help her wizard parents who have accidentally turned themselves into pigs. This is a humorous tale about loyalty, frienship, and self-discovery.
Most girls love fairy tales, and Ella Enchanted adds some clever and entertaining twists to the traditional story of Cinderella.