Meet Samantha, an American Girl (The American Girls collection)

by Susan S Adler

Hardcover, 1986


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Call number

J Ad


Pleasant Co (1986), Edition: 1st, 61 pages


In 1904, nine-year-old Samantha, an orphan living with her wealthy grandmother, and her servant friend Nellie have a midnight adventure when they try to find out what has happened to the seamstress who suddenly left her job.

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User reviews

LibraryThing member AnnieHidalgo
I love the American Girl books. They were such a large part of my childhood. Their plots are somewhat slight, and they are very formulaic, but they also teach quite a bit about history to young girls, and, more importantly, interest them in it. I will always wonder, though, why they chose to call
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Samantha a 'Victorian' girl, when 1904 isn't Victorian at all. It's Edwardian. That probably confused quite a few people in my generation. It's terrible Pleasant Company (who created the series) sold out to Mattel. There's a definite sway these days toward contemporary themes with merchandising tie-ins, and very little in the way of historical information with any attempt at accuracy.
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LibraryThing member t1bclasslibrary
Samantha’s new friend, Nellie (a servant girl from next door), and old friend, Jessie (the seamstress in her house) both have to leave. Nellie has to go back to the city, and Jessie just had a baby she has to care for. Samantha works it out so that Jessie can bring her baby to work, and her
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family will help care for Nellie a bit.
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LibraryThing member the1butterfly
This is a double of a book in my classroom library. Samantha’s new friend, Nellie (a servant girl from next door), and old friend, Jessie (the seamstress in her house) both have to leave. Nellie has to go back to the city, and Jessie just had a baby she has to care for. Samantha works it out so
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that Jessie can bring her baby to work, and her family will help care for Nellie a bit.
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LibraryThing member dcoops2
This book with its illustrations brings the story to life about how it was like about a hundred years ago in the life of Samantha. It teaches children about the past and the different social status that were then.
The times of our foe parents and ours are so different, however the past can be our
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greatest teacher as we go through our present.
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LibraryThing member b1m1d
Meet Samantha: An American Girl is a great book about friendship, family, and early American life. Samantha is a young well to do girl that lives with her grandmother. She becomes friends with a servant girl from next door. Different things happen that deepen the girls' friendship.

I love the
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American Girl series of books. It really gives girls today insight to how life was a long time ago. My daughter has these books and of course, the dolls.

I would use this book in a unit on early American life in the city. I would also use this for a unit on discrimination, because of the differences in social status of the girls.
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LibraryThing member sagrundman
Meet Samantha is the story of a wealthy Victorian orphan who befriends a girl in the servant class. While being fiction, the book closely is tied to the time that it was written about. In the United States, there were still social classes. Girls of the Upper class were to never socialize with girls
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of the lower class. This book breaks through the social classes, having an Upper class girl (Samantha) become friends with a lower class girl (Nellie). It highlights the struggles that both face. Samantha must face the real world when she talks to Nellie, while we see the world that is many times hidden in history. In the end, Samantha gives up her favorite doll, so that Nellie can have a friend no matter what. The book pushes friendship (as do all the American Girl books). It shows the breaking of social barriers in Victorian America. It has a very good message for young girls that its the person inside that matters, not what they wear or how much money they have. This is a good book for elementary libraries and especially girls named Samantha (like me!)
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LibraryThing member mixona
In Meet Samantha, Samantha is an orphan child who lives with her wealthy grandmother. While her house is very nice, Samantha wishes she had some to play with. One day, a little girl named Nellie moves in next door, Samantha has found a friend! Soon Samantha finds out that she and Nellie are from
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different lives. Despite everything, Samantha and Nellie become good friends. This books tells of all the lessons Samantha learns that comes with being friends with a person very different from you and shows that friendship doesn't have a boundary.

I remember reading the American Girl books when I was younger. This series is great because it covers so many eras that the readers of the books were never alive for. Even after having read this book when I was younger, I still found myself falling back into the story when I read it again. I could reccomend this book and the rest of the series to little girls again and again.

I would use this book in the classroom to discuss the different social classes that existed in the early 20th century. I could also use this book to discuss early American Industrialization. I could group this book together with others about people from this time period and have students write a paragraph about what it was like to live back then.
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LibraryThing member jnicklas
This is great for girls! Starting at second grade all the way to fifth.
LibraryThing member momma2
Review by Blake and Ashlyn: I think it told a lot about Samantha and her friends and grandmother too. I think these books teaching me a lot about how life was in 1904. Very educational! I really think that one of her best friends is really Nellie. A really good book and I recommend this to American
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Girl lovers!
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LibraryThing member Philip413
Book Summary: This book takes place in 1904 following a girl named Samantha. Samantha is an orphaned child who is living with her wealthy grandmother. A sweet girl named Nellie moves in next door to Samantha and they become good friends. Come to find out Nellie is a servant. Samantha shows
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compassion on her friend and visits with her while she is doing chores. Later they plan an adventure to find Samantha's seamstress as she does not know where she went.

Personal Reaction: I feel such compassion for both Samantha and Nellie. It must be so hard to have both parents die in a tragic accident and live with a grandma who is not very kind. Thankfully she has Nellie. But, can you believe she is a servant? It is such a crazy thing to think that back in the day children were servants. I am so glad the laws have changed on child labor. I love how this book has taken history and made it enjoyable to read.

Classroom Extension: This book could be a great starter to a history lesson on child labor in the 1900's. Also, it could be used to educate students on what it is like to be an orphan and how to show them compassion.
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LibraryThing member KellyBonner
This book is a great book for children who are in the period of transiting into more complex books. Little girls who have American Gril Dolls will especially favor these books. I loved reading this book to my American Girl Doll, Samantha.
LibraryThing member Kewpie83
It is rare that two hobbies of mine collide, but that is exactly the case with 'Meet Samantha'. An avid doll collector, Samantha is one of my favorite American Girl dolls. Like many, I read this book series back in the early 90's when I was scrimping and saving my pennies for Pleasant Company's
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American Girl dolls. 2012, it seems, has been a year of re-reading for me, and I thought what better to re-read than Samantha's story?

Set in 1904, 'Meet Samantha' introduces us to 9 year old Samantha. Rich and upper class, Samantha is far from your typical socialite. She's full of spunk and not afraid to get dirty or speak her mind. This first book in this six book series is, for the most part, an introduction to the characters and settings. That's not to say there isn't a story, because there is, but a lot of this book concentrates on relationships.

What I love most about Samantha's story is the setting. 1904 was a time where you could realistically see cars and horse drawn carriages sharing roads. New things were being invented every day. Can you imagine?

I will forever recommend the Samantha book series to young readers. They are great stories with great themes (ie: friendship, confidence, etc). Even after all these years, I had a blast reading 'Meet Samantha' and your young reader will, too! Because of that, this blog gives 'Meet Samantha' 5 out of 5 stars.
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LibraryThing member SamiRomanecz
I really liked this book. I would recommend it to younger girls who enjoy learning about a girl and a little bit of history as well. This book is set in the past. The readers will really have to grasp that concept, instead of looking at the book as if it was published today. Overall, I liked it.
LibraryThing member Honanb
This book introduces Samantha in the American Girl series. She is an orphan living with her grandmother in 1904. Young girls will be captivated by the beauty of the period as shown in the historically faithful details, but the story also reveals the hardships and inequality, rather than an
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idealistically whitewashed portrayal. Samantha's neighbors have a little girl come and stay with them, but she has to work as a servant for her living rather than being priviliged as Samantha is. Samantha has grown up with servants but has never seen that children must also work in houses and factories. The artwork has two versions based on the edition, but both give expression and warmth to the characters, and smaller pictures illustrate old fashioned items that readers might have difficulty conceptualizing. These books introduce young readers to history in a non-glorified way that makes them accessible and gives an understanding of real world concepts. The looking back section at the end uses real photographs and images from the era to display the highlights of that time in history along with the social implications.
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LibraryThing member Tarakalynn
Samantha Parkington was a nine year old young lady. She was an orphan that lived with her wealthy Grandmother. Samantha liked things such as climbing trees and playing outside. She didn't care much for piano practice or sewing. She made friends with servants such as Jessie and Nellie. When
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she heard about her friend Nellie leaving, she pack up food and her favorite doll to send with her.

Personal Reaction:
I have collected American Girl Dolls since I was about 5 years old. Samantha was the first one I ever received. However, I don't ever remember reading the story of her life. She was a strong adventure young girl in a time that didn't look too highly on those aspects.

Classroom extension:
1. I could bring my doll to school to show the class what she looked like.
2. We could do research to see what information we could find on her life.
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Young Hoosier Book Award (Nominee — Intermediate — 1989)


Original publication date


Physical description

61 p.; 8.6 inches


0937295035 / 9780937295038



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