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Welcome to Kit's World, 1934 : Growing Up During America's Great Depression (The American Girls Collection) Hardcover – March, 2002

5 out of 5 stars 14 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Scrapbook History Two titles in the American Girls Collection provide a unique perspective on history with a handsome square scrapbook presentation, including vintage-style postcards and pullout souvenirs. The first, Molly's Route 66 Adventure by Dottie Raymer, illus. by Nick Backes, takes readers for an eight-state ride, from Illinois to California, along the Main Street of America. In Samantha's Ocean Liner Adventure also by Raymer, illus. by Dan Andreasen, readers can imagine a turn-of-the-20th-century cruise aboard the S.S. Londonia. Welcome to Kit's World 1934: Growing Up During America's Great Depression by Harriet Brown, illus. by Walter Rane, Jean-Paul Tibbles, Susan Moore, Susan McAiley and Philip Hood, in an oversize volume, provides a well-researched and engaging account of the era. (Mar.)
Copyright 2002 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From School Library Journal

Grade 3-6-An attractive, accessible presentation. The book starts with the 1920s and the dawning of the hard times that began with the stock market crash of 1929 and ends with a hope for a better future, although the war, which ended the Great Depression, is barely touched upon. The focus here is clearly on everyday life during these dismal times. Each topic is covered in a spread ("The Roaring Twenties," "Hard Travelin'," "Outdoor Fun," "Fashion," etc.). "A Depression for All" describes additional hardships faced by African Americans during this period. The oversized spreads are well designed, each with a liberal assortment of quality photos, many of them archival, of scenes and artifacts; reproductions of book and magazine covers, movie posters, and cartoon illustrations; drawings; or a painting. Kit Kittredge from the "Kit" series (American Girl) and her fictional environment make several appearances. There are no sources listed, and there is no index. Although italicized words are defined in the text, there is no glossary. This is a good introduction to this period, but will appeal primarily to readers of the series.
Anne Chapman Callaghan, Racine Public Library, WI
Copyright 2002 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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Product Details

  • Age Range: 9 and up
  • Lexile Measure: IG1060L (What's this?)
  • Series: American Girl
  • Hardcover: 64 pages
  • Publisher: American Girl (March 2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 158485359X
  • ISBN-13: 978-1584853596
  • Product Dimensions: 10.2 x 12.3 x 0.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.1 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (14 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #628,326 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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More About the Author

I write about the things that interest me, from the neurobiology of forgiveness to early childhood education. You can find my work in the New York Times Magazine, O, Prevention, and many other publications. My latest book is BODY OF TRUTH: HOW SCIENCE, HISTORY, AND CULTURE DRIVE OUR OBSESSION WITH WEIGHT--AND WHAT WE CAN DO ABOUT IT. It's the result of five years of research into the complex relationships between weight and health, and some of the surprising and life-changing things I learned in the process. Earlier books include BRAVE GIRL EATING: A FAMILY'S STRUGGLE WITH ANOREXIA, two anthologies (FEED ME! and MR. WRONG), and THE GOOD-BYE WINDOW: A YEAR IN THE LIFE OF A DAY-CARE CENTER. I teach magazine journalism at the S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications in Syracuse, New York. Find me on Twitter (@HarrietBrown), Facebook, and at www.harrietbrown.com.

Customer Reviews

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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I bought Welcome to Kit's World: 1934 last year when I was faced with a challenge: I was trying to assemble a credible family scrapbook that would feature pictures and stories from the early 20th century - particularly the 1930s - but I realized that I understood very little about that important decade in American history other than what I knew from a few books like Steinbeck's. My grandpa's stories about growing up were priceless, and deserved pages that honored both the look and feel of their time. I needed a quick way to "catch up" on the Thirties (and a source for collage photos to scan).
Thank goodness for Pleasant Company. If you haven't heard about their American Girl books and dolls let me tell you that they may be this generation's solution to getting girls ages 7 to 12 interested in history. Kit is a fictional character in a series of books written to appeal to girls in that age range. Growing up in the 1930s, she deals with issues typical of that generation as well as everything young people from any time deal with, so modern readers can truly relate to her.
Kit is made more real in the mind's eye when put in the context of this Welcome To book. The book's organization takes us from the prosperous late 20s that set it up, through the Depression and onto the New Deal at the end. We find hundreds of era photos of people, places and things that made up the fabric of life back then. Richly supplemented with illustrations, the visuals are grounded with chapter introductions and short blurbs that contain interesting trivia. I can see how it would be a good resource for school reports in grade school, but it's arranged in a fun way for kids so that they'll read it even when they don't "have" to.
Worth owning if you have a grade school child in the house. Check out the other Welcome To books for some of the other fictional girls: colonial times, pioneer days, Victorian era, 1940s, etc; history will come alive for them.
-Andrea, aka Merribelle.
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Format: Hardcover
This is not the book I would normally buy but I'm interested in the Depression years in the US and I'm also a publication designer. Using the neat Amazon facility 'Search Inside' the book convinced me this would be a good addition to my design library. The book's production really is first class, so a tip of the hat to Will Capello who art directed it.

Don't be put off by it only being sixty pages long because there is a lot of information in words and images, all presented in an elegant, creative way. The four chapters are divided into themed spreads and each of these uses a scrapbook design style to display the photos and graphics, for instance, pages sixteen and seventeen about the 1932-33 Winter of Despair has a short introduction and ten images with detailed captions. To avoid the feeling that history might come across as being distant and remote a really nice touch is the use of paintings showing Kit and other girls relating to the events described on many pages. If I have a criticism it is that there is no further reading list. The text is such that it will certainly arouse any reader's curiosity to find out more.

'Welcome to Kit's World 1934' is a visual delight and gives a human touch to the dramatic events of the Depression years.

***FOR AN INSIDE LOOK click 'customer images' under the cover.
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Format: Hardcover
This is a nice, basic overview of the depression era that is perfect for introducing grade school children to that time in history. The book is filled with pictures and tidbits of info not only about how people coped, but also how they entertained themslves during the course of the depression. I enjoyed it as much as my children did!
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Format: Hardcover
I picked this up from the local library as my daughter loves the American Girl dolls and stories, and was not prepared to be so thoroughly engaged by the reading experience. Even my five-year-old found herself engrossed in the photographs and illustrations, and there are plenty of those in the book. Here, readers are introduced to Kit Kittredge, a nine-year-old girl whose family has lost almost everything in the Great Depression. Though Kit herself is fictional, her story is drawn from actual letters and diaries of real people from the 1930s.

The book begins with the Roaring Twenties period, followed by the Crash of 1929, and there are a lot of archival photographs of the time. Interspersed between the actual historical events are the stories centering around Kit and her family, especially on how the Depression impacted them and how they coped. The archival photographs paint a harrowing portrait of the effects of the Depression on Americans - homeless families who rode the rails (traveling without a ticket), living in hobo camps, etc. The book touches briefly on the Winter of Despair in 1932-33 when the situation was particularly desperate, followed by descriptions of the dust storms of the 1930s, lives in poverty, the literature of the period (Steinbeck's The Grapes of Wrath), and how most people coped during this trying period.

Yet despite the lows, the book also focuses on the positive - how desperate times called for creativity, where children and adults turned to reading to pass the time (obtaining books from libraries), listened to the radio, and escaped into the world of movies. The Great Depression lasted more than 10 long years - and yet the American people prevailed and this book captures it all. Though this makes excellent instructional material in Language Arts, History, and Social Studies classes, I'd also recommend it to adults and collectors.
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