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Comment: This book has already been loved by someone else. It MIGHT have some wear and tear on the edges, have some markings in it, or be an ex-library book. Over-all it's still a good book at a great price! (if it is supposed to contain a CD or access code, that may be missing)
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American Girls Handy Book: How to Amuse Yourself and Others (Nonpareil Books) Paperback – September 1, 1994

4.5 out of 5 stars 24 customer reviews

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  • American Girls Handy Book: How to Amuse Yourself and Others (Nonpareil Books)
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  • The American Boy's Handy Book: What to Do and How to Do It, Centennial Edition
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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Anne M. Boylan is professor of history and women's studies at the University of Delaware. She is author of "Sunday School: The Formation of an American Institution, 1790-1880".
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Product Details

  • Series: Nonpareil Books (Book 46)
  • Paperback: 496 pages
  • Publisher: David R Godine; Reprint edition (September 1, 1994)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0879236663
  • ISBN-13: 978-0879236663
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 1.1 x 7.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (24 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #99,400 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By A Customer on March 15, 1998
Format: Paperback
Originally published in 1887. Not politically correct! And lots of fun. My daughters and I can learn how to: make Easter egg dolls; weave a rope net for lawn tennis or a hammock; make May-baskets to hang on neighbors' and friends' doors; plan a picnic, burgoo, or corn-roast; make our own daytime "fireworks" for Independence Day; make leaf prints, cornhusk dolls, flower sprays and a variety of seasonal garlands; host autumn nutting parties; understand the decorative language of flowers and heraldry; furnish a seaside cottage with beach-gathered items; and make fairy-dancer boxes and sachets to give as Christmas gifts. This book shows girls how to: be creative, curious, and crafty; make lots of fun out of very little material; notice nature and nurture their bodies, minds, and spirits. This book is a marvelous antidote to everything that irks me about the end of THIS century. A breath of fresh air.
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Format: Paperback
Sure, it might be a little outdated, but it's a great glimpse into a past time. And today's kids would probably enjoy the chance to do some old-fashioned things described in this book, like making their own hammock or refurbishing some old furniture. The instructions for painting and drawing and basic and useful, and many of the ideas presented are things forgotten about and could stand resurrection. Lots of attention paid to girls getting exercise and being healthy, contrary to modern perceptions of Victorian women. Good for parents and teachers, and kids who are fond of history and open to old-fashioned ideas.
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Format: Paperback
I used this book when a child. I used my mother's copy and never was bored during the long hot summer days before air conditioning in the 1950's. The partner book, American Boy's Handybook is also fun. Wow, what resources for parents and kids (especially for home schoolers and scout leaders)!
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A Kid's Review on December 28, 2005
Format: Paperback
I received this book for Christmas and it is one of my favorite books. It has crafts and activities ranging from preserving flowers in wax to turning an old straw hat into a drawstring bag. Along with fun crafts and games, and even interior decorating, this book shows one how life was like back in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. This book is over 100 years old, and the activities are still really fun and easy to do! I recommend this book to any girl, young or old!
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By A Customer on May 15, 2000
Format: Hardcover
For mothers who are not ashamed to have their young girls grow up knowing "feminine" arts, this book is a gem! There are some complicated projects (hammock making) which most of us would not have time or inclination to do, but others (corn husk dolls, botanic art, flower pressing, and home-made candy recipes) which any mother could help even very young daughters accomplish. In addition to the projects resource that it is, the book is a homey, nostalgic history of the things which used to occupy the time of young women preparing for homekeeping.
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Format: Paperback
My mother bought both for me as a child. I spent days going through the American Boys Handy Book but the girls version bored me to death. I was excited to learn of the amazing things boys got to do in older times but what girls were doing sounded a great deal like chores. The best bit with the American Boys Handy book is you get history and crafts together. There are many things you can still build, at least if you don't live in too urban an environment. If you do live in the city or want more female crafts than trapping, fishing and animal training, get a more modern craft book for your children. The American Girls doll company likely still makes interesting period crafts if you'd like to go the historical route. They did when my nieces were young.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
A wonderful snapshot of another time. A treasury of folklore, crafts, and games that is charmingly illustrated with pen and ink. I only read this as an adult, but was already familiar with similar books from my parents' generation (late 30s, early 40s).
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This book would be a great find for anyone wanting to either look back into the time of their grand parents or looking for ways to bring back enjoyment removed from the hustle of today's high tech society.

The book is laid out by the seasons, making it easy to find ideas and projects desired. It also covers many of the major holidays of the year, the origins and history and what a young lady can do to have parties, decorate with hand made items, and entertain her friends for any occasion.

Also provided are lessons on how to express herself in various art mediums such as painting, casting, scrap-booking and one of the most unusual lessons that surprised me, heraldry.

The ideas and projects found within can and I believe should be used by parents as an excellent way to spent time with their daughters and ways to keep their children active through out the year. One chapter even provides instruction for a home gymnasium to keep fit. For adults wanting to provide gifts and special items for their daughters can learn to make many things such as corn husk and flower dolls that have brought delight and hours of enjoyment since their first creation by the hands of the American Indians.

Overall I think this is a must have book for the education of any girl that will benefit her for the rest of her life.

This book and it's companion, The American Boys Handy Book should grace the bookshelves of every home with children and a spare copy on hand for it will be worn out from much use.
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