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Girls: A History of Growing Up Female in America Hardcover – February, 2000

4.5 out of 5 stars 6 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

Girls from all walks of life and from all regions of America are represented in Penny Colman's glorious celebration of the resilience of girls throughout history. One story after another--unearthed in diaries, memoirs, letters, photographs, household manuals, popular magazines--reveals everyday experiences of girls. In 1704 a group of French soldiers and Abenaki warriors raided a Massachusetts settlement, killing many and taking 7-year-old Eunice Williams prisoner. Eunice ended up being adopted by a family of Roman Catholic Iroquois, and she chose to continue living her life as a member of this culture, dressing in blankets and living in a wigwam. In the 1940s, Drew Gilpin Faust's mother often said, "It's a man's world, sweetie, and the sooner you learn that the better off you'll be." Drew refused to bow to gender pressure, and joined the 4-H club, not to sew and can like the other girls, but to raise sheep and cattle with the boys.

Girls such as Eunice and Drew have much to offer today's generation of girls. Their compelling stories and the accompanying photos and illustrations offer a running commentary on American girlhood, from the Ice Age to the present. Sections on slavery, crippling fashion trends (such as tight corsets and huge hoop skirts), and the working world provide a context for understanding the wide range of perspectives represented. This illuminating book will empower and inspire girls ages 9 to 99. (Ages 9 and older) --Emilie Coulter

From School Library Journal

Grade 5-8-A fascinating look at a seldom-studied topic. The bulk of the book explores the roles of girls (and women) in Native American society, Colonial communities, and up through modern times. The author includes some general discussion of societal structures, social movements, and historical events but much of the information is conveyed through descriptions of the lives and deeds of individuals. Among the girls included are pioneers, former slaves, mill workers, children of farmers, and immigrants. They often speak for themselves through excerpts from letters, diary entries, and published memoirs. Black-and-white period photographs and reproductions are included along with occasional portraits. The layout is particularly pleasing, with plenty of white space and frequent illustrations. An index lists names, places, works cited, and general topics; the list for further reading is extensive. The author's thorough research, inclusiveness, and accessible style make this book an essential resource for libraries serving young people.
Lisa Dennis, The Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh, PA
Copyright 2000 Reed Business Information, Inc.
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Product Details

  • Age Range: 8 and up
  • Lexile Measure: 1020L (What's this?)
  • Hardcover: 192 pages
  • Publisher: Scholastic; First Printing edition (February 2000)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0590371290
  • ISBN-13: 978-0590371292
  • Product Dimensions: 10.3 x 8.3 x 0.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.9 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,079,419 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Top Customer Reviews

By Jennifer Sheridan on March 19, 2000
Format: Hardcover
I thought this was a fantastic book when I first laid eyes on it, comprehensive, interesting, well researched, beautifully illustrated. Imagine my delight when I discovered my own grandmother quoted and a photograph of her on page 115! The special quality of this book, which is perfect for middle grade readers and up, is that this experience could happen to anyone. It is full of average people and their stories in America. Please check it out!
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Format: Hardcover
Penny Colman's book is a fascinating and valuable resource for girls of today. There's nothing like knowing where one came from to understand one's present and future. It was a kick to find, on page 54, some excerpts from the Revolutionary War era diary of my first cousin, six times removed: Jemima Condict. Ms. Colman did make one small error in presenting this remarkable young woman as "Jemina", rather than "Jemima", her actual name. However, "Girls" is an outstanding collection of inspiring stories of real and inspiring young women.
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Format: Paperback
This is a tremendous historical work on the history of girls in America. Many names and dates along with illustrations are given throughout the book. Starting with the very first immigrants all the way up to modern day women and girls, this book touches on girls'life in history. Historical accounts of what girls went through in the early years is truly amazing. A great resource for girls looking to find a woman role model to look up to and pattern their life after.
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