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Lanie (American Girl: Lanie) Paperback – December 29, 2009
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From School Library Journal
Grade 3-5 In the first book, 10-year-old Lanie loves the outdoors, especially when she's exploring wildlife and recording facts in her science journal. She's always done the experiments with her friend, but now Dakota is in an Indonesian rainforest for six months, having real scientific adventures. Feeling envious, Lanie takes advantage of an unexpected visit by her outdoorsy aunt to convince her indoor genes family to go camping. She's turned down, however, because of her younger sister's fear of bugs, her older sister's compulsion to become a concert cellist, and her parents' fear of repeating previous camping disasters. In Real Adventures, life is looking up. Lanie gets to go on the camping trip, her garden is starting to bloom and attract butterflies, and Dakota should be home soon. Problems arise, however, when a neighbor doesn't use environmentally friendly gardening methods. Lanie is worried that the pesticides will hurt the butterflies and she comes up with alternate pest-control methods and implements them herself. Kurtz's characters are well developed, and the situations the protagonist faces are realistic. Colorful illustrations in various media depict the characters and Lanie's science-journal entries. Interesting animal facts add dimension without overpowering the stories, and closing nonfiction sections answer environmental questions (Lanie) and provide stories of child environmentalists (Real Adventures). Fans of American Girl novels, realistic fiction, science, and adventure will enjoy these books. Kira Moody, Hunter Public Library, West Valley City, UT
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Ten-year-old Lanie loves science and nature, but she has a problem: she's an "outside" girl with an "inside" family. She longs get out and go camping, but they all want to stay home. It wouldn't be so bad if her best friend was around, but she's halfway around the world, living out their dream of studying wildlife. Lanie feels she never gets to have any adventures-anywhere. But when her favorite aunt comes to stay, Lanie discovers that the wonders of nature are everywhere-even in her own backyard.