American Girl: The Cécile Series, written by Denise Lewis Patrick and illustrated by Christine Kornacki, is a great turn on just reading a history textbook–this time, it’s a story in history! Cécile Rey is a courageous and kind girl living in New Orleans, Louisiana in 1853. Although she lives in a country where others like her are slaves, her family is lucky–they are French, and they are very wealthy, free people. When Cécile meets another girl at her singing class, Marie-Grace,they unextectedly become the best of friends. After her new friendship, she finds herself doing more charitable things than ever–mainly at the local orphanage and nursing home. First, (Meet Cécile) she gets to have an extremely unique experience at the Mardi Gras Children’s Ball. Second, (Troubles for Cécile) she helps in a time of need when some family members come down with yellow fever! Last, (Cécile’s Gift) she helps a young girl, Perinne Dupree, who has lost most of her family to yellow fever. No matter what happens, though, Cécile always finds a great way to get through it and learn a good life lesson! 🙂
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Denise Lewis Patrick is the author of the Cécile Rey books: Meet Cécile, Troubles for Cécile, and Cécile’s Gift. She grew up in Louisiana, and is thrilled to write about its history in the stories of this new American Girl historical character. Denise wrote and illustrated her first book when she was ten—she glued yellow cloth to cardboard for the cover and sewed the pages together on her mom’s sewing machine! Today, Denise has published more than 35 picture books, biographies, and historical novels for young readers. (from http://www.americangirlpublishing.com/authors/deniselewispatrick.aspx, but you can also check out http://www.deniselewispatrick.com/index.htm)
This book is great! It kept my attention, and made me want to read more every time! This seems like the perfect book to keep a younger child’s attention span while learning a lot about history. I’m not sure if this is considered bad, but I…kind of liked it better in Troubles for Cécile when some of the family members were sick…I don’t know, it was just more interesting to find out what happened, but I’m not sure if I should think that since illnesses are a bad thing. 😄
I wish that the Marie-Grace parts were at the library–they contained a lot of the important parts that happened, and they make up books 1, 3, and 5. I think this is the only American Girl series I haven’t read (it’s the newest!). So far, there isn’t one American Girl book that has failed to dissapoint me. 🙂
★★★★ 4/5 stars!