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Posted November 11, 2007
If you've read the rest of the American Girl books, you will notice a deviation in title in this volume--and several later volumes in the Julie series. There also feels like a deviation in the storyline. While the formula's similar because it's a school story and everything works out fine in the end, I notice this has more in common with the later books--Kaya, Josefina, and Kit--than it does the first three--Kirsten, Samantha, and Molly. I wanted to like Julie, but she did not seem real to me and nowadays when divorce is so common, particularly in California where this is set, her problems won't seem real to the modern reader. Even the history seems messy in this book, which supposedly takes place in 1974. Julie at one point asks, 'What's Watergate?' Given that Watergate began in 1972 and Nixon didn't resign until August of 1974, Julie would have to be particularly clueless to never have heard of it, especially in an era when young people were more interested in the news and current events. It also seems to ignore the educational problems of the 70's curriculum and just highlights how schools did more 'hands on' things. In the end, I thought this a much more shallow book than any of the 'core three' titles from American Girl. This crowd pleaser will make Mattel happy, but I miss Pleasant Rowland's company.
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