I loved reading American Girl books when I was young. I thought I would introduce my 4 year old daughter to chapter books this Summer, so I chose the Josefina books from the library to read out loud to the children. It turns out that my 6 year old son was much more interested in sitting and listening to the stories than his sister! But she enjoyed looking through the books and they and their 2 year old brother have had fun pretending to be characters from the books and walking around calling themselves Juan, Antonio, and Josefina, calling their baby sister Niña, and calling my husband and me Papá and Mamá.
We also checked out a book called Welcome to Josefina’s World from the library. This book goes more in depth into New Mexican culture and history during the 1820’s, which is the setting of the Josefina stories. It has a lot of pictures and information about where they lived, their Catholic faith, their traditions, their clothing, etc. I intend to eventually read the other American Girl books to the children, as well.
We will be studying history chronologically beginning this school year. Our History text is The Mystery of History Vol. I. It covers ancient history from Creation to Christ. We will be supplementing with books from the library and books that my mom still had from our homeschooling days. It will be a while before we get to American history, so most likely we’ll use the American Girl books as Summer enrichment. Otherwise, it will be three years before we get to that era in our history texts.
Even though the American Girl books are fiction, so the people in the stories did not really live, they are still interesting stories and do share some interesting facts about American life in the era represented by the books. They also make great, short-length chapter books for the children to read on their own when they are ready to do so. I know that the content is age appropriate and that they are not teeming with current cultural immorality that modern books tend to contain.