Karen here. I have been thinking about the American Girl Historical Characters recently and wondering with the release of Maryellen, what a day in the life of each girl was like and what activities she would have most likely enjoyed. Thinking about Samantha and her being an 11 year old girl in 1904 I found myself wondering what girls Samantha’s age would have read. There are some mentions in Samantha’s stories and mysteries about books she and Nellie were reading and Char and I thought it may be fun to explore some of those books and titles with all of you that young girls in the 1900’s would have enjoyed.
The Marvelous Land of Oz was released in July of 1904! This was L. Frank Baum’s follow up adventure to The Wonderful Wizard Of Oz which was published in 1900. These would have been books that Samantha and Nellie would have looked forward to reading.
The Tale of Benjamin Bunny was also released in 1904, Beatrix Potter’s books are timeless classics. It is amazing to think they were brand new releases in the early 1900’s and that you can still find them on book store shelves and libraries all over the world today!
Anne of Green Gables, written by Lucy Maud Montgomery was published in 1908. This story follows 11 year old orphaned Anne Shirley as she comes to live with a her new family in Prince Edward Island. This story has sold more then 50 million copies and has been translated in to 20 languages since it first written. This iconic story has inspired many Anne of Green Gables dolls and outfits that we still love and play with today!
Also popular in the 1900’s as well as today, is the 1903 book by Howard Pyle called The Story of King Arthur and his Knights.
I was surprised to learn that Peter Pan in Kensington Gardens came out in 1906! Even today Peter Pan and his adventures are still loved and shared more then 100 years later!
In one of my favorite Samantha Mystery’s, The Stolen Sapphire Samantha and Nellie are given books from their Aunt Cornelia to read on their journey to England with Grandma Mary and The Admiral. I remember smiling when Samantha unwraps Treasure Island and Nellie opens Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland. Treasure Island was published in 1883 while Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland was first published in 1865! I was actually surprised to learn that both of these books were first published in the late 1800’s. Until researching today’s post I had no idea just how old these stories really were!
I really enjoyed reading all the Samantha Mysteries and if you are a Samantha fan you may want to check out her historically based mystery series at your local library, book store or see about ordering a copy of your own Samantha Mystery books! Even better check out some of the books that girls like Samantha and Nellie would have read when they were your age!