American Girl Book Club visits Mint Hill Historical Society

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On Tuesday, January 8, Mint Hill Library’s American Girl Book Club toured the Mint Hill Historical Society.

The eight young ladies who attended were treated to a hands-on look at what life in the 1900s was like.  Decked out in period dress, Historical Society volunteer “Mrs. Robin,” greeted the girls in the schoolhouse.  She shared details about what an early schoolhouse looked like and how it differed from the schools the girls attend today.  Mrs. Robin led the girls and their guests on a tour of the grounds, which also included the old doctor’s office, the assay office, and the general store.

The girls’ tour began in the schoolhouse, where Mrs. Robin pointed out the ways school differed for girls who lived over a century ago.

Currently owned by Mattel, American Girl Dolls were released by Pleasant Company in 1986.  The dolls portray eight to twelve year old girls of varying ethnicities, each accompanied by a book told from the girl’s viewpoint.  

In 1995, Pleasant Company expanded the American Girl line to include contemporary dolls and stories, but the original books focused on various periods in American history.  It’s these historical books that are the main focus of the American Girl Book Club, which meets at 4:00 on the second Tuesday of each month.

“Each month we choose a girl to focus on from the American Girl Book Series,” says Mint Hill Children’s Services Specialist Jacqueline Hooker.  “I like to focus on the historical dolls, but occasionally we have talked about some of the girls of the year. Each program involves sharing about the girl, introducing what children would have been doing in their time, what other historical characters or facts relate, serving snacks that the girl may have eaten or food items introduced during this time period, and working on a craft related to the girl or time period.”

The field trip helped the girls to learn about the topics they read about in American Girl books in a hands-on way.

“The creators motivation was to teach girls history in a fun and innovative way,” continues Hooker.  “I try to continue in this vein with the girls who come to the meetings.”

The club’s field trip to the Mint Hill Historical Society was suggested to Hooker by coworker Jessica Brewer.  It was the first time the American Girl Book Club has met at the Historical Society, but not the library’s first work with it.  Several years ago, the Mint Hill Library collaborated with the Mint Hill Historical Society for a Laura Ingalls Wilder birthday party.  “This worked well for the girls to get some hands-on view of the things we talk about each month,” says Hooker. “We are hoping to be able to work together again in the future.”

The next meeting of the American Girl Book Club will be on Tuesday, February 5, at 4:00 pm at the Mint Hill Library.  The club is open to children in grades kindergarten through five. They will be discussing American Girl Kit and creating a craft from a recycled pair of jeans!  Registration is currently open on the library’s web site.

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