"GRACE: Girl of the Year," by Mary Casanova, American Girl, $9.99, 200 pages (f) (ages 10 and up)
Nine-year-old Grace Thomas has big plans for her summer, and those plans unexpectedly change in the book "Grace," created by American Girl, a popular doll company that produces books about its dolls.
Grace is the 2015 American Girl of the Year.
Grace has exciting plans to start a dog-walking business with her friends, but her mother tells her that they are going to Paris for five weeks to help her Aunt Sophie with a new baby.
Grace is a very prepared girl with lots of great ideas, but she gets a little worried about what it will be like going from Massachusetts to Paris. France will be very different with a whole new language, society and environment. Her cousin Sylvie, who is a couple of years older, is another thing she worries about. Grace worries if they will get along and if can they understand each other.
The day Grace and Sylvie go into Paris to the Luxembourg Gardens is one important part of the book. They find a small, friendly dog that follows them. Grace names it Bon Bon and lovingly cares for it throughout her trip. It's exciting to know what happens to the dog by the end of the story.
Just when it seems everything is going right in Paris, Grace finds out that her friends back home are starting the dog-walking business without her. This makes her feel sad, but it inspires her to come up with a better idea for a business.
Author Mary Casanova creates interest throughout the story by sharing problems for Grace to figure out: What will she do for a summer business? Will she enjoy her time in Paris? How can she improve her relationship with Sylvie? Will they find a home for Bon Bon? It's all up to Grace to come up with one of her big ideas to solve everything.
“Grace” is an uplifting and inspiring book because it shows how a girl can make the best of her life no matter what happens. The book teaches that if a girl puts her mind to something, she can achieve it.
There is no swearing or other foul language, violence or sexual content.
Faith Morgenegg is a seventh-grader who likes to read, write and collect things from American Girl.