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Comments are explicit and detailed and are intended for parents to use to determine acceptability for their children. Please read comments - do not rely on ratings alone. Books are reviewed to the best of our abilities, we apologize for any errors.

Review Date Title Author Series Grades Rating Teen Comments
12/08/2019 The Final Exam Daneshvari, Gitty School of Fear Series 4 - 7 Problematic
Children finally save their school from a nosy reporter trying to shut them down. They finally reconcile their teacher with her estrayed stepson and graduate. Many odd characters and odd behaviors as in the rest of the series. Grownups are often childish and irresponsible. Silly violence.
Boy/girl relationship, Tznius and Negiah
Continued mentions of girl having a crush on a boy- girl thinks he is "gorgeous and kind" She blushes a lot when near him. She feels "excited, embarrassed and electrified by his comments". When he is scared she gives him a "peck" on the cheek- "the kiss electrified Garrison, drowning him in adrenaline and excitement" Boy hopes flight attendant isn't "overeager" to use CPR since he is saving his first kiss "for someone special".Boy says a 14 year old boy allergic to peanuts died after kissing his girlfriend. Boy says that after his stepmother handcuffed him to a monkey the monkey tried to kiss him- man comments that since he spent the whole night with the monkey the monkey must have thought it was a date. Man wonders if women "cheated" on her husband. A lot of non romantic but affectionate negiah.
Religion/Hashkafa
GIrl and man enjoy singing xmas carols together like "Santa Says Smile". Angry teacher calls her stepson "Judas" book explains that Judas was the apostle who betrayed yoshka.
Language
freak, shut up, weird, creepy, gross, darn, butt, dumb, sucks, maniacs, jerks, stupid
TV, Movies, Rock Music, Internet and other Media
Brief mention of TV. Brief mentions of internet, itunes, You Tube
12/08/2019 Jess's Story Heppermann, Christine and Ron Koertge Backyard Witch 3 - 4 Questionable
Parents hire witch to babysit girl. One word xmas. Brief mention of watching TV. Older boys are mean to girls- call them "weirdos". Girl's father plays professional baseball- it is hard on her that he is away so much.
Language
stinky, weirdos, stupid, drat, heck (p156), butt
12/08/2019 Sadie's Story Heppermann, Christine and Ron Koertge Backyard Witch 3 - 4 Questionable
Girl is sad when her friends go on vacation without her and is cheered up by a witch who mysteriously moves into her backyard playhouse. One word Halloween. One word church. Minor bathroom humor. Girls are bored on vacation without TV.
Language
gross, poop, butt, drat, weird
12/08/2019 The Mystery of the Secret Society Paris, Harper Greetings From Somewhere 3 - 5 Questionable
Children go to Greece and become members of a secret society. Text with explanations and descriptions and illustrations about various Greek gods. Illustration of mother in a sleeveless dress. Illustration of mother and father walking down street holding hands.
Language
creepy
12/08/2019 Make Friends Dillard, Sarah Mouse Scouts 3 - 4 Questionable
Female mouse scouts are forced to work with male mouse scouts. At first there is a lot of protests that they hate boys, but eventually become good friends. Very innocent but there are many texts adn illustrations of them shaking hands, holding hands while playing, etc. No romance at all
12/07/2019 Camp Out Dillard, Sarah Mouse Scouts 3 - 4 Acceptable
Mouse children go on a campout and their scout leader gets lost.
12/07/2019 Make A Difference Dillard, Sarah Mouse Scouts 3 - 4 Acceptable
Mouse children in scout troop try to earn the "Make a Difference" badge by helping clean up the park.
Language
stupid (once)
12/07/2019 Mouse Scouts Dillard, Sarah Mouse Scouts 3 - 4 Acceptable
Mouse children move up to an older scout troop and try to earn a badge for planting a garden.
Language
booger
12/07/2019 The Mystery of the Lion's Tale Paris, Harper Greetings From Somewhere 2 - 4 Questionable
Children go on Safari in Kenya and find a lion. Boy sees big bird outside his window and thinks it is a pterodactyl- father says it is so big he isn't surprised his son thought the bird was from the age of the dinosaurs. Illustration of young boys and girls posing for a picture with their arms on each others shoulders, and giving each other a group hug- very innocent.
Language
poop
12/04/2019 Marty Mcguire Digs Worms! Messner, Kate 3 - 5 Questionable
Girl wants to win a school contest for coming up with the most original project to save the environment. Her grandmother builds a worm box for her lunchroom so that the worms can eat leftovers from lunch but it doesn't work out exactly as she expects. Girl is angry that her father doesn't recycle and says that when she finds cans in the garbage she will take them out and "shove them under his pillow"- teacher says there might be a better way- girl invents an alarm to remind him. One word xmas. Juvenille bathroom humor.
gross, poop, dumb, stink, weird, stupid
TV, Movies, Rock Music, Internet and other Media
Children hope the guest at the school assembly will be someone from a TV show. Father watches sports on TV. Girl who wins prize thanks everyone like on a TV awards show.
12/04/2019 The Mystery at the Coral Reef Paris, Harper Greetings From Somewhere 2 - 4 Generally Acceptable
Twins travel to Australia and find a coral thief. Black and white illustration of mother wearing a sleeveless dress. Language- weird.
12/04/2019 The Mystery of the Stolen Painting Paris, Harper Greetings From Somewhere 2 - 4 Generally Acceptable
Twins visit Paris and help locate a stolen painting. Mention of Notre Dame Cathedral with its gargoyles as a historic landmark. At a museum statue of a Greek goddess.
12/04/2019 The Mystery of the Gold Coin Paris, Harper Greetings From Somewhere 2 - 4 Generally Acceptable
Children are saddened to find out they will be leaving their house, friends and grandfather to travel on an around the world trip with their parents. They find a lost coin before they leave. One sentence mention of having green milk on St. Patricks Day.
12/04/2019 The Mystery of the Mosaic Paris, Harper Greetings From Somewhere 2 - 4 Generally Acceptable
Twins visit Venice and help find a stolen gondola. One sentence mention that grandmother liked to visit churches in Venice and one mention of a specific church as a geographical landmark. No religion
12/03/2019 The Mystery of the Icy Paw Prints Paris, Harper Greetings From Somewhere 2 - 4 Generally Acceptable
Twins travel to Alaska and figure out who has been stealing fish. Mention of digging up tools that were over ten thousand years old. Language- weird
12/03/2019 The Mystery Across the Secret Bridge Paris, Harper Greetings From Somewhere 2 - 4 Generally Acceptable
Twins travel to Peru and follow a secret rope bridge to a cave with an Incan statue with animals representing "The tree of life". Nonprovacative illustration of second grade girl and boy swimming in hotel pool.
12/03/2019 The Mystery In the Forbidden City Paris, Harper Greetings From Somewhere 2 - 4 Generally Acceptable
Children travel to China and get lost in the Forbidden City. A few mentions of Chinese beliefs including that dragons bring good luck.
12/03/2019 The Mystery of the Suspicious Spices Paris, Harper Greetings From Somewhere 2 - 4 Generally Acceptable
Children travel to Mumbai India and help a spice seller figure out who spoiled his spices. People wait on line to buy tickets to movie theater to see a "Bollywood film".
12/01/2019 The Extremely Inconvenient Adventures of Bronte Mettlestone Moriarty, Jaclyn 5 - 7 Generally Acceptable
Girl has been left by her parents with an aunt since she was a baby. Hears of parents' death and follows the instructions in their will to go on a magical journey.
Boy/girl relationship, Tznius and Negiah
Mild romantic implications between adults (fairytale style): see each other, swim together, fall in love, marry.Adult woman mentions her "romantic affair" with the gardener, doesn't mention marriage but could have been.Adult mentions throwing arms around man she loved.
Violence
Some mild violence
11/17/2019 Ada Lace Sees Red Calandrelli, Emily Ada Lace Adventure Series 3 - 5 Questionable
Girl has trouble in the art class her father teaches and starts having a difficult relationship with him- eventually she invents a robot to do the art projects for her and discovers she is color blind- resolves her relationship with her father
Language
dumb, freaking out, a freak
11/17/2019 Ada Lace, On the Case Calandrelli, Emily Ada Lace Adventure Series 3 - 5 Questionable
Girls investigate the disappearance of their neighbor's dog using gadgets and technology. One girl believes in science and technology and the other believes in good luck amulets and meditation. Mention of book "Treasure Island". Girl who is spying on her neighbors watches man give woman flowers and she hugs him. Ongoing rivalry between a boy and the two girls. One word mention of TV
Language
creep, weird, butt
11/10/2019 The Woods Beyond Thorpe, Kiki The Never Girls 2 - 4 Generally Acceptable
Girl wanders off and has adventures with a group of boys brought to Neverland by Peter Pan. Girls sing jingle bells. Boy watches TV.
Language
dumb
11/10/2019 Under The Lagoon Thorpe, Kiki 2 - 4 Questionable
Human girl and mermaid girl become friends against the advice of their elders. Girl is surprised that mermaids tail looks different than mermaids in the movies. Illustrations of mermaids wearing scanty tops (but not nearly as provocative as mermaids in other books)
stupid/ stooopid
11/10/2019 Wedding Rings Thorpe, Kiki The Never Girls 2 - 4 Questionable
Children go to their babysitter's wedding and have adventures with their fairy friends who sneak in to see what a human wedding looks like. Illustrations of the bride wearing a low cut dress. Girl says she hates wearing dresses instead of pants because she doesn't want people to see her underwear when she climbs trees. Small illustration of bride and groom hugging each other.
11/10/2019 Ada Lace and the Impossible Mission Calandrelli, Emily Ada Lace Adventure Series 3 - 5 Questionable
Girls are afraid that a boy did something to sabotage their school project so they devise an elaborate plan to break into school to check their project before it is shown to parents. Many discussions about movies- characters in them, plots etc. Minor disrespect to substitute teacher. A lot of technology.
Language
gross, butt, weird, drat
11/10/2019 Take Me To Your Leader Calandrelli, Emily Ada Lace Adventure Series 3 - 5 Questionable
Girl learns to be a ham radio operator. Her friend is sure that aliens are communicating with them on the radio. It turns out to be a classmate pulling a prank and the space station orbiting overhead. In the back of the book the author describes how you can use various devices connected to the internet to make your house a "smart house". One sentence mention that cities are beautiful from space like xmas lights. Girl programs her robot with scary sounds to prank her brother.
Language
creepy, weird, freaked out
11/03/2019 The Year of the Garden Cheng, Andrea Anna Wang Series 3 - 5 Generally Acceptable
Prequel to Year of the Book. Chinese American girl moves to a new town and makes friends as she plants a gardenl(inspired by the book The Secret Garden). Brief xmas, Chinese New Year
Language
dumb, weird
11/03/2019 The Year of the Three Sisters Cheng, Andrea Anna Wang Series 3 - 5 Questionable
Chinese American girl and her friend host an exchange student from China. Girl reads Diary of Anne Frank and wonders how people know who is Jewish and who isn't- its not like Asians who can be identified right away. Children have Chinese class in a church. Mention of a few books by title- Where the Sidewalk Ends, Charlotte's Web, Superfudge, Number the Stars. Sad when girl's grandfather dies.
Boy/girl relationship, Tznius and Negiah
Girl feels self conscious in her baggy teacher with her flat chest- she wants a bra but her mother tells her Asians usually mature later.
Religion/Hashkafa
Brief descriptions of Thanksgiving and xmas
Language
stupid
11/03/2019 The Year of the Fortune Cookie Cheng, Andrea Anna Wang Series 3 - 5 Generally Acceptable
Chinese American girl travels to China to help her teacher adopt a baby and becomes more comfortable with her own identity. Jewish boy says he has to go to Hebrew school until he is 16, then he can decide if he wants to quit or "start another language" (implies goal of Hebrew school is to learn the Hebrew langauge). Chinese girl tells American girls she saw big houses in America on TV. Naughty brother only wants to watch TV. Brief mentions of xmas, picture of tree and presents.
Language
dumb, weird
11/03/2019 A True Home George, Kallie Heartwood Hotel 3 - 5 Acceptable
An orphaned mouse stumbles across a very special hotel where all animals are treated with respect. She hopes to be hired as a maid so she can call the hotel home. She ends up saving everyone from dangerous wolves.
Language
stupid
11/03/2019 The Greatest Gift George, Kallie Heartwood Hotel 3 - 5 Generally Acceptable
The hotel celebrates "St. Slumber" before hibernation season. When the food supply runs low the mouse turned maid saves the day. St. Slumber "gave us animals our gifts. THick fur to stay warm, big bellies to hold lots of food..." St. Bright Eyes is the one who wakes up the animals from hibernation.
10/28/2019 The Year of the Book Cheng, Andrea Anna Wang Series 3 - 5 Problematic
Chinese American girl learns how to make real friends. Girl tries to help her friend deal with her parent's marital problems and her father who keeps coming to her house even though he isn't supposed to. GIrls brothers are angry and tell their mother they know why their father doesn't want to live in their house anymore. Girl explains that they aren't divorced, they are separated but that is good because when they were together "all they do is fight". Girl keeps writing things down to use as "documentation" in case they have to go to court again. Mention of book titles including Princess Diaries and My Side of the Mountain. My Louisiana Sky, A Wrinkle in Time. Middos among classmates.
Boy/girl relationship, Tznius and Negiah
Girl wishes she could wear bras like her friend.
Religion/Hashkafa
Girl wonders why they celebrate Halloween in Chinese school since they don't celebrate Halloween in China. Description of trick or treating. Children write an essay for Thanksgiving about what they are thankful for. One word xmas.
Language
stupid, dumb, weird
10/28/2019 Better Together George, Kallie Heartwood Hotel 3 - 5 Generally Acceptable
When the hotel manager goes on vacation, the staff decides to conduct contests to attract guests, but they unwittingly attract danger and the little mouse once again saves the day. The cook "falls in love" with one of the guests- not very detailed.
10/27/2019 Lulu's Mysterious Mission Viorst Judith The Lulu Collection 3 - 5 Questionable
Parents leave their spoiled daughter to go on vacation and the daughter tries her hardest to get the babysitter fired (terrible middos). When she finds out the babysitter used to be a spy she behaves in the hopes she will train her to be a spy.
Boy/girl relationship, Tznius and Negiah
Babysitter tells girl not to hack into a computer to find out if a boy likes her better than another girl. Babysitter wears a slinky dress to go on a date.
Language
Pain in the butt, poop, dumb, stupid, gross
TV, Movies, Rock Music, Internet and other Media
Babysitter tells her that bad behavior might work in a movie but won't work with her. Girl's trombone teacher is named Harry Potter not to be confused with the book hero. BAbysitter dresses in a slinky dress and is "as beautiful as a movie star"- large black and white illustration.
10/27/2019 Aleca Zamm Fools Them All Rue, Ginger Aleca Zamm 3 - 5 Problematic
Girl tries to keep her ability to stop time a secret but her best friend gets suspicious.Girl tries to explain her actions by saying her father is a secret video star of little kids videos. She meets a younger brilliant boy who has the ability to see things from the past. Together they try to help her aunt whose ability to teleport isn't working. Middos between children in school-they say mean things to each other and try to give mean smart comebacks. Make fun of girl that younger boy is her boyfriend (he isn't). Girl remembers when she stopped time and unhooked the principals suspenders so his pants fell down. Girl does a disco dance she saw on the internet. Aunt watches soap operas- neice tries to convince her to stop watching people do "dumb" things on TV.
Language
poop, dork, freak out, dumb, snot , gross, freaks, dumb, weirdo
10/24/2019 Aleca Zamm Travels Through Time Rue, Ginger Aleca Zamm 3 - 5 Problematic
Girl who can stop time teams up with a boy who can stop time and her aunt who can teleport. They travel back in time- it only works when they hold hands (not romantic). When girl stops time she "messes" with her principal and pushes him away from the wall so when he wakes up he will fall down. Her friend convinces her it is mean
Language
weirded out, gross, pee, poop, freak out, doofus, weird
TV, Movies, Rock Music, Internet and other Media
Aunt watches soap opera on TV when she is sad. Boy has seen hundreds of TV shows and movies.
10/24/2019 Aleca Zamm Is Ahead of her Time Rue, Ginger Aleca Zamm 3 - 5 Questionable
Girl is forced to invite her former best friend turned enemy to her birthday party at a roller rink. She is forced to stop time to keep her elderly aunt from gettng hurt. Bad middos between girls. Girl doesn't like being forced to give valentines to all of her classmates, even the ones she doesn't like. Boy memorizes TV ads.
Language
freaked out, weird, gross, a freak,
10/24/2019 Lulu Walks the Dogs Viorst Judith The Lulu Collection 3 - 5 Questionable
A spoiled girl is told by her parents that she will have to earn money to buy herself something very expensive. She decides to become a dogwalker. She only succeeds with the help of a very well behaved boy who she hates. Eventually she comes to appreciate him but not to "love" him as in the story Cinderellaa since he is still "too annoying" to love. WHen they call a truce, boy and girl shake hands. Many mentions of dogs "pooping" and using a "pooper scooper" and other minor bathroom humor.
10/23/2019 The Princess In Black and the Perfect Princess Party Hale, Shannon and Dean Hale The Princess In Black Series 1 - 2 Acceptable
Princess tries to keep her superhero identity secret as she tries to transform at the same time as having a pink frilly princess party.
10/23/2019 The Princess In Black Hale, Shannon and Dean Hale The Princess In Black Series 1 - 2 Generally Acceptable
A princess secretly transforms into a super hero type princess and saves the goat herd from monsters who keep attacking them. It is hard for her to keep her identity secret when a nosy dutchess visits her in the castle. Funny violence between the princess and funny looking (but big and strong) monsters.
Language
drat (p49)

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Kit - Meet Kit
American Girl
Series:
Grades: 3 - 5
Generally Acceptable
Series
A girl's father loses his business in the depression and her mother turns their house into a boarding house in order to pay the mortgage. Mention of "Beauty and the Beast". Some minor middos.Language- stupid.
Spring Pearl - The Last Flower
American Girl
Series:
Grades: 4 - 6
Questionable
Series
An orphaned Cantonese girl finds her place when she helps protect the family who took her in when the British attack Canton. A servant boy befriends her, but not overtly romantic. Non romantic negiah. Boy is briefly chutzpadik to his mother. RIch girls display poor middos. Chinese religion including belief in kitchen god, alter, temples, festivals, etc. Language- idiot. stinking, blasted, freak, stupid.
Kailey
American Girl
Series:
Grades: 3 - 5
Problematic
Series
A girl tries to save the tide pool on her beach from a resort developer. Some teen slang and culture - gross, creepy, stinky, butt, heck, gorked. Also going to movies, wanting to grow up to be a movie star/supermodel and wear lots of makeup/ 6 inch heels/dye her hair as many colors as she wants. 2 word mention of Santa. Older sister tries to meet boys.
Kaya - Smoke on the Wind
American GIrl
Series:
Grades: 3 - 5
Questionable
Series
Redo of "Changes for Kaya". Indian girl rescues home from forest fire. Lots of Indian religion- needs guidance. Indian marraige customs. Father holds older adopted daughter after a long separation.
Addy - Addy's Surprise
American Girl
Series:
Grades: -
Not Acceptable
Series
Detailed xmas including detailed xmas story and church.
Kanani - Aloha, Kanani
American Girl
Series:
Grades: N/A
Questionable
Series
Hawaiin girl tries to make her cousin from New York feel welcome, but she is too sad about her parents' divorce and her mother's' remarriage. Full color two page spread of girls watching hula dancers. Girl blushes when good looking boy greets her. Coed surfboarding. One word xmas. Language- weird, stupid
Addy - A New Beginning - My Journey With Addy
American Girl
Series:
Grades: 3 - 5
Generally Acceptable
Series
Religion/Hashkafa
Escaped slaves are housed in a church and helped by the reverend
TV, Movies, Rock Music, Internet and other Media
Reader chooses own ending. Brief mentions of TV, cell phone, video games, computer. . Reader is encouraged to go to an unviewed website for the ending to one of the scenarios.
Caroline - Changes for Caroline
American Girl
Series:
Grades: 3 - 5
Acceptable
Series
Girl goes to help uncle on farm and learns meaning of poverty and charity.
Felicity - Felicity Saves the Day
American Girl
Series:
Grades: 3 - 5
Generally Acceptable
Series
Colonial girl convinces her father's apprentice to return, when he runs away to join General Washington's army. History section shows slaves wearing extremely low-cut gowns, but only noticeable if examined closely.
Kaya - Kaya's Hero
American Girl
Series:
Grades: 3 - 5
Problematic
Series
An older Indian woman Kaya admires is killed, and leaves Kaya her saddle and her name. Kaya struggles with feelings of inadequacy. Side story of Kaya's older sister's romance with the man she will marry. She makes a necklace for him, they dance together (p. 10), boy likes to serenade girls with flute (p. 36). Indian religion and customs. History section in back: a legend about a woman who is angry at her husband's selfishness so she leaves him and dances with another man (p. 71).
Kirsten - Meet Kirsten
American Girl
Series:
Grades: 3 - 5
Generally Acceptable
Series
Swedish girl immigrates to America. Very sad when her best friend dies. One sentence mention that boy hates to get dressed up even for church.
Julie - A Brighter Tomorrow - My Journey With Julie
American Girl
Series:
Grades: 3 - 5
Problematic
Series
Reader chooses own ending. Reader is encouraged to go to an unreviewed website for the ending to one of the scenarios. The two main storylines involve a girl trying to prove she is as good as boys at basketball- a lot of coed basketball playing, and sisters trying to deal with parent's divorce. Older sister tries to avoid seeing her father- tells her mom she is going to the library but instead goes with a boy to sunbathe at the beach. Modern girl trying to deal with her parents separation and worry that they will get a divorce. Laptop, video chat. Mentions of 70s singers by name. Girl crashes into a boy and they fall - boy says "Gross get off of me". Middos between classmates. Language- weirdo, freak, stupid
Lindsey
American Girl
Series:
Grades: -
Not Acceptable
Series
A Jewish girl gets herself into all kinds of well meaning trouble. She tries to set up her teachers and figures out how to "get them to be romantic".She also tries to set up her depressed, divorced uncle, with disastrous results. A lot of middos between classmates. Uncle watches soap operas all day. A lot of detail about planning brothers bar mitzvah- a rock band performs, mixed dancing described, mentions of him reading "the Torah portion". Language- stinky, dork, snotty, stupid, freak, weird.
Kaya - The Journey Begins
American Girl
Series:
Grades: N/A
Problematic
Series
Redo of first 3 Kaya books. Girl and her blind sister are kidnapped by enemies- girl escapes and deals with guilt of leaving her sister. Courtship dance described in detail. Boy likes to serenade girls with his flute. Boy and girl huddle together for warmth while escaping. A lot of Native American religion- belief in creator, spirits, visions. Sad when young women dies- belief that dead person's spirit stays in camp until buried and all belongings given away. Children give girl a nickname she hates.
Mini Mysteries 3
American Girl
Series:
Grades: 3 - 5
Generally Acceptable
Series
Short mysteries to solve with solution at the back of the book. A treasure is buried in the shadow of a church.Man hugs lady who is his friend - illustration of him with arm around her shoulders- not romantic. Girls look around hotel for famous people from Hollywood. Xmas vacation. Language- darn (pg. 66)
Isabelle - To the Stars, Isabelle
American Girl
Series:
Grades: 3 - 5
Problematic
Series
Girl is coached by ballet star and performs in hospitals and nursing homes before coed audiences. Prominent realistic cover picture of girl in skimpy costume. Similar illustration inside book. Similar problems to previous books. Retelling of Greek legend of goddess. Boy wants to be on TV gossip show. Residents in nursing home watch TV soap operas.One word xmas. In back of book photos of real girls in leotards. Language- weird
Caroline - A Caroline Mystery - The Smuggler's Secrets
American Girl
Series:
Grades: 3 - 5
Acceptable
Series
Girl helps figure out who is smuggling supplies to the British enemy in order to prove her uncle's innocence. Language- blast them (once)
The New Girl
American Girl
Series:
Grades: 3 - 5
Questionable
Series
Reader chooses the endings- a girl tries to overcome her jealousy of a new girl. A lot of middos issues but with a purpose.Reader is encouraged to go onto a (unreviewed) website to find one of the endings to the story Many non provocative illustrations of girls in t shirts and shorts. Small cartoonish illustrations of dancer wearing a sleeveless dress and a trapeze artist wearing a leotard and tights. Girls go to see a movie.
Maryellen - The Finders-Keepers Rule
American Girl
Series:
Grades: 3 - 5
Problematic
Series
Girl finds a ring buried in the sand and with the help of her male friend, figures out where the ring came from and captures a thief. Frequent mentions of a dance that their town is preparing for. Girl keeps trying to learn the disco dance steps. Her male friend doesn't want to since he likes football, not dancing. The girl's teenage sister tells him that he will want to dance with girls when he gets older. Description of girls dancing with their dates.Teenage girl's boyfriend tells her she looks gorgeous- she blushes and they walk off holding hands. Girl's sister and brother in law dance, then brother in law twirls her- she giggles with delight. Brother in law tugs her pony to tease her. Description of a couple on the beach "draped in beach towels." Boy and girl go swimming in the ocean together. Boy suggests decorating dance with sports banners. Girl responds "Then the entire event would be all boys! Who would they dance with?" Girl politely shakes man's hand. A few one word mentions of xmas. Many mentions of rock music, rock band, etc. Many mentions of book and movie "Treasure Island". Girl says that bandshell would be perfect for a movie set.
Kaya - The Roar of the Falls - My Journey With Kaya
American Girl
Series:
Grades: 3 - 5
Questionable
Series
Reader chooses own ending.Reader is encouraged to go to an unreviewed website for the ending to one of the scenarios. Lots of Indian religion including belief in a creator who made everything as well as belief in spirits. One paragraph description of courtship dance- girls make a circle and boys make a circle around them and try to dance near the girl they like (pg. 163)
Addy - An Addy Mystery - Shadows on Society Hill
American Girl
Series:
Grades: 3 - 5
Generally Acceptable
Series
A former slave girl helps a spy and solves a mystery. Mild descriptions of discrimination.
Boy/girl relationship, Tznius and Negiah
In back history section colored picture of black soldiers returning from Civil War hugging women - doesn't specify if women are relatives or girlfriends. Non romantic negiah.
Religion/Hashkafa
One word xmas. Family goes to church, no description.
Kanani - Good Job Kanani
American Girl
Series:
Grades: 3 - 5
Questionable
Series
Hawaiin girl tries to earn money to save endangered seals while at the same time coming to terms with the fact that her best friend has different interests than she does. A lot of coed swimming and surfing-very matter of fact and part of their daily life. Full color illustrations of girls in shorts and tank tops, sleeveless dresses etc. Teenage girls hang around surfboard rental stand run by a teenage boy who is "tall and tanned, his wavy brown hair was flecked with blond". TV, computer, digital photo frame, email. Pet rooster runs away to be with a neighbor's pet chicken- girl says they are "in love". Language- booger, dumb. In back of book stories of real girls who have helped people- photos of girls wearing sleeveless and low cut.
Cecile & Marie-Grace - Troubles for Cecile
American Girl
Series:
Grades: 3 - 5
Questionable
Series
Girl copes with her brother's near death by yellow fever. Frequent mentions of the many deaths caused by the yellow fever and the many children orphaned. Girl sings song that she knows from mass "ave maria". Physical description of cathedral. Girl thinks that someone who died is now an angel. Mention of kneeling in prayer. Each bead of a rosary "is a prayer". In back history section, disturbing pictures of the sick and dying being cared for by nuns in full habit. Nuns care for children. Name of orphanage is Holy Trinity.
Molly - A Molly Mystery - A Spy on the Home Front
American Girl
Series:
Grades: 3 - 5
Acceptable
Series
Girl helps prove the innocence of her German/American friend's brother who is accused of spreading propaganda for Germany.
Felicity - Happy Birthday, Felicity
American Girl
Series:
Grades: 3 - 5
Acceptable
Series
Colonial girl tries to save the colonist's gunpowder by sneaking out of her room after being punished. In the end she admits to doing something wrong by disobeying and she is forgiven.
Kaya - Meet Kaya
American Girl
Series:
Grades: 3 - 5
Problematic
Series
Lots of Indian religion - needs guidance. Courtship dance - circle of men and women, if boy likes girl he puts stick on her shoulder, if she likes him she lets him keep it there, then dance together as a couple.
Nanea - Growing Up with Aloha
American Girl
Series:
Grades: 3 - 5
Questionable
Series
9 year old Hawaiin girl deasl with the onset of the war and tries to prove she is growing up and becoming more responsible. Girl thinks her brother is as handsome as a movie star. Hawaiiin culture. Older sister has a "crush" on a boy and likes to watch him surf on the beach. Friend's father is taken away by military police since he is Japanese- described in scary detail. War is also frightnening- people killed, trapped- but no gory detail. Girl is worried when dog goes missing at the outset of the war. Xmas described in positive light- presents, trees, carols, santa- no religion. Mom puts on her church hat. Girls "pinkey swear" they will be friends forever. Friend needs to leave island since she and her mother are "nonessential personnel".When girl is upset she makes a "stink eye". Language- dumb.
Samantha - Meet Samantha
American Girl
Series:
Grades: 3 - 5
Generally Acceptable
Series
Innocent discussion about where babies come from - does the stork bring them or the midwife?
Kit - A Kit Mystery - A Thief in the Theater
American Girl
Series:
Grades: 3 - 5
Generally Acceptable
Series
A Shakespeare theater company struggles to stay open during the Depression. Children help locate a thief who stole money from the box office. In history section a small black and white photo of the scantily clad cast of the movie Tarzan. Lots of theater culture
Caroline - Catch the Wind - My Journey with Caroline
American Girl
Series:
Grades: 3 - 5
Generally Acceptable
Series
Reader chooses her own ending. Modern girl receives a compass that allows her to travel in time. Her adventures during the war of 1812 help her deal with her mother's imminent departure to the Navy.When girl is upset she is chutzpadik to parents- later apologizes. Watching movies on DVD, TV, parents go out to movies on "date night". Book refers reader to an unreviewed website for the ending to one of the scenarios.Language- stupid, idiot, weird, blasted, dumb, freaking out.
Kit - Kit Learns a Lesson
American Girl
Series:
Grades: 3 - 5
Questionable
Series
Girl's aunt comes to live with family and teaches them how to save money, but girl is embarrassed of her in front of her friends. Eventually comes to appreciate aunt. Kids tease girl that a boarder in her house is her boyfriend (he isn't). Brief part where kids in class show bad midos to each other.
Kit - Really Truly Ruthie
American Girl
Series:
Grades: 3 - 5
Generally Acceptable
Series
Kit's best friend tries to save Kit's family from eviction during the depression. Setting is the day after Xmas; a few enticing descriptions but no religion.
Minuk - Ashes in the Pathway
American Girl
Series:
Grades: 4 - 6
Problematic
Caroine - Caroline's Battle
American Girl
Series:
Grades: 3 - 5
Generally Acceptable
Series
Girl helps defend her family's shipyard against the British. Illustration of father with his arms around mother and daughter's shoulders- mother is wearing a lowcut gown. In back history section illustration of lady in low cut gown.Language- blast
Addy - Finding Freedom
American Girl
Series:
Grades: 3 - 5
Problematic
Series
Redo of first 3 Addy books. Slave girl and her mother escape and make a new life for themselves in Philadelphia..
Religion/Hashkafa
Description of the items in a church- eg. organ, pulpit, etc.. Description of church service including reverends mentioning that story of xmas is story of birth of yoshka. A lot of xmas- presents, special food, church service, etc.
Language
Language- stupid, dumb
Violence
Graphic descriptions of cruel overseer
Middos
Middos between classmates.
Caroline - Meet Caroline
American Girl
Series:
Grades: 3 - 5
Generally Acceptable
Series
Girl helps her mother run the family's shipyard when her father is captured by the British.
Felicity - Meet Felicity
American Girl
Series:
Grades: 3 - 5
Generally Acceptable
Series
Girl helps horse escape from abusive owner - viewed as "not stealing" since she didn't keep it.
Samantha - Lost and Found
American Girl
Series:
Grades: 3 - 5
Questionable
Series
A redo of a few of the old Samantha books with some things eliminated. Uncle often kisses and hugs niece (innocent). Girls are mean to boy-call him a nincompoop- he plays a practical joke in revenge. Grandfather's best friend comes to his summer home for a long vacation every summer- after he dies he keeps coming and spends summer with grandmother- he proposes to her every year- eventually she accepts. A Lot of mixed gender swimming (innocent) Sad when friend's parents die of influenza. Girl finds her dead mother's sketch book and tries to revisit the places she went with her parents before they died. Girl makes valentines for Saint Valentine's Day. Girl makes valentine for newly married grandparents and says "it's so romantic" and cuts out cupids.One word xmas. Women rally for the right to vote. In the back section discusses how women of those days were looking for more rights and raised their hemlines for comfort so they wouldn't be "hemmed in" to old fashioned clothing and attitudes. Language- stupid, dumb
Lanie - Lanie's Real Adventures
American Girl
Series:
Grades: 3 - 5
Questionable
Series
A girl tries to convince her neighbor not to use pesticides since it will hurt butterflies and get on her vegetable garden. She also makes a garden festival in the community garden to raise money for endangered chimpanzees. Full color picture of girl in sleeveless top, woman in shorts and open neck shirt. Girl is interviewed for TV news. Language- butt, darn (once), gross. weird, stinks. In the back of the book there are photos of real children who have done things to save the environment- one is wearing a sleeveless shirt.
Nanea - Hula for the Home Front
American Girl
Series:
Grades: 3 - 5
Questionable
Series
Hawaiin girl deals with the changes brought on by WWII. Discrimination against Japanese Americans. Girl dances the hula to cheer up sick soldiers (her costume is not so scanty). A lot of Hawaiin culture and beliefs- mostly nuetral. Brother has a "movie star smile". Girl says soldier looks like a movie star- girl dreamily says he looks like a good dancer because he is tall. Girls make Valentines Day cards to cheer up soldiers. Mention of book by title and author-The House on One Way Street by Eve Garrett. Girl's mother left family for opportunity to make a movie- girl comments "I guess she likes being in the movies better than she likes being a mom". Boy helps dig trenches around a church, girl helps cook for aid workers at the church. Boys and girls dance the "jitterbug" together.