My daughter has converted me into a historical literature fan. It all started long ago reading “Addy” and “Josefina” on the couch together. Today I work in reading instruction at an elementary school and discover all sorts of fabulous fiction at work.
If you enjoy American Girl historical fiction, I recommend the book Nory Ryan’s Song. Nory is 12 years old and lives through the first year of the Irish Potato Blight of 1845. Nory has many traits in common with our favorite historical AGs: tenacity, bravery, caretaking, intergenerational relationships, and healing. I have to admit that I always wondered why the Irish didn’t fish in the sea when the potatoes failed. This book explains how truly trapped the Irish were by the English landowners.
I recommend the book for 4th grade and up. There is nothing inappropriate in the book, but younger readers may not understand the complicated tangle of problems the Irish faced. The book was so compelling that my husband read it too!
Nory Ryan’s Song has two fantastic sequels that follow Nory through her life. I recommend them all.
The author, Patricia Reilly Giff, based the book loosely on her on family’s history. Ms. Giff came to writing as a second career after being a teacher for many years.
I would love to create my own doll based on Nory, and hope some day to locate a doll needing a new wig that might be transformed into Nory. Until then, Saige will play along.