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Kirsten's Story Collection - Limited Edition

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All six beloved Kirsten stories are bound in one keepsake volume. Set in 1854, each story reveals more of this brave girl who is making a home in a new land. The richly illustrated hardcover offers a glimpse into Kirsten's world. Inside, this book features even more full-color illustrations and words of inspiration that will delight girls who love Kirsten.


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All six beloved Kirsten stories are bound in one keepsake volume. Set in 1854, each story reveals more of this brave girl who is making a home in a new land. The richly illustrated hardcover offers a glimpse into Kirsten's world. Inside, this book features even more full-color illustrations and words of inspiration that will delight girls who love Kirsten.

30 review for Kirsten's Story Collection - Limited Edition

  1. 4 out of 5

    Cori

    Oh my gosh. I loved these books when I was little. I was actually in a Kirsten play. She's mah gurl.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Emily

    reasons why this book was awesome: -for some reason as a child I had a thing for plots that involved deadly fevers. -kirsten is a cool name. -one room school houses -swedes! -santa lucia -braid loops

  3. 5 out of 5

    Shirley

    We listened to this set. I hadn't read the books before. I really liked the story! Great narrator. First book had some good descriptions of immigrating and of Minnesota that tied in well with our US geography class.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Pamela

    Rereading the American Girl collection is the best. From Kirsten, one learns to have heart and be brave. Kirsten is an immigrant and a pioneer, so we get two viewpoints in her books. (I always loved Kirsten, especially because of my mother's Swedish background.) I continue to hope that the current generation will find and love these books as much as I do.

  5. 4 out of 5

    DW

    Sometimes adult literature is just depressing (most "serious" adult literature) or nauseatingly fluffy (chick lit) or immediately forgettable (action thrillers) or boring (poorly-written non-fiction). On the other hand, there is a fair amount of children's literature that is uplifting and, dare I say, wholesome. So sue me for perusing the children's section at the library after having a bad week. I had probably read all of these books as a child, but I didn't remember most of them. I was struck b Sometimes adult literature is just depressing (most "serious" adult literature) or nauseatingly fluffy (chick lit) or immediately forgettable (action thrillers) or boring (poorly-written non-fiction). On the other hand, there is a fair amount of children's literature that is uplifting and, dare I say, wholesome. So sue me for perusing the children's section at the library after having a bad week. I had probably read all of these books as a child, but I didn't remember most of them. I was struck by the hardships of the Larsons crossing from Sweden and then traveling by train, riverboat, and walking to Minnesota. Somehow, when the whole family died in the old computer game Oregon Trail, we third graders never thought about children and parents *dying*. We were just disappointed we didn't win the game. I was also struck by Kirsten having to leave behind her doll for months. It's such a small object, with such a high emotional value, and all the children I know (including myself when I grew up) had more toys than we knew what to do with. Also the idea of Kirsten staying home from school (did she never go to school in Sweden? She didn't seem to know how to write when she was nine already) to help her mother cook and clean and tend the baby. Laura Ingalls' family always prioritized school when there was one available as far as I remember. They even studied at home. (Of course, as I learned recently, the Little House books were fictionalized, so perhaps that detail was altered.) I was also interested that Kirsten didn't feel any sympathy for the deer and rabbits her family killed and ate ... I suppose that makes complete sense, it's just a bit surprising to read in modern book. And spending the night in a cave with a corpse, yikes.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Rachel

    Kirsten's stories were the most "scary" to me, as she lived in a rational poverty, as an outsider to a fledging, wild nation, that I had never known. I cried at her best friend's death of cholera along the way to the midwest. I scorned strict Miss Winston, who had no feeling for Kirsten's struggles with a new home. I was thrilled that she befriended Singing Bird, and that we got to take a glimpse into native american culture as well. In adulthood, as I come closer to my own ethnicity and immigra Kirsten's stories were the most "scary" to me, as she lived in a rational poverty, as an outsider to a fledging, wild nation, that I had never known. I cried at her best friend's death of cholera along the way to the midwest. I scorned strict Miss Winston, who had no feeling for Kirsten's struggles with a new home. I was thrilled that she befriended Singing Bird, and that we got to take a glimpse into native american culture as well. In adulthood, as I come closer to my own ethnicity and immigrant roots, I appreciate Kirsten's story more than I did as a child. They are definitely worth a re-read.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Samantha Bartley

    Kirsten was my very first American Girl doll, and is still my absolute favorite. Her stories were so special to me when I was little, and getting the chance to reread them brought back special memories and a genuine love for the series that I nearly forgot I had. Meet Kirsten I remember getting this book while at the American Girl Store in Chicago when I was probably eight, and I read the entire book in the first hour of the drive home. I have always adored sweet and simple pioneer stories, and th Kirsten was my very first American Girl doll, and is still my absolute favorite. Her stories were so special to me when I was little, and getting the chance to reread them brought back special memories and a genuine love for the series that I nearly forgot I had. Meet Kirsten I remember getting this book while at the American Girl Store in Chicago when I was probably eight, and I read the entire book in the first hour of the drive home. I have always adored sweet and simple pioneer stories, and this is of course no exception. It has some sad moments and some happy ones as well. The author doesn't shy away from the tragedy that often came when making dangerous journeys like the one the Larson family takes. 4/5 Stars Kirsten Learns a Lesson Miss Winston is the coolest character! I would love to read where she is the main character. Singing Bird was also a nice character addition in this book, although I felt her storyline was a little far fetched. I think it would have been more believable if the two only communicated silently instead of assuming that both picked up English as quickly as they did. But I love this one so much. It gives me happy autumn vibes. 5/5 Stars Kirsten's Surprise This book always makes me so emotional. Kirsten wanted to surprise her family with a Saint Lucia celebration. This always reminds me of that Christmas my mom surprised me by getting me Kirsten's Saint Lucia gown and crown. I was so surprised. It is still my favorite outfit of hers that I own. I also think this is my favorite holiday book in the American Girl series. 5/5 Stars Happy Birthday Kirsten! Ahh this one always makes me teary too. The idea of a friendship quilt is so sweet. I wish this was still something people did. I also love the idea of a big barn raising party. I need friends with barns that need raising so I can come! They sound like so much fun! Also the scene with Kirsten and her Mama talking about the day she was born is such a well written scene. What am I saying, this entire series is so well written. 5/5 Stars Kirsten Saves the Day This was a cute read. Probably my least favorite in the series, although it was still pretty good. Most of the summer stories involve more suspenseful storylines, and I felt like this one was pretty minor. 3/5 Stars Changes for Kirsten The winter stories are always so good! I had actually forgotten about this one. It was a really good conclusion to the series. I wish this book series went on longer. They are just all so good. 5/5 Stars Final Rating: 5/5 Stars

  8. 4 out of 5

    Molly Grimmius

    Finished reading this series with Anne. I’m not sure how many times I read it... I know at least once with my mom and then a few times by myself as a girl. I absolutely believe that American Girl stories really put me down the path of living historical fiction. These are such a great stories... beautiful pictures, great stories, great length and great lessons! It was a delight to read with Anne.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Kate

    I was a big fan of the American Girl books as a child but I had never read the entire series of Kirsten. As I child a I probably would have rated a 4, as an adult 2.5 so I settled on 3. Perfect for a young girl. Kirstens not one if my top Girl’s though- I remember loving Samantha, Molly, and Addy.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Allison Bell

    What can I say? I am a teacher and I like reading about life for kids with good, historical references.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Joy

    Read aloud with Emily, age 6

  12. 5 out of 5

    Liz

    I haven't read these books since I was a kid. I think I was ten when I got my Kirsten doll for Christmas. At the time, I was really into the 'Little House on the Prairie' books and I was really excited to get my doll. Unfortunately, I actually had to return my doll soon after getting her when her eyelashes began to fall out. But I soon got a replacement and she became one of my fondest childhood toys. My sister and I would play with our dolls for hours (she had Samantha) making up new stories an I haven't read these books since I was a kid. I think I was ten when I got my Kirsten doll for Christmas. At the time, I was really into the 'Little House on the Prairie' books and I was really excited to get my doll. Unfortunately, I actually had to return my doll soon after getting her when her eyelashes began to fall out. But I soon got a replacement and she became one of my fondest childhood toys. My sister and I would play with our dolls for hours (she had Samantha) making up new stories and adventures for them. I can't remember when I got the boxed set of all her books. It might have been that Christmas, but I think it was a bit later. Which didn't matter much, since I'd already devoured all the American Girl books that I could find at the school library. I can even remember where they were. As you came in the door you would turn right and go around the circular computer desk. Behind the bulky Macintosh computers, on the bottom shelf - where you had to wedge yourself past the computer chairs - were the American Girl books. Not too long ago, I picked up my books from Mom's house. I've been feeling rather nostalgic for my childhood favorites (unfortunately, I also recently found out that my huge collection of Nancy Drews are long gone). Along with the box set of Kirsten's books, I also have Felicity's box set. Rereading these books was quite a trip. They're written in very simple language, as you'd expect for books marketed to ten-year-olds. The books themselves are slim - around 60 pages each - and focus on six focal events in the main American Girl's life: the introduction, school, Christmas, tenth birthday, an act of heroism, and the final moving forward book. In the case of Kirsten, we follow her as her family immigrates from Sweden to Minnesota and they work to build a new life. The thing that surprised me most in rereading Kirsten's stories was the sheer amount of terrible things that happen to Kirsten. Honestly, they're kind of horrible. In the first book, Kirsten's best friend Marta - whose family immigrates from Sweden with hers - dies of cholera...after they reach America. It's really quite tragic and heartbreaking. As the books move on, Kirsten befriends a Native American girl, Singing Bird, only to have her move West; Kirsten's mother almost dies in childbirth; a tornado sweeps through the farm; Kirsten and her little brother are attacked by a black bear; Kirsten and her father almost perish in a winter blizzard; their cabin burns down; and Kirsten and her older brother come across a dead man in the woods. I can't believe how many bad things happen to this poor girl! I don't remember such bad luck befalling any other American Girl. To top things off, Kirsten's at the root of half the terrible things that happen to her family. She foolishly puts her little brother and herself in danger when they get attacked by the bear and it's her fault that the family cabin burns down. Yet, in the end, it's hard work, perseverance, and a good amount of luck that gets her family through their first year in America. And, much as I did so many years ago, I ate the books up. However simply written, however frustratingly foolish Kirsten can be, I still enjoyed reading the books. I felt transported back to my childhood: reading curled up in bed or on the bus to and from school. Playing with Kirsten and Samantha dolls (and later our two Felicities) around the farm. It was a happy childhood, caught up in the world of our imaginations, and in rereading these books, it was like being ten again. Really, I can't ask more than that from a handful of paperback books. *Note: I have the dark burgundy boxed set with the classic white paperback covers.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Krista Rey

    I read Happy Birthday Kristen and I loved it. It is easy to read and has appropriate vocabulary for the 2-3 grades. The pictures are beautiful and it is a book that kids can relate too. This book is about a girl named Kristen whose family came to America from Sweeden. In this book, the family celebrates Kristen's birthday. The book starts out with her and her friends making a quilt together at school for their teacher. Kristen loves her friends and loves school. When her mom has a baby and gets I read Happy Birthday Kristen and I loved it. It is easy to read and has appropriate vocabulary for the 2-3 grades. The pictures are beautiful and it is a book that kids can relate too. This book is about a girl named Kristen whose family came to America from Sweeden. In this book, the family celebrates Kristen's birthday. The book starts out with her and her friends making a quilt together at school for their teacher. Kristen loves her friends and loves school. When her mom has a baby and gets sick, Kristen must stay home and help with the chores and the new baby. She feels missed out from school and she thinks that everyone forgot about her birthday. Her mom doesn't and has a birthday party for Kristen when all the families come over for the barn raising. Kristen feels so special to have all her friends over and they finish their quilt. When it is time to open to open presents, her friends gave her the quilt because they wanted her to feel their love. I really loved this book because it is fiction, but it shows this time period so well. It shows what life was like and what people actually did and kids can learn from this. This would be a book that teachers could use for silent reading time in the classroom as it is too girlie to read to the entire class.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Amanda Kay

    Kirsten was one of the original American Girls and as such, was a vital piece of my childhood. I can remember lying in the backyard barefooted, feet up, pretending I was an awesome pioneer girl. One of the most important points of the original American Girls was the use of realistic storylines. I still remember sobbing when Matra died, and feeling so horrible for Kirsten when her little racoon burned down the family home. The original American Girls were strong, yet open to learning. They were ins Kirsten was one of the original American Girls and as such, was a vital piece of my childhood. I can remember lying in the backyard barefooted, feet up, pretending I was an awesome pioneer girl. One of the most important points of the original American Girls was the use of realistic storylines. I still remember sobbing when Matra died, and feeling so horrible for Kirsten when her little racoon burned down the family home. The original American Girls were strong, yet open to learning. They were insightful, yet often made mistakes. In comparison to the newer additions to the historical characters, the worlds of Felicity, Kirsten, Addy, Samantha, and Molly cannot be topped. They were complemented by Kaya, Josefina, and Kit, but they have been replaced by Marie-Grace, Cecile, Rebecca, and Julie - all of whom have their own merits, but not near as much heart. Solid 4 stars. I wanted to be Kirsten, not Laura Ingalls Wilder.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Chelsea Gouin

    How disappointing. Janet Beeler Shaw is at the wheel of Kirsten's stories, taking over the reins from Valerie Tripp. However, Shaw pushes the fast forward button on the already short stories, skipping over details and somehow making her characters void of any emotion. Kirsten is an immigrant from Sweden, her family wants to make a new home in America, out west to be precise. Vaguely brings up feelings of Little House as Kirsten learns English, picks honey, and burns down her log cabin. There is How disappointing. Janet Beeler Shaw is at the wheel of Kirsten's stories, taking over the reins from Valerie Tripp. However, Shaw pushes the fast forward button on the already short stories, skipping over details and somehow making her characters void of any emotion. Kirsten is an immigrant from Sweden, her family wants to make a new home in America, out west to be precise. Vaguely brings up feelings of Little House as Kirsten learns English, picks honey, and burns down her log cabin. There is some death early on, but the rushed story gives no real impact on the loss. Kirsten doesn't have any special quality as the first to Girls did, she's just inquisitive I guess? I know Shaw is at the helm of a few other Girls, so hopefully her style improves.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Lola

    When I was a little girl, my brother's girlfriend gave me her old Kirsten doll. Unfortunately, I thought that you could hairspray their hair. You really shouldn't, and I tried to fix it by giving her an uneven bob. I always think of my mutilated Kirsten doll when I read these books. Like my doll, Kirsten and her family just keep on surviving whatever is thrown their way. The story of immigrants is the story of America, and I'm happy that American Girl chose to tell Kirsten family. It's also ref When I was a little girl, my brother's girlfriend gave me her old Kirsten doll. Unfortunately, I thought that you could hairspray their hair. You really shouldn't, and I tried to fix it by giving her an uneven bob. I always think of my mutilated Kirsten doll when I read these books. Like my doll, Kirsten and her family just keep on surviving whatever is thrown their way. The story of immigrants is the story of America, and I'm happy that American Girl chose to tell Kirsten family. It's also refreshing that Kirsten's family is Swedish instead of Irish or German. I enjoyed learning more about the culture and traditions of her family.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Rebecca Abrams

    I read Kirsten's Surprise A Christmas Story Reading level is upper elementary, 640L It is Historical Fiction This story was interesting but is limited in audience. I think girls will really enjoy this book. It is about one of the American Girl Dolls, Kirsten, telling the story of her life as a pioneer girl. Kirsten Larson and her family celebrate their first Christmas in America, but they try to keep their old traditions alive. Kirsten tries to celebrate as they would is Sweden telling of her stru I read Kirsten's Surprise A Christmas Story Reading level is upper elementary, 640L It is Historical Fiction This story was interesting but is limited in audience. I think girls will really enjoy this book. It is about one of the American Girl Dolls, Kirsten, telling the story of her life as a pioneer girl. Kirsten Larson and her family celebrate their first Christmas in America, but they try to keep their old traditions alive. Kirsten tries to celebrate as they would is Sweden telling of her struggles adapting to the new country and her hope to have a wonderful christmas with her family in America.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Briana

    There was a doll named Kirsten, one of 5 "American Girl" dolls at the time. She was all I wanted out of life for three years, until finally one glorious Christmas I got her, in her 1854 pioneer outfit, with the "Meet Kirsten" book about her new life in America (she was an immigrant from Sweeden). I have every accessory, book, outfit, and even furniture ever made for her. She was my obsession for a long, long time. The only doll I ever got into, as I was not really a doll girl, but I adored her.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Maggie Wiggins

    Some girls love horses, some love dolphins, and some love pioneers. I don't mean to be sexist, but the majority of these fans are girls, in my experience. For the reader who hasn't already discovered the American Girls series, this is a great gateway bus-set. Lightly historical and very relatable, it's a popular choice for second grade book reports in my area. Readalikes: Dear America Series, the American Sisters series by Laurie Lawlor (a very sweet and smart former instructor), and the Little Some girls love horses, some love dolphins, and some love pioneers. I don't mean to be sexist, but the majority of these fans are girls, in my experience. For the reader who hasn't already discovered the American Girls series, this is a great gateway bus-set. Lightly historical and very relatable, it's a popular choice for second grade book reports in my area. Readalikes: Dear America Series, the American Sisters series by Laurie Lawlor (a very sweet and smart former instructor), and the Little House books by Laura Ingalls Wilder

  20. 5 out of 5

    Q_Jill Burke

    I read "Kristen Learns a Lesson" of the American Girl book series. It takes place in 1854 and is about a girl named Kristen Larson and how she adapts to her new school. This book describes school life in the 1800's. It describes how schools had children of all ages in one classroom, how boys usually did not always attend school if there was work to do on the farm, and how a teacher often lived with the families of their students and had little to support learning such as paper, maps, or blackboa I read "Kristen Learns a Lesson" of the American Girl book series. It takes place in 1854 and is about a girl named Kristen Larson and how she adapts to her new school. This book describes school life in the 1800's. It describes how schools had children of all ages in one classroom, how boys usually did not always attend school if there was work to do on the farm, and how a teacher often lived with the families of their students and had little to support learning such as paper, maps, or blackboards. I thought this book gave a good description of the school life of a pioneer child.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Catherine

    Skylar and I read this together. We both enjoyed the story and really looked forward to the next chapter each night. It' a great book to read out loud. I think Pate would have enjoyed it too, it has plenty of action and adventure to keep a 6 year old boy entertained! Apparently I should have been born in the 1800's on a rural homestead because I am really drawn to this type of story (well... the romantic, happily ever after, life is great aspect of it!)

  22. 4 out of 5

    Moegir198

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. I think Kirsten might be my favorite of all the American Girls. (maybe Felicity) These were my favorite books to read at the time. i felt so accomplished when i finished one. it was a great feeling. i had the dolls, the dressed, the accessories and everything. i even did a play based on Kirsten with some friends when i was about 10. I think when her friend died is was one of the 1st times a book made me sad.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Laurie Moore

    Tayler and I read these together. It was fun to talk about the early American immigrants and learn about their lives. She was very excited to find out that Larsen is a family name on her dad's side. She had me do her hair like Kristen's everyday for a week straight. I would recommend these books to anyone. They are great stories and give you an idea of what it was like to be a girl growing up during the 1850s.

  24. 5 out of 5

    Abigail Singer

    Kirsten always was my favourite American Girl... even if the first book is a little sad. I do remember this series being my first real introduction to life outside the US. I can still remember a line in there where Kirsten says "Minasota" and the narration comments on her tongue rolling over the foreign word.

  25. 5 out of 5

    Sarah Maddaford

    After Felicity, Kirsten and Samantha were pretty much tied in my eyes. Felicity had a more interesting life, but Samantha's surroundings were more interesting. Kirsten had it hard living on the frontier, but she and her family made sacrifices in order to fulfill their dreams. She was strong and intelligent without being too much.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Kelley

    Reviewed by my sever-old-daughter: Kirsten was really full of adventure and lots of great nature stories. It was interesting learning about pioneers and it was fun learning how to make Swedish pancakes. My favorite book was Kirsten Learns A Lesson because she learns a lot about schools and learns how to speak English in a contest.

  27. 5 out of 5

    MizziQ

    I loved it when I read it. I was 9 then which almost makes sense. I hate it now which does not mean it is a bad book. I loved the illistrations and at the time it was one of the only books I would read 2twice. I am now ready to give it away. Get rid of it to another 9 year old who it will be for her a lifechanger yet she will soon forget whatever was she thinking. Read it and weep.

  28. 5 out of 5

    Carol Hardesty

    In my school days, one of my favorite time periods to learn about was the pioneer days. So naturally I was drawn to the 'Kirsten' series in the "American Girls" collection. I especially liked the added dimensionality of having Kirsten and her family be Swedish immigrants. Not only was I learning about America during its westward expansion, but I was also learning Swedish customs and traditions.

  29. 4 out of 5

    Heather Lincoln

    I loved these books as a little girl!! I grew up with Kirsten the American Girl Doll and it was so fun to snuggle up with my doll and read about her life journey. These books are filled with American history, action, and some of the most interesting stories. I recommend these books especially to girls who own this doll or any of the American Girl Dolls.

  30. 5 out of 5

    Cat

    First American Girl book i ever read, when i was on holiday to the states and i was 7 years old. I loved it, the book came in the whole Kirsten Set and i thought it was lovely, the writing is good, the historical fiction is accurate and the illustrations are lovely i've kept it so one day i can give it to my children :)

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