You are never lonely when you have a good book, which is why I like this week’s Kidsbook Friends’ theme, “Favorite Females”. I picked Felicity from The American Girls story series because these books provide “great friends” for any girl. When teaching and training my 6-year-old daughter in areas of behavior, attitude, modesty, and manners, I look for good role models to help her see qualities and character worth imitating. Stories with strong female characters help me in this goal. Felicity is one of my favorite American Girl stories and characters and here’s why:
Introducing Our Featured Friend: Meet Felicity, An American Girl
By Valerie Tripp
Meet Felicity is the first in the series of six books about this spunky nine year old girl. Her story is set in Colonial Williamsburg, Virginia in1774, right before the Revolutionary War.
She is energetic, determined, kind and independent.
Felicity’s forte is not handwriting or stitching, which both were valued skills. She loves being with horses, so that’s where she invests her energy. When she discovers Penny, a mare that is mistreated by a neighbor, she is determined to help her. Felicity focuses her energy and kindness into doing what’s best for Penny, even at the risk of her own self. In the process, she also strengthens her friendship with Ben, her father’s apprentice at their family shop, Merriman’s Store. Together, they are determined to free Penny from her cruel owner.
In the end, Felicity rides Penny over the dilapidated part of the pasture fence to let her go free.
“Penny galloped on, carried by the force of her jump, running, running toward the woods. But just as she got to the edge of the trees, Penny stopped and looked back at the pasture where Felicity lay gasping for breath.
‘Go on,’ whispered Felicity. ‘Go on, Penny. You are free.’ “
Felicity gave Penny something she herself valued: freedom. In tears, she tells Ben about setting Penny free. Their conversation shows her kindness:
Ben comments, ” ‘She knows you love her so much you let her go free. You gave her what she needed most, her independence.’
Felicity was quiet. Then she said, ‘Aye. That’s it. Her independence.’ “
When we give someone we love what we value most and what’s best for him or her, we are a true friend. That’s what I want my young daughter to see from Felicity. Her kindness is worthy of imitation.
Inviting You To Become FRIENDS With Felicity:
Feel, Relate, Imagine, Explore, Navigate, Develop, Share
F- How do you feel when you see someone be mean to animals and other people? What can you and your family do to help those that are not treated kindly?
R- Even though you live 200 years after Felicity’s story, how do you relate or connect to her and her experiences? For example, how are you kind and helpful to others? How do you develop friendships with people and pets? . . .
I- Imagine you can be part of the adventure with Felicity. What part of the story do you want to experience most with her? Why?
E- Explore the heart and purpose of The American Girl stories by checking out their Facebook Page: American Girl. Here’s a post published on May 15, 2014:
“Learn how inspiring girls is at the center of everything we do, starting with our historical characters. Through exciting, authentic stories, these characters offer timeless lessons about friendship, determination, and bravery that encourage girls to be their best today—and forever.” Check out this link: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fAhd7-p0eDs
N- Navigate (map out) where you think the story is going to go next before reading the section titled “A Sneak Peek at Felicity Learns a Lesson”, the second book in this series. Answer questions like, Will Felicity see Penny again? What will happen in her friendship with Ben? . . .
D- Develop your historical knowledge of Colonial America in 1774 by reading the six page section in the book titled “Looking Back”, which includes: a map of the 13 colonies, pictures of Williamsburg and rural farms in Virginia from that period, dining customs and foods, and historical facts.
S- Share the movie Felicity with your audience after reading the book series. Afterwards, discuss what was similar to and what was different from the book. Share what else you learned about the historical time period.
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