Book Review | Rebecca: An American Girl
by Jacqueline Dembar Greene

Score: 4

After years of asking, the American Girls collection has finally brought forth a Jewish American Girl. Meet Rebecca Rubin, a Jewish American girl, growing up in New York City in 1914. Fortunately, they asked a premiere children’s author to write these books. I could find very little fault with any of them.

Overall, the books present Rebecca as an engaging, creative, energetic young girl with a mind of her own. While this does get her into some interesting situations, it also allows her to think her way out of some difficult circumstances. One can’t help but liking young Rebecca as you read a your way through these stories. The language is easy and entertaining. The books seem historically right on the mark. At the back of each title is a short piece on some aspect of America in 1914 – “Growing Up,” “Changes” “School,” etc. – with particular emphasis on Jewish life in America during that time.

In addition, each book focuses on something Rebecca has to find out about herself, demonstrate to her family, or express to others in order to learn important lessons about self-esteem and empowerment. There is no doubt in my mind that Rebecca Rubin was marching with Martin Luther King, Jr., part of the early wave of the Feminist Movement and who knows what else based on what she learned growing up in the Lower East Side of New York.

I recommend these books for all Jewish libraries.

Grade Range: 3-6 grades

This book is for YOUNGER Readers.

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