A young girl’s mother is going to serve in the military and she isn’t handling it well at all. She is given a compass that her ancestors – also service people in the military – that transports her back in time to meet her ancestor Caroline, an American Girl, during the war of 1812.
Catch the Wind: My Journey with Caroline
American Girl Beforever Series
by Kathleen Ernst
illustrated by Juliana Kolesova and Michael Dworkin
American Girl Publishing
Growing up I was a big fan of Choose Your Own Adventure. As an adult I love mobile phone games and Kindle books, like Click Your Poison, that serve the same purpose: allowing you to put yourself and your decisions in the story. Unfortunately, the American Girl Beforever series is no CYOA.
I’ve now read three of these books and each one provides endings that aren’t very compelling, although there are many choices. Here’s the key difference in a nutshell: in good CYOA type books you feel like you are playing the book. In AG: B books you feel like you are making the choices that the writers want you to make. It’s tied, in my opinion, to the fact that these books serve as advertisements for existing dolls with their own histories and stories so there is no wriggle room. If these were new dolls with new stories this wouldn’t be an issue.
Further, what is up with requiring readers to go online to beforever.com/endings to see certain endings? When you visit that site you see the endings for ALL the books in the series! (Try the ending out for this one and you’ll see what I mean about the choices.) This is a terrible way to end a “book” but a great marketing way to target young girls.
@ashertopia is the Managing Editor of BookGateway.com. He is an avid reader and a lifetime learner. His favorite genres include science fiction, fantasy, as well as theology and Christian living. His personal blog is AshertopiA – a land flowing with milk and honey… and a lot of sticky people.
This book was provided by the publisher as a review copy.