First Girl Scout: The Life of Juliette Gordon Low Hardcover – Feb 6 2012
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"Wadsworth captures Low’s stubborn but charismatic spirit by blending facts and humorous sketches in this winning biography of a woman whose visions and ideas have helped shape the lives of girls around the world." --Horn Book
"Unvarnished prose, plentiful images and vivid anecdotes set in historical perspective make this chronological account lively and accessible for middle-grade readers." --Kirkus Reviews
"The attractive book design features chapter headings that look like Girl Scout badges, and most spreads include period photos or reproductions of primary-source documents. Exemplary nonfiction." --School Library Journal
"In time for the 100th anniversary of the Girl Scouts of the USA (GSUSA) comes this engaging biography about the woman who founded the organization." --Booklist"2012 will mark the 100th anniversary of the Girl Scouts of the USA, and a fresh, comprehensive biography of founder Juliette Gordon Low is most welcome." --Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books
About the Author
Ginger Wadsworth is the author of many nonfiction titles for young readers, including, for Clarion, Words West: Voices of Young Pioneers, which was named a Nonfiction Honor Book by VOYA and received the Western Writers of America Spur Award. She lives in Orinda, California. You can learn more about her at www.gingerwadsworth.com .
Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
This book covers Juliette Gordon Low's entire life. It's full of interesting history, but the first half has almost nothing about Girl Scouts. That's not a criticism of the book, it's just the way Daisy's life unfolded. I do think I would have wanted to know that ahead of time if I'd been handed the book as a youngster. I would have grown impatient wondering when it was going to get to the part about Girl Scouts. Even as an adult I was eager to get to that part, and I enjoyed the second half more than the first.
Ginger Wadsworth has written several other books for young people, and she's also had a lifelong passion for the Girl Scout program. She's done a wonderful job with this biography. It's a must-read for anyone with a fondness for the Girl Scout organization, past and present. It's fun to compare your own experiences with those of the early Girl Scouts with regard to badges earned, service projects, and the uniforms they wore. The book has a lot of photos and copies of documents and advertisements to give you a real feeling for the era.
Juliette Gordon Low was a spirited and liberated woman way ahead of her time who set out to inspire and liberate women for generations to come. She wasn't able to have children of her own, but all of us whose lives were shaped by Girl Scouting are her girls. She really did change the world.
This title is being advertised for ages 9 and up but I would not give this book to a child so young as we do learn about Juliette's husband having a mistress. I think because of that incident being included, the book should be reserved for middle school students and older. Although written for youth, adults will find this nearly 200 page book an enjoyable read to learn about the founder of Girl Scouts in the USA.
As a former Girl Scout myself, as well as being the mother of a current Girl Scout, this book piqued my interest. In my old Girl Scout handbook, there was a several pages devoted to a biography of Juliette "Daisy" Gordon Low, but this book really expounded on the information in my old handbook.
This book is being aimed at children who are nine to twelve years old or in fourth through seventh grade. I looked through my daughter's old Girl Scout Junior handbook, since that's basically the age group this book is targeted at. I was aghast to see how little information was in her handbook about Juliette Gordon Low, and how the choice had been made to have what information was presented in first person from Juliette's perspective. This book will definitely provide much more information to the girls in this age range than what has been made available in the more recent handbooks put out by the Girl Scouts of the USA.
Daisy lived quite an extraordinary life, and Wadsworth is able to convey it in such a way that it draws the reader into the book. I have to admit that I was nearly in tears when I read the section that covered Daisy's death; by that point, I had read about all the struggles that she had to go through, both in her personal life and in getting the Girl Scout organization going in the United States, I felt a emotionally invested.
In addition to including Juliette's life story, this book also includes an author's note about the time the author herself was a Girl Scout, the lyrics and music for the song "Make New Friends," a chronology, a bibliography, and an index. I do have a couple of minor complaints about the chronology. While the author includes some of the level changes in the 1940s and the 1960s, the author did not include the creation of the Daisy level in the 1980s or the more recent level change that created the Ambassador level.
There are also quite a few photographs included in the book. While several of the photos have already appeared in the Girl Scout handbooks over the past twenty to thirty years, there are some photographs that I had never seen before. Some of the photographs are of Daisy and her family, while others are various documents and newspaper articles. I thought these photographs really helped to illustrate the text of the book.
While I have a daughter in the Girl Scouts, I have become a little disappointed in the direction the organization has taken in the past couple of years. I honestly feel that they're starting to turn it into an organization that does not fit into Daisy's original vision. Perhaps those who are in positions at the national level should take a good close look at this book and be reminded of what Daisy's intentions and visions for the organization were.
I would definitely recommend this book to girls who are currently in Girl Scouts so they can gain a better understanding of the woman responsible for making the organization possible in the United States. And even though this book is being aimed at late elementary and early junior high readers, I found a lot of enjoyment in it as an adult; I would also recommend it to women who are former Girl Scouts like myself, as well as to the women and men who work with the current generation of Girl Scouts.