October 31 is full of celebration! It’s Halloween. It’s Reformation Day. And for the Girl Scouts of the USA, it’s Founder’s Day, the day we celebrate Juliette Gordon Low’s birthday. My mom and I were both Girl Scouts, and now C is continuing the tradition. Today I thought I’d highlight two recently-purchased books that we’ve been enjoying.
Juliette Gordon Low: The Remarkable Founder of the Girl Scouts
by Stacy A. Cordery (Penguin Books, 2012)
Reading Here Come the Girl Scouts! to C actually prompted me to look for a Juliette Gordon Low biography for myself. I’m so glad I chose Stacy Cordery’s book! I’m finding this to be thorough and very engaging, not at all dry, as some reviews have mentioned. How was I a Girl Scout for so many years without really understanding what a fascinating person Low was? Especially when looking at her life in the context of the historical events and social norms of her time, which Cordery presents so well. I gained insight into the Civil War and its impact on the South: Low’s family had loyalties to both sides, but lived in Savannah, Georgia, where the social fabric of the South was changing during Low’s childhood. I was surprised to find out the women in her family had always been pretty forward-thinking, even back to the early 1800s: her maternal grandmother studied with Emma Willard, “who taught that women were equal to men.” Cordery’s writing style is so appealing, it held my interest from start to finish.
Here Come the Girl Scouts!
by Shana Corey (Scholastic Press, 2012)
This is such a great picture book about Juliette Gordon Low and the beginning of the Girl Scouts of the USA. Hadley Hooper’s illustrations are so fantastic; sweetly old-fashioned, but colorful and appealing to a modern audience. The text has a perfect balance of fun and richness of language; preschoolers will find it simple enough to understand, but it’s not so simple that slightly older kids will dismiss it as babyish. I can’t help but swoon over a children’s book that describes something as simple as taking a walk with lush phrasing such as: “They savored the green. They soaked up the sunshine.” Some of Low’s inspirational words of wisdom are scattered throughout, separate from the storyline. Illustrations of well-known Girl Scouts are included at the end of the book, as well as a few pages dedicated more academic information and sources. I enjoy reading this one as much as C enjoys hearing it!
Were you involved with a scouting organization as a kid? As an adult?