Saige. by Jessie Haas. December 27, 2012. American Girl Publishing. 128 pages. ISBN: 9781609581664
The American Girl Doll of the Year 2013 is Saige Copeland, a horse-loving artist living in New Mexico. In her first book, written by Bramble and Maggie author Jessie Haas, Saige is disappointed to find out that due to budget cuts, she won’t have art in school for a whole year. With the help of her grandmother, Mimi, who also paints and rides horses, Saige decides to organize a parade to raise money for after school art classes. But before she and Mimi can put their plans into action, Mimi gets hurt in an accident. Suddenly, it’s up to Saige to lead the parade and find ways to encourage donations.
Like all American Girl books, Saige is a wholesome story about a girl taking charge and working to improve her community. Saige is a capable and upbeat girl who takes pride in her work and who doesn’t allow herself to succumb to setbacks or react to the typical girl drama engaged in by her best friend. She’s a good role model for tween girls, but I have to admit that her story didn’t really interest me that much. The last two American Girl Dolls of the Year - McKenna and Kanani - had exceptionally well-written and memorable books that I eagerly devoured. Saige is a much slower book with a much more generic writing style, and finishing it was a challenge. There were some interesting details, mainly regarding animal training, that made the story a bit more entertaining, but for the most part, I was disappointed.
Saige fulfills a need at my library for middle grade contemporary novels involving horses, so I'm thankful to have it on the shelves even though it's not a personal favorite. I will be sharing it with fans of the American Girl series, and with girls who enjoyed Fearless from the Summer Camp Secrets series, the Saddle Club books and stories by Marguerite Henry.
I borrowed Saige from my local public library.
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