Claudie Finds Her Talent (American Girl)

Random. (Step into Reading). Jan. 2024. 32p. Tr $14.99. ISBN 9780593709702; pap. $5.99. ISBN 9780593709696.
Gr 1-3–Claudie lives in 1920s Harlem during the Harlem Renaissance. Surrounded by so much talent, she wonders what her own special gift could be. Claudie talks to others who live in her boardinghouse about how they discovered their artistic gifts for music, baking, or writing. When it looks as if the boardinghouse may have to close, Claudie organizes her neighbors to put on a show and raise money to save their home. Working on the show helps her to discover her own gift. Readers will learn about the variety of talents found in Harlem, as well as what life was like for boarders in homes like the one run by Miss Amelia. Some illustrations capture the look of the era with street scenes featuring Harlem brownstones. Others give a glimpse of “Roaring '20s” fashions with a flapper-style dress and headband, the iconic hats of Mama and Grandma, and the jazz outfit Claudie wears for the big show. Illustrations support the text, and unfamiliar terms such as “boardinghouse” are explained within the flow of the story, making it easy for newly independent readers to enjoy on their own. The title character first appeared last year as one of the American Girl collections, making this book perfect for fans of the doll.
VERDICT A fun introduction for newer readers to a vibrant period of American history with a determined protagonist and satisfying conclusion.

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