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Kirsten Learns a Lesson: A School Story (American Girls Collection (Sagebrush))
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Kirsten Learns a Lesson: A School Story (American Girls Collection (American Girls: Kirsten #2)

3.95 of 5 stars 3.95  ·  rating details  ·  2,808 ratings  ·  50 reviews
Kirsten Larson is a pioneer girl of strength and spirit growing up on the Minnesota prairie in 1854. Kirsten's stories begin with her long, dangerous voyage with her family from Sweden to America. At first, Kirsten finds it difficult to get used to this strange new country. But as she makes friends and discovers what her new land has to offer, she learns the true meaning o ...more
School & Library Binding, 80 pages
Published September 1st 1986 by Rebound by Sagebrush (first published 1986)
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If you read my reviews you know I am a fan of the American Girls series for girls. I enjoyed this one but felt that it was two story lines when it should have been one. These are small-chapter books and dividing the story up this way means neither topic gets the attention that it deserves. Since this book is called Kirsten Learns A Lesson: A School Story, the book should have been just that, life for a young immigrant girl going to a rural school in 1854. School life at that time is so completel ...more
Becky Keir Grace
The second on the Kirsten series picks with her going to school, and she is very nervous. Miss Winston, the new teacher is very firm, and takes note of Kirsten's accent. Kirsten is slowly learning English, but still struggles with certain sounds. She is embarrassed in front of the whole class on her first day, making her hate school.

Kirsten finds her escape while going to the stream for water. She sees a Native American girl. The two begin to leave items for one another which develops into an i
I didn't love this book, but I thought it was a nice read. The ending was abrupt and left many loose ends. Maybe the author wants readers to continue reading the series. I think some students may enjoy Kirsten and could find her very relatable. She worries about fitting in at her school and hopes that her teacher likes her despite her struggles academically and with speaking English. There was some interaction between Kirsten and a girl from a nearby Indian tribe and both girls learned about the ...more
I liked how in this story, she befriends a girl (Singing Bird), despite the cultural & language barriers. And it's cool that it starts as kind of a secret-sister pen-pal type of gift exchange. But this friend must move away, & I was sad for Kirsten having to part w/ another close friend.

It was also funny when the new schoolteacher is moving in w/ them, & Kirsten has a mental picture of her ruler next to her fork & spoon at her table setting! Makes me think of a couple who taught
Kristine Pratt
Kirsten starts school and meets an Indian girl - all the while experiencing several language barriers.

I really wanted to love this book - what a great premise. An Indian child that doesn't speak English or Swedish, Kirsten with only Swedish and a handful of English, and a teacher who expects English only at all times What a dilemma!

The problem was, the author had to point out that Kirsten was struggling with the language - she told use but never actually showed us. She seemed to always understan
I just got done reading a bunch of my old childhood books again. I blitzed through the first four Kirsten books (Meet Kirsten, Kirsten Learns a Lesson, Kirsten's Surprise, and Happy Birthday, Kirsten). I have this thing about re-reading books that I haven't read since I was 10 or younger... in one way, it's fantastic because you can relive those moments when you were first falling in love with characters or, in my case, historical fiction. However, re-reading these books can also be really reall ...more
Excellent historical novels for youngsters. Kirsten speaks her native Swedish and is having difficulty learning English in her new home on the American frontier. This frames the telling of Kirsten's school experience. Young readers are introduced to the one room school house on the frontier. Kirsten does learn a number of lessons, one of them how to communicate with a young Indian girl who speaks as little American English as Kirsten.
Kirsten is starting school in America with her cousins Lisbeth and Anna, it's a one room schoolhouse where everyone learns together, but Kirsten cannot read or speak English and she feels so out of place. When Kirsten makes a secret Indian friend named Singing Bird, she dreams of running away with the Indians where she'll never have to worry about school or memorizing poems or learning English again. Will Kirsten find her place in this new land?
Taylor Browne
Kirsten learns a lesson is about a girl named kirsten who come to america with her family to live with her uncle and cousins.But some things change as she starts a new school barely speaks english and meets her new indian friend.
I didn't like this book nearly as much as the first one. I guess since I love languages and literature, it is tough for me to identify with a little girl who doesn't want to learn a poem in a foreign language (to be fair, though, nobody likes reciting something in front of a classroom). There wasn't the pioneer life-and-death struggle in this book that is so gripping in some of the others. I also wondered how likely Kirsten's friendship with Singing Bird was--did pioneer children really make fri ...more
Athalia Stoneback
Great story. My heart went out to Kirsten, not feeling like she belonged, and trying to learn English. It was nice to revisit one of the three original American Girls- the other two being Samantha and Molly.
I like that Kirsten finds a new friend. I like that Kirsten wishes that she was Singing Bird's sister. I don't like that Singing Bird and her family have to move to a better place were there are more animals to hunt.
Mary Bronson
I thought this was a pretty good book. I enjoyed rereading it. Kirsten is a kind hearted and determined girl. She loves her new friend Singing Bird and she is determined to learn the poem her new teacher gave her. This new teacher has been positively pushing Kirsten to learn English and read. Plus her friend Singing Bird was teaching her some Indian words and how they live. It was sad for Kirsten to loose Singing Bird, but Singing Bird's people needed to eat and they follow the buffalo. She had ...more
In this book Kirsten attends a frontier school and has to learn a poem in English to recite in front of the class. But she also meets an Indian girl named Singing Bird who becomes her secret friend. The two girls use their limited English to communicate and their little friendship is sweet. But in the end, Singing Bird's village has to move on to better hunting grounds because the settlers have driven out the local wildlife. When Singing Bird comes to say goodbye to Kirsten, Abby exclaimed, "Fir ...more
Halle Stout
Great book, teaches a valuable lesson on triumphing over challenging obstacles and knowing that life is all about lessons, even when we do not wish to learn them.
Amber Holm
This book is so good I love how the main character is working so hard. I would recommend this book to anyone who loves hardworking school stories.
Felicity The Magnificent
In this book, it was going to be the first day of Kirsten's American school, and she was scared. Her cousins told her about the mean teacher they were going to have. The school was a one room schoolhouse, so there was only one teacher and lots of kids. When they got there, there was a new teacher. She was nineteen years old. One of the boys in Kirsten's class was also nineteen years old, so he had to be a good role model for the other kids. One day their new teacher moved in with them, and Kirst ...more
Again, Kirsten deals with real-life challenges as she goes to school and has to struggle learning English. But her secret Indian friend, Singing Bird, has an even bigger problem-- starvation! The book does explain that since families like Kirsten's have been arriving and setting up farms, the hunting grounds for the Chippewa have become more and more depleted. I'm the one who had to explain to the 4-year-old I was reading the book aloud what "death by starvation" means. At least no one actually ...more
This review is from the perspective of a mother - Kirsten's adjustment to life in 19th century prairie American continues. I like that Kirsten doesn't immediately excel and struggles with school and life in her new place. The reader gets a clear picture of how the immigrants have struggled to conform to their new world, and still maintain a link to their old home and life. The budding secret friendship with the Indian girl seemed forced, but the lessons imparted about how settlers pushed out Ind ...more
I hate that all of her friends seem to leave her. I feel like this has happened with my friends in my life. Friends come and go, but they have never lasted through the years. Sketch would be the only friend that has lasted, but he lives in England so it isn't in the physical sense. Any way, Kirsten's progression in this book is amazing. I couldn't imagine learning a new language, but her family did it the easiest way which plopping yourself in a foreign speaking country and taking the sinking or ...more
I love it....
Lauren Zaglifa
Kirsten is settled with her cousins in Minnesota. It is time for her to go to school and it isn't the easiest thing in the world. HS doesn't know much English and is expected to memorize a poem on her own.
When she meets an Indian girl Kirsten is introduced to whole new culture and also meets a new friend. When Kirsten's new friend leaves and her teacher is coming to live with her. Her world is turned side ways and then back up right
Having just arrived from Sweden, Kirsten finds difficulty in her new school, new language, and new land. All ends well as she learns her lesson and more about herself after making friends with an Indian girl.

The Kirsten books are well-written giving the small details about pioneer life. Kirsten is a child with fears and happiness with which small girls can identify. It does not offer much for boys, however. A definite weakness.
Nov 27, 2013 Emily rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Emily by: my grandparents
I enjoyed this book in the Kirsten series. Kirsten is having trouble learning English and having to communicate with everyone. It doesn't help that her teacher is extremely hard on her. It seems like the only time she ever gets a break is when she is visiting her Native American friend Singing Bird. I liked how in this book we get to see more people and Kirsten fitting in more with her classmates.
When Kirsten went to go get river water one day she saw an Indian. Soon the became secret friends. They went on adventures together. They went in caves and meadows. Soon Kirsten showed Singing Bird her and Anna's and Elisabeth's secret hideout. And Singing Bird said, "Come to my teepee." Then Singing Bird had to leave and Kirsten never saw her again.
After a long journey from Sweden to America and the across the country to Minnesota the Larson family has finally settled into their new home and the children begin attending school with their cousins. This becomes a whole new challenge for Kirsten as she is just learning to speak English.

Kirsten was always my favorite American Girl.
Beth Anne
This was much better than the first book, more character development, more plot. Still a little more mature than many of the books we've's been so long since I read these! Lots of good historical info to talk about. Probably putting this series on hold for a few months.
Madeline and I finished reading this one together last night, and we agreed that it wasn't as special as the introductory book in the series. Still, it was fun to learn about frontier schools and pioneer games.
How did Singing Bird pick up English so quickly?
Esther May
I can't imagine going to school in a different country that spoke a different language. In this book, that is exactly what Kirsten is dealing with. It was enjoyable to read.
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  • Molly Saves the Day: A Summer Story (American Girls: Molly, #5)
  • Addy Learns a Lesson: A School Story (An American Girl: Addy #2)
  • Samantha's Surprise: A Christmas Story (American Girls: Samantha, #3)

Other Books in the Series

American Girls: Kirsten (6 books)
  • Meet Kirsten: An American Girl (American Girls: Kirsten, #1)
  • Kirsten's Surprise: A Christmas Story (American Girls: Kirsten, #3)
  • Happy Birthday, Kirsten: A Springtime Story (American Girls: Kirsten, #4)
  • Kirsten Saves the Day: A Summer Story (American Girls: Kirsten, #5)
  • Changes for Kirsten: A Winter Story (American Girls: Kirsten, #6)

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