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Samantha's Surprise: A Christmas Story (American Girls: Samantha, #3)
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Samantha's Surprise: A Christmas Story (American Girls: Samantha #3)

4.05  ·  Rating Details ·  4,929 Ratings  ·  65 Reviews
Samantha Parkington is a bright Victorian beauty being raised by her wealthy grandmother in 1904. Samantha's stories describe her life during this important period of change. Her own world is filled with frills and finery, parties and play. But Samantha sees that times are not good for everybody. That's why she tries to make a difference in the life of her friend Nellie, a ...more
Hardcover, 66 pages
Published September 28th 1990 by American Girl (first published January 1st 1986)
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Meet Samantha by Susan S. AdlerMeet Felicity by Valerie TrippMeet Addy by Connie Rose PorterMeet Molly by Valerie TrippMeet Kirsten by Janet Beeler Shaw
An American Girl
24th out of 168 books — 57 voters
The Escape by Mary BaloghLord Carew's Bride by Mary BaloghWhere the Trail Ends by Melanie DobsonMeet Samantha by Susan S. AdlerTwice the Temptation by Suzanne Enoch
29th out of 116 books — 4 voters

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Community Reviews

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I am really irritated that this book had different illustrations than the ones I grew up reading. Why would they change them? They were perfect!
Sep 29, 2016 Sidney rated it it was amazing
This book is another great Samantha book. This time it is Christmas and Samantha wants a nutcracker doll. She feels bad for wanting it, because of Nellie. Also Samantha is excited because her Uncle is coming, but she is disappointed when she hears that he is bringing a friend with him. They ruin the party and Samantha is upset because this Christmas wont be like all the others. The best surprise is that Cornella ends up being super nice and save Christmas when they get to do all their fun things ...more
Sarah Crawford
Feb 17, 2016 Sarah Crawford rated it really liked it
In this story it's about Christmas time and Samantha wants to help decorate the house, but a professional decorator has been called in and she ends up using the things she has made just in her room, feeling quite upset.

Then it turns out her Uncle is going to be coming with a woman, Cornelia, and everyone wants everything to be special for her, again leaving Samantha feeling left out of things.

She also wants a certain doll in a nearby toy store, but feeling she can't ask for it since she gave he
Jul 26, 2013 Sarah rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
When I was younger, about the age Samantha is in this book, I loved my American Girl Doll. My doll was in fact a Samantha doll. In this story about Samantha she has everything for Christmas planned out. She has made decorations for the whole house, been invited to her friend's Christmas party, and has presents made. All that seems to change when Samantha's Grandmary finds out that Uncle Gard is bringing his friend Cornelia. Grandmary orders decorations and Samantha is upset by this, then Samanth ...more
Amanda Caldwell
Review from The Book Babe.

Samantha's Surprise is the third book in Samantha's American Girl series. Just like the first book, this book also is focused on a doll which Samantha wants. Samantha is eager for Christmas. She has made Christmas decorations for Grandmary's house, has a special holiday dress to wear, looks forward to making a gingerbread house, and attending her friend Ida's Christmas party. All of these things are cancelled though when Grandmary learns that Uncle Gard will be bringing
Nov 12, 2011 Rebekah rated it really liked it
This story begins with Samantha being really excited for Christmas. Her best friend invited her to a Christmas party and she had a new dress to wear to it; she also really wanted a nutcracker doll. Her grandmother gave her permission to go to the party which made the excitement grow. Samantha also had all her presents and decorations made and she couldn't wait to decorate the house. Her grandmother tells her that her uncle is bringing a friend for Christmas so she'll have to make things extra sp ...more
Callie Stillion
Samantha is angry when she hears that Uncle Gardner is bringing his special friend, Cornelia, is coming over. Of course, in one of Samantha`s short stories, they get married, and in this book, Uncle Gard asks her to marry him. Cornelia quickly says yes... but she knows that he was going to ask her, because they already had a date planned. But Samantha is longing for a Nutcracker Doll, and Aunt Cornelia gets it for Samantha. This turned out to be the best Christmas for her. ...more
I'm kinda over writing reviews about Samantha. This series had its good points and its not so good points. Ready to move on to something else. I let my daughter write this review:

In this American Girls Book, ten year old Samantha is invited to a Christmas Party by her friend Ida Dean. Samantha was very excited to go to the party because of all the wonderful games they planned on playing; activities such as magic tricks and charades were some of the things that Samantha would definitely not want
Dec 25, 2009 Dolly rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: parents reading with their children
We are just starting to read stories from the "American Girls" collection. We just happen to be on the third "Samantha" story, which lucky for us, has a Christmas theme. It's a nice tale and describes how people, specifically wealthy people, celebrate Christmas just after the turn of the twentieth century. I like these stories a lot; they are entertaining and have some historical and educational content that make them more than just a story. I'm afraid, however, that they don't always hold our g ...more
Jun 04, 2014 Teri rated it liked it
Shelves: american-girl
Tons of fun Christmas activities to go with this one! We made gingerbread houses and decorated small boxes with tiny magazine cut outs of flowers with glue and modge podge (note--use the real stuff, not shiny spray). Can make scented pillows, or cut snowflakes, or stuffed angels--could also plan a sledding trip.
Sep 04, 2013 Sharon rated it really liked it
Samantha, an orphan, lives with her wealthy, formal Grandmary in 1904. Her home includes servants and prestige.

Samantha is excited about the forthcoming Christmas. She has crafted her Christmas gifts and decorations. She has her heart set on an elaborate nutcracker doll at Schofield's toy Store.

When Samantha attempts to decorate the house, she is rebuffed by Hawkins and Elsa;it appears that the house is being professionally decorated for Cornelia's visit. And no one has time to assist Samantha w
Dec 23, 2008 Megan rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
When I was 7 my cousin had the doll and complete collection of accessories etc. We didn't have much money but when the Scholastic book order came around Mom splurged and thank God she did. I bought 'Samantha's Surprise' and every Christmas since 1989 I've read the story. It isn't terribly brilliant and it isn't as saturated with yule as Dickens but the moment of imagination or escapism is more than enough for me. I clipped the mail order tag from the back of the book and taped it above my bed so ...more
Brittany Granger
I am going to do a mass review of all the books in the American Girl series, and then copy and paste to each book when I get the chance. Stay Tuned!
Becky Keir Grace
It's almost Christmas, and Samantha is excited for the holiday. Her Uncle is bringing Cornelia with him for Christmas. Samantha's friend, Ida, is having a big Christmas party that Samantha is excited to attend. The family has their home decorated for Christmas and Samantha is eager to make a gingerbread house. But then Cornelia's arrival causes some of Samantha's plans to fall apart. She blames Cornelia.

Samantha learns a valuable lesson this Christmas.

It is fascinating to read about Christmas ov
I love American girl. I'm about to read a few more of these just to get my count up a bit on my reading challenge.
Oct 05, 2009 F rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Buddy-read with my grand niece. Samantha's favorite Uncle Gard is bringing his girlfriend, Cornelia for a Christmas visit. Samantha resents all the fuss Cornelia's visit brings, including Samantha cannot go to one of her friend's Christmas party. In my opinion there are other American Girl paperbacks that are more appealing. I did investigate recipes for quince jam and plum pudding. The "Look into the Past" section at the back of the book was very interesting, including that no one counted calor ...more
Alternate title- The one where she gets her doll.
The American Girl books are rather formulaic. Book 1 we meet the girl and her world. Book 2 we see what school is like during that time period. Book 3 How that girl and her family celebrate Christmas (and of course that girl gets a doll as a present). And so on and so forth.

This was probably my least favorite Samantha book because she was fairly bratty about not getting her own way for Christmas. She does snap out of it but for a couple of chapt
Jan 15, 2015 Liz rated it liked it
I loved the American Girl books when I was a kid. And the dolls. And the accessories. In December, I pulled out my baskets of Christmas books and this was among them. Finn picked it out to do as a read-aloud and thoroughly enjoyed it. While the story is just so-so, the "Peek into the Past" at the end (the nonfiction part of the text) was great. We had an awesome time comparing Christmas today to Christmas in 1904.
Samantha Glasser
Samantha's Surprise is a Christmas story. Nellie is very poor and her family cannot afford the lavish celebration that Samantha's family can, but Samantha is determined to share the wealth as much as possible so everyone has a great holiday. Uncle Gard comes to town and spoils his favorite niece with an extra special gift.

This book really concentrates on the variances between social classes, and the way things have changed in only 100 years. It made me appreciate what I had and also more curious
Chris Novotny
Nov 09, 2015 Chris Novotny rated it it was amazing
My 5 year old daughter loves this series. She said this one was great, but not quite as good as the second book in the series. In addition, she laid still and listened and looked at all the pictures and tried to read some of it while I read to her. So that's big praise, as she is quite particular about what she will sit still for...
Alexandra Lindner
Mar 31, 2015 Alexandra Lindner rated it it was amazing
Loved it!!
Jun 03, 2015 Superreader200 rated it it was amazing
love it!
Apr 05, 2009 Taylor rated it it was amazing
samantha has high hopes for the best Christmas ever! things begin to go wrong when uncle Gard anouncesw he is bringing his beautiful Corneliea home for the holidays. Everyone is paying so much attention to her and no attention to Samantha, and her wish for the doll on the window of schofeild's toy store. But when christmas morning FINALLY comes she has a little surprise waiting for her!! This book brings the holiday joy to you and make you want it to be Crhistmas right when you are reading it!!
Dec 05, 2015 Lanie rated it it was ok
A simple story with nice pictures. But after addys Christmas story, it was let down. It was much more selfish & really focused on Samantha judging a woman before she met her & wanting a doll. Boring. I guess she learned her lesson, because corlaine turned out alright. But it was all to perfect. She got the doll. The lady was nice, but I don't feel anything was really learned. No spirit of giving here. Just a kid whining for half the book. Only good for American girl fans.
Great for young girls.
I have a crush on Uncle Gard. He drives a car, which is ultra-badass for the time period, and when Samantha gives him clues about what the gift she got him (smaller than a breadbox, cannot sing or do handsprings, is part green, can close up, cannot be ridden, and would look silly on my head in the summer) he says that he is certain she's bought him a baby turtle. Full of win!
Dec 23, 2012 Lindsay rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I have memories of reading this book as a child to my dad and have kept my childhood copy ever since. Samantha was my favorite American Girl. I even have her doll somewhere.
It's a cozy Christmas book that does teach people what it was like for people back in 1904. I would like to find the rest of the books if I could.
Jan 05, 2011 Bree rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: children
I read this aloud to my four year old over several nights as part os our Christmas reads. The story didn't quite keep her attention, and she had difficulty keeping teh characters straight (even with teh handy pictorial guide) but she was very interested in the drawings, and the photographs in the historical details at the back.
I really enjoy Christmas and I love families that go all out. I love that Samantha took the time to make everything that she was going to give each person. I always did that when I was younger. I am also glad that she realizes that Cornelia isn't bad at all. She actually is a lot of fun.
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  • Changes for Samantha: A Winter Story (American Girls: Samantha, #6)
  • Samantha Learns a Lesson: A School Story (American Girls: Samantha, #2)
  • Kirsten's Surprise: A Christmas Story (American Girls: Kirsten, #3)
  • Addy's Surprise: A Christmas Story (American Girls: Addy, #3)

Other Books in the Series

American Girls: Samantha (6 books)
  • Meet Samantha: An American Girl (American Girls: Samantha, #1)
  • Samantha Learns a Lesson: A School Story (American Girls: Samantha, #2)
  • Happy Birthday Samantha!: A Springtime Story (American Girls: Samantha, #4)
  • Samantha Saves the Day: A Summer Story (American Girls: Samantha, #5)
  • Changes for Samantha: A Winter Story (American Girls: Samantha, #6)

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