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

really liked it 4.0  ·  Rating Details ·  4,343 Ratings  ·  66 Reviews
The books in this collection tell the stories of six American girls who lived long ago:
Felicity, a spunky, spritely colonial girl, full of energy and independence Josefina, an Hispanic girl whose heart and hopes are as big as the New Mexico sky Kirsten, a pioneer girl of strength and spirit who settles on the frontier Addy, a courageous girl determined to be free in the m
Hardcover, 62 pages
Published September 28th 1990 by American Girl (first published January 1st 1986)
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Yuliana Gallardo
Mar 17, 2016 Yuliana Gallardo rated it it was amazing
I really liked this book because it was about a girl that was maybe my age and she had to overcome lots of challenges. It was about a girl named Kristen and she used to live in Sweden but she moved and where she went they didn't celebrate Saint Lucia. So she told her cousins that didn't live there how they celebrate it and when and she has to go really far for a trunk for her white gown and then they all celebrate it. I recommend this book to girls because it's a book of American Girl Dolls and ...more
Amanda Caldwell
Review from The Book Babe.

Kirsten has always been one of my favorite American Girls. I've always had a soft-spot for anything Swedish and Kirsten and her family traveled a long journey across the Atlantic Journey from Sweden to America. In this installment, we find Kirsten a bit homesick for Sweden. In Sweden, St. Lucia's Day is celebrated and marks the beginning of the Christmas season.

Kirsten and her cousins, Anna and Lisbeth, decide to throw a St. Lucia's Day surprise for their families. The
I read this years ago when it was a much newer book and there were only three American Girls. Kirsten was my favorite because she looked the most like me, and because I have always had a soft spot for stories about frontier life, though I have to admit I always loved Samantha's clothes.

In this book, Kirsten is about to experience her first Christmas season in America. She wants things to be the same as they were in Sweden, and that includes having all of the same items they had in Sweden, some o
Dec 19, 2016 Haley rated it it was amazing
I recently found my boxset of these books. Kirsten was always my favourite as a child, and with Christmas being in 6 days, I decided to read this book. I always loved it, and wanted so badly to celebrate St. Lucia Day, wear a white gown with a red sash and a crown. Reading it now, 12 years later, I remembered the heartwarming moments of this book, and am feeling extremely nostalgic.
Jan 21, 2016 Elise rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I enjoyed it, these stories are easy and fun.
Enjoyed this as a child. Especially since this tradition is in the family.
Sep 30, 2016 Xyra rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I would love to give this book a 5 as I loved it and it was amazing in that it revealed the origins of one of my own family's traditions. However, sticking directly with just the story I think it could have been a bit deeper. That being said, I am looking at it from the perspective of an adult and not the target audience of an 8-year old (or 9 or 10).

In this installment of Kirsten's story we find out the Larson's have yet to be reunited with many of the possessions they brought with them from Sw
Dec 24, 2016 Emily rated it really liked it
Another one of my favorite American girl books. The Swedish Christmas tradition is warm and cozy and I enjoyed learning about it.
Becky Keir Grace
Kirsten is about to celebrate her first Christmas in America, however, this makes her homesick for her family and life in Sweden. They would be getting ready to celebrate Saint Lucia’s Day. Her cousins have never celebrated this holiday, and the girls decide to surprise the family with the celebration. There is a slight problem; the items Kirsten needs to the day are in their trunks from Sweden which are in a town 10 miles away. She begs her father to go get them, but there is too much work to d ...more
Felicity The Magnificent
Sep 29, 2012 Felicity The Magnificent rated it it was amazing
I liked this book because Christmas was coming. This was her first Christmas in America and she knew that things were going to be different. In Sweden, they had a holiday called Saint Lucia's Day. She asked her cousins Anna and Lisbeth to help her. They made a crown for her, but they couldn't get a dress and a ribbon, because they were in the trunks and Kirsten's family had to leave the trunks back in Maryville when they didn't have enough money to buy a wagon. So one night, on the night before ...more
Jul 20, 2012 Erin rated it liked it
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
Dec 17, 2009 Rebekah rated it it was amazing
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 is slightly different for the Kirsten books because Kirsten doesn’t get a new doll she convinces her father to travel to retrieve their trunks, which they left behind fo
Sep 28, 2012 Alexandria rated it it was amazing
Shelves: for-my-kids
I don't usaully review the books I read as a child, mainly because I don't remember much about them and I was unable to read them with a critical eye. But this book, I will review.

I grew up in a family that was forming its own traditions. Call it a symptom of the broken family, but we didn't have a very strong sense of where we had come from. Reading about a young woman with such a close community, sense of family history, and tradition set, I grew to understand that there was more than commerci
Sarah Crawford
Feb 16, 2016 Sarah Crawford rated it really liked it
Kirsten wants to do something special for the holidays, but that depends on getting their trunks out of storage. In those days it meant driving a horse and cart to the relatively nearby town, getting the trunks and returning, and in those days that would have been a full-day's job. In this case it was even worse since it started snowing during their trip and the snow turned into a blizzard.

Then Kirsten's father gets hurt and can't walk and the horse acts up and doesn't want to move. It's going
Apr 24, 2014 Halee rated it it was amazing
Kirsten's Surprise is part of the American Girl Book Series. This tale follows a young Sweden girl who recently moved to Minnesota with her family. Christmas is near and there is a huge snow storm that hit their cabin. Kirsten and her father get caught in the snowstorm on their way home from town. Kirsten must think fast because her father is hurt and they cannot stay stuck on the road in their wagon.

This book would be great to have different cause and effects with solutions that students choose
Feb 21, 2011 Bree rated it liked it
Shelves: historical, children
This review is from the perspective of a mother - Kirsten's surprise centers on Kirsten's wish to celebrate Christmas in the way she was accustomed back home - with St. Lucia's Day as the focus. Kirsten comes across a bit selfish and impulsive with her obsession with getting their trunks out of storage, but her courage and clear-head during the snowstorm show how much she is maturing. I like how this series is really focused on the trials and successes of pioneer life while still bringing it bac ...more
Goldilocks Reads (Jenna Vahue)
Sep 30, 2016 Goldilocks Reads (Jenna Vahue) rated it really liked it
Shelves: children
Kirsten is very brave while she weathers a fierce blizzard with her papa in the snow. She also dresses up as Saint Lucia for Christmas with her Swedish family. She looked like an angel and is the sweetest little immigrant prairie dog I've ever read. I can't handle how adorable these books can be.

Jul 15, 2014 Miri rated it really liked it
Kirsten in finally feeling at home in America, Christmas time is here and Kirsten wants to celebrate Saint Lucia, the Swedish holiday celebration, with her cousins, but Kirsten needs her special holiday things from their trunk and it is still far away in town. Can Kirsten get her father to retrieve the trunk so she and her cousins can plan their special surprise for everyone and make this first holiday in America one worth remembering?
Jul 01, 2015 Loraine rated it really liked it
Homesick for her native home, Kirsten so much wants her rag doll and other worldly belongings still packed in trunks and awaiting retrieval when Kirsten's father can spare the time to travel the 10 miles (one way) to town. A proper celebration of Saint Lucia's Day hinges on those trunks, but the trip proves fraught with adventure when she and her father are lost in a blizzard. Educational and full of potential danger.
Dec 23, 2014 Tara rated it it was amazing
I liked it when Kirsten was brave enough to go with her dad in the storm to get the trunks. She went because she was doing a special night and she needed a dress that was in the trunks. And when they got back, everyone was awake watching for them. Them everybody went to sleep. And Kirsten got in a pretty dress and a pretty crown and got a tray and walked around and said, "I invite you to breakfast," as a part of her Swedish Christmas traditions. She was sharing it with her cousins in America.
remembering reading the same christmas-themed book that you are reading aloud to your own daughter at christmastime? nostalgia hit me like a brick. +1 extra star American Girl, your sneaky marketing trick of using historical fiction to make the books timeless and thus generational is working, goshdangit.
Dec 20, 2011 Chrissy rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: kid-s-stuff
I think this was the first American Girl Series I read, and Kate picked it out for our Christmas story. We only read the first chapter together, then she finished on her own. In this chapter Kirsten is impatient for her families things to be delivered from town. Sounds like the lead up to Christmas to me.
I have never been to Minnesota--reading this book, though, I could feel the cold that my Swedish immigrant ancestors must have felt and see the masses of snow. A wonderful story about what children are capable of in a crisis, plus it is interesting to learn about St. Lucia's Day. I can't believe they didn't light things on fire when wearing those candles on their heads.
Mar 18, 2011 Ashley rated it really liked it
This is Kirsten's Christmas story. I liked it because Kirsten and her cousins arrange a surprise Saint Lucia's Day celebration for their family. Abby liked it because Kirsten finally got her doll back. Now Abby can stop interrupting me to ask if Kirsten is going to get her doll back. Apparently that possibility was worse than Kirsten and her father getting stuck in a blizzard!
I love when a character becomes a strong individual and also learns selflessness. Kirsten grew so much as a person in this book. Her relationship with he teacher, her cousins, and her father grew bounds. She was worried that her Saint Lucia's Day would be ruined so she took matters into her own hands and in the end she made it happen. By being so pro-active she had the best day ever.
Feb 27, 2016 Lindsey rated it it was amazing
Shelves: children-s
I got out my collection of American Girl books from my childhood recently and have been reading them to Claire. It has been so fun. The books are very enjoyable to read, give a good glimpse into living in different time periods and share good values. I don't have all the sets and found out that they are no longer in print, but I did find the Molly boxed set on Ebay.
Dec 03, 2016 Laura rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I really enjoyed this Christmas story. We get to see a combination of Kirsten's heritage as well as characteristics of her newfound home. Her and her father are caught in a blizzard on the way home from rescuing their travel trunks, showcasing what the wild weather in the North can be like. But finally, after everyone is safely home, "Saint Lucia" still arrives to wish everyone a Merry Christmas.
Jun 03, 2013 Marya rated it liked it
Shelves: children-series
Challenges abound on the Minnesota frontier in 1854, and in this book, Kirsten faces her first blizzard while out on the open road with her Papa. Despite learning all about St. Lucia's day and the Swedish customs surrounding it, the blizzard is what stole my 4-year-old's attention while reading this aloud to her. Also, how blizzards can kill people.
Oct 04, 2011 Tanya rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: childrens, i-own-it
As Madeline and I were reading this book together, she commented that it made her appreciate living today when blizzards aren't quite so dangerous, and distances are more easily traversed. It was fun to learn about Swedish Christmas traditions, but again, I didn't find this volume as strong as the first one.
May 01, 2011 Anna rated it really liked it
Shelves: read-by-myself
Kirsten, Anna and Elizabeth were planning a surprise for their family. They were going to make Saint Lucia Day come to America! All they had to do is get the blue trunk which had all the stuff they needed. It had the red sash, and the night gown. Then Saint Lucia came. It was the best Saint Lucia Day ever.
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  • Molly's Surprise: A Christmas Story (American Girls: Molly, #3)
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  • 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 Learns a Lesson: A School Story (American Girls: Kirsten, #2)
  • 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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