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Meet Rebecca (American Girls: Rebecca #1)

3.97  ·  Rating Details ·  1,984 Ratings  ·  106 Reviews
Rebecca Rubin longs to be the center of attention, but it's not easy in a family of five children! When mysterious cousin Max, the actor, tells her the secret to pleasing an audience, Rebecca can hardly wait to try it out. Then she learns that her young cousin Ana and her family are in danger--they must escape Russia and come to America. Rebecca decides to raise money for ...more
Paperback, 78 pages
Published July 1st 2009 by American Girl Publishing Inc (first published 2009)
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An American Girl
35th out of 168 books — 57 voters
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Jewish Americans in Children's Literature
18th out of 204 books — 9 voters

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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Aug 05, 2012 Sesana rated it really liked it
This'll be a review for Rebecca's whole series, which I'm giving a 3.5, rounded up because I ended up really liking her as a character.

Rebecca's series is set in 1914 and stars a young Jewish girl, daughter of Russian immigrants. So there are overarching themes of cultural and generational differences throughout, and probably the most coherent storyline to cover all six books in an American Girl's series that I've read. (Rebecca wants to be an actress, her family wouldn't approve, etc.) There ar
Like most of the American Girls series, Meet Rebecca features a spunky heroine who tries to honor her culture and still make her own way in life, this one a young Jewish immigrant in 1914. Spoiler Alert: In this book, Rebecca's interest in acting and motion pictures causes conflict with her more traditional grandparents. But whether she should spend the money she earns on her own pair of candlesticks or on helping her cousin's family never seems like a real question.
As usual, the book (Lexile me
Sam T
Feb 18, 2016 Sam T added it
I enjoyed reading Meet Rebecca by Jacqueline Dembar Greene. This book is about a 9 year old Jewish girl that lives in New York. It was fun thinking about back than how they did not get paid as much and things costed less money.

Rebecca and her family have to save money to by ship tickets to get their cousins out of Germany before the war gets to bad. Rebecca wants candles for herself except decides to give the money she made to her parents to help get ship tickets. Soon after her whole family hel
Mar 22, 2011 Bree rated it it was ok
Shelves: historical, children
This review is from the point of view of a mother. I'm reading the Rebecca series to decide when they will be appropriate for my daughter.

I was excited to read the Rebecca books because the time period and immigrant story are favorites of mine. Although I am intrigued by Rebecca the character, I struggled through the book. The space taken to explain Jewish traditions was helpful, but broke up the flow of the story.

The conflict, that Rebecca was sneaking around doing something she though her pa
Feb 10, 2011 Emma rated it it was ok
I absolutely adored the American Girl books growing up, so with some time to kill in Barnes & Noble yesterday, I decided to pick up one of the ones that had come out in the time since I was the target audience.

Rebecca Rubin is a Russian-Jewish girl in New York City in 1914. And while I'm pleased they've tackled this era of immigrant families in turn of the century New York and also Jewish families, there was just too much exposition on the culture and traditions. I felt like instead of telli
Tracy Connolly
Jul 10, 2011 Tracy Connolly rated it it was amazing
Rebecca is the daughter of Jewish immigrants living in New York. Rebecca wanted to light the Sabbath candlesticks, like her big sisters. Rebecca looks for ways to raise money to buy her own candlesticks. After meeting her cousin Max, the actor, she decides to put on a show. When that doesn't work, she finds another way. Rebecca is also upset that her cousin Ana and Ana's family are in danger in Russia. They need money to come to New York. How will Rebecca help Ana? Meet Rebecca is the start of a ...more
Saige Holcomb
I think the book "Rebecca" is a really good book. My favorite part was at the end when Rebecca told the truth about selling the dolls that her mother gave her so she can buy candlesticks. The reason I like that part is because It turned out to be a touching family moment at the end. They all decided to raise more money to have Rebecca's aunt Ana come from Russia because she was sick.

The book "Rebecca" is about a girl named Rebecca who always wanted to be an actress. Her family somehow runs in fi
Hannah Harris
Title: Meet Rebecca
Author: Jacqueline Dembar Greene
Illustrator: Robert Hunt
Genre: Historical Fiction
Theme(s): Immigration, culture, Jewish religion
Opening line/sentence:
"Rebecca Rubin tugged at her wooden
doll until the top and bottom pulled
apart to reveal a smaller doll nesting
Brief Book Summary:
In this book of the American Girl series, the main character, Rebecca, explores and explains life in 19th century New York City. As the reader is drawn into her emotional experiences, they can l
Amy Rae
Nov 04, 2014 Amy Rae rated it liked it
Shelves: read-for-school
One of our assignments this week in kidlit was to read an American Girl novel and come to class prepared to discuss it. My original plan was to read Meet Cécile, but I couldn't get it from Audible. So I decided to go with Meet Rebecca, which came out after I (sort of) outgrew American Girl.

This one is solidly okay. For a child whose reading skills aren't quite up to All-of-a-Kind Family, it's a simple introduction to a near-identical time and place. The All-of-a-Kind Family sisters live in the L
Sarah Crawford
Feb 17, 2016 Sarah Crawford rated it really liked it
This is the first book in the Rebecca series of American Girl books. Rebecca is growing up in 1914. She is Jewish. Her family knows people who are Jewish and live in Russia and desperately want to leave that country and come to the U.S., so they try to raise money for them.

Rebecca works in her father's story and ends up selling some of her own doilies she has made to try and help contribute to the money needed to save the family in Russia. She is afraid her mother and father might get angry wit
Whitney (Shooting Stars Reviews)
Reviewed by Whitney@Shooting Stars Reviews

Meet Rebecca begins when Rebecca is one of five children in her family. She wants to be an actor when she grows up, but her family doesn’t think that’s a good idea. And when her younger cousin Ana is sick in Russia, she will do everything she can think of to help her father raise the money to buy them tickets to get to America.

Rebecca was a wonderful young girl who at times seemed selfish, but truly she just felt left out, and did the right thing in the
Goat Girl
Feb 13, 2011 Goat Girl rated it liked it
Shelves: girl-adventures
I like it. it is a lot like all the other meet whatever doll. it is not boring but sort of the same story board each time.
May 03, 2015 Marya rated it liked it
The first American girl who is Jewish does not disappoint. They do make a big deal about her Jewishness, but they make an even bigger deal about her family being recent immigrants from Russia. American Girls as a series succeeds best when it focuses on what exactly makes a girl an American girl. This is easiest to do in the immigrant story, as they did with Kirsten and Addy and even, though her land is appropriated eventually by the United States, the Josephina story. Rebecca's story has the add ...more
Aug 21, 2014 Miri rated it really liked it
Rebecca Rubin is a nine year old girl living in 1914 New York City. Her family are Russian Jewish immigrants. She lives with her father and mother, older twin sisters Sadie and Sophie, Older brother Victor, younger brother Benny, Grandmother Bubbie and Grandfather.

Rebecca's, mother's cousin Max, is an actor and Rebecca dreams of being on the stage someday too. She's never old enough for anything, not even lighting the Sabbath candles, so Rebecca is determined to earn money to buy her own candle
The book had a dashed-off quality about it that disappointed me. Among the most disorienting anomalies was the way the grandmother fried fish on Friday (Christians fry it on Friday; Jews traditionally boil it and serve it cold) and then they obviously never served it, because the soup, which is eaten after the fish, was already served even before any of the blessings, which would have led to its cooling and congealing. Anyone who has every fried fish knows that it needs to be served right away, ...more
May 10, 2010 Ciara rated it really liked it
man, i have such a soft spot for the american girl books. i am giving this one four stars compared against its american girl bretheren, & the other books in the rebecca series. i'm not saying i loved it, but for what it is, it's not bad. rebecca rubin is the newest in the american girl historical doll line. she was launched last may. she's nine years old & lives in 1914. her parents are russian jewish immigrants who came to the united states & met while working at a shoe factory. the ...more
Nov 20, 2013 Xyra rated it really liked it
As American Girl books go, this was a really good "Meet" story. In it we meet Rebecca Rubin and her family. They are Jewish and have immigrated from Russia.

We see that three generations live in their home and how they live, work, and worship together. Well, we don't see them at synagogue, but we get to see how they start celebrating Sabbath and some of their traditions.

We get an idea of the struggles the family went through to get to the United States and how much they are worried about the fam
Amanda Caldwell
Another great American Girl story! Like so many of the other American Girl books, Meet Rebecca has a lot of heart. Rebecca is a Jewish girl living in New York City in 1914 with her twin sisters, brother, parents, and grandparents. Rebecca, being a middle child, always feel left out- especially from her teenage twin sister's activities. When Rebecca's family receives word that their family in Russia is suffering due to prejudice towards Jews and the oncoming war, the family must act fast to save ...more
Feb 28, 2010 Rebecca rated it it was amazing
The year is 1914. Nine-year-old Rebecca Rubin lives in New York City, where she was born after her parents and grandparents, Russian Jews, immigrated to America. One of five children, she feels like the odd one out - her fourteen-year-old twin sisters think she is too young to go anywhere with them, and she has little in common with her two brothers. Rebecca longs to be more grown up - to be able help light the candles on the Sabbath, and see movies with her sisters.

Rebecca becomes interested i
Sep 20, 2013 Annie rated it it was amazing
age range 9-11. Rebecca is a kind loving girl. Who try's to help save up money for 5 Ship tickets for Ana, Josef, Michael, Uncle Jacob and, Aunt Fannie. Who live in Russia where the war is going.
Jan 02, 2010 Kate rated it really liked it
Shelves: library, read-in-2010
Okay, I'll admit it - I've been reading American Girl books for 21 years and I still adore them. This is the first book about Rebecca, the child of Russian Jewish immigrants living in NYC in 1914. It's like they MADE this one for me - World War I! Immigrants! Jewish traditions! New York! As with all of the American Girl historical novels, Rebecca's story manages to be educational, in a completely non-subtle way, and simultaneously completely engaging. It's a gentle read while also not shying awa ...more
Wendy Daniel
Nov 04, 2013 Wendy Daniel rated it it was ok
Shelves: lis-4510
I wanted to read an American Girl Book to see what all the fuss was about. I have two boys, so we have not come across this series in our family readings. I grabbed one for our book talk on historical fiction. Overall, it was about what I expected. It wasn't amazing - it wasn't horrible. The main character, Rebecca, is a young Jewish girl in new york in the early 20th century. She wants to be older then she is, and she longs for attention. When she saves money for something she really wants, she ...more
Cara Wilson
May 16, 2015 Cara Wilson rated it it was amazing
Meet Rebecca
Cara W., Spring 2015

Series #1

Rebecca is one of the newer American Girls in the franchise. Rebecca lives in New York after her family had come to the U.S. after having hard times in their native country. The story follows Rebecca as she tries to help her family raise money for a family emergency.

I love this story for many reasons. One of which is the accuracy of Jewish culture. Rebecca's family hails from Russia and many Russians are Jews. This is a book that reaches the Jewish popul
Apr 04, 2016 Steph rated it liked it
Rebecca is a strong-willed Jewish girl with immigrant parents. Many references to the (1914) time period are thrown in. I especially love her cousin's acting aspirations and the mention of Charlie Chaplin films!

I enjoyed this far more than the last two American Girl books I read and think it makes for an excellent historical fiction option for young readers!
Aug 26, 2012 Samantha rated it liked it
Rebecca is creative, talented, and feels a little overlooked in her family as the middle child following twin sisters. She longs to be an actress and is encouraged by the presence of her mother's cousin, Max, who shares her career ambitions. In this story, Rebecca struggles with her wants versus her desire to help those in need. Wanting nothing more than to be able to light candles on the Sabbath as her sisters do Rebecca saves up money to buy her own candles by selling the handmade crocheted it ...more
Sassafras Lowrey
Sep 16, 2016 Sassafras Lowrey rated it liked it
pretty much everything i remember enjoying about american girl books - only a new character ! i am so glad to see this franchise continue to grow, develop and diversify. i was engaged enough i'll probably request more from the library!
Sep 09, 2009 Yvonne rated it really liked it
My 6 year old daughter has been very interested in learning more about Jewish culture. She recently received the American Girl doll, Rebecca, whom is Jewish, and the corresponding books. Meet Rebecca is the first book in the series. We found the book to be both entertaining and informative. Rebecca is a likable character, and my daughter was able to relate to her easily.

The story takes place in 1914, and the author does a good job of describing the plight of Jewish immigrants of that time, most
Feb 18, 2010 Laura rated it really liked it
So just so you know...when I rate the young adult or children's literature, I rate it based on what I would have thought when I was at the target age for that book.(or what my son thinks now) It is too bad I can't sit down still and just be completely obsessed with the American Girl's...but at one point in my life I was. With that being said...back in the good 'ol days this would have been a fav. I have a special place in my heart for the American Girl's collection...cheesy? :) Rebecca is Jewish ...more
Oct 05, 2009 Jennifer rated it did not like it
OK, so the American Girl Books...picture every stereotype you have ever heard of about a time in history, throw it into a book and voila, you have the American Girl series. The kids like them (probably because they're predictable), which is why I broke down and read the newest one, hot off the "new" shelf. Rebecca is a young Jewish girl in 1914 who wants to be an actress, and who really wants to be able to light the candles that her sisters get to light on the Sabbath. Her grandparents are immig ...more
Oct 20, 2015 Victoria rated it it was amazing
Loved it! I can't believe American Girl FINALLY included a Jewish girl in their historical collection. It was very sweet, and thought provoking for the age group, though the yiddish might confuse some younger readers.
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Other Books in the Series

American Girls: Rebecca (6 books)
  • Rebecca and Ana (American Girls: Rebecca, #2)
  • Candlelight for Rebecca (American Girls: Rebecca, #3)
  • Rebecca and the Movies (American Girls: Rebecca, #4)
  • Rebecca to the Rescue (American Girls: Rebecca, #5)
  • Changes for Rebecca (American Girls: Rebecca, #6)

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