Barbara's Reviews > First Girl Scout: The Life of Juliette Gordon Low

First Girl Scout by Ginger Wadsworth
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's review
Apr 09, 12

bookshelves: biography, families, ncbla2013, strong-women
Read in April, 2012

Born into a well-to-do, influential family, Juliette(Daisy)Gordon received her formal education in a New York boarding school, but she also spent much of her free time outdoors, climbing trees, canoeing, swimming, and hiking. She was close to her family, and often put on plays and painted. Since her mother was born in the North and her father fought for the Confederates during the Civil War, Daisy encountered different perspectives on the issues of the time. After her marriage to a wealthy British man who was friends with the future King of England, Daisy became a socialite and spent much of her time at parties and social gatherings. When her marriage began to fail, she realized that she wanted to do more with her life. Inspired by the Boy Scouts of Robert Baden-Powell and the Girl Guides, Daisy decided to start an organization designed to provide leadership opportunities for girls from various backgrounds. Not only did the girls engage in outdoor activities, but they also prepared for roles as professionals. Daisy herself became deaf as the result of illness, and she made sure to include girls with disabilities in the club she started 100 years ago. The author brings this intriguing woman to life, describing her love for animals, her talents and personality and including some of her dark moments as well as her character flaws; for instance, her difficulty in managing her own money properly and her proclivity for arriving late. I thoroughly enjoyed reading the text, examining the photographs, and pondering the path and personality that prompted a woman in her fifties to embark on this particular endeavor. Considering the times and social expectation for girls and women, Daisy was clearly a pioneer. Apparently, the organization to which she gave so much of her time and money had relevance and staying power since this year marks its 100th anniversary. Filled with family anecdotes, the book's seventeen chapters provide insight into the personality and upbringing of one woman framed alongside interesting periods of history.
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