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Book Image Not Available
Book Details
  • SubGenre: Women
  • Language: English
  • Pages: 315

100 Years in the Life of an American Girl

True Stories 1910 - 2010

by Suzanne Sherman

Book Image Not Available

More than 50 American girls under 13 from around the United States tell the story of life in every decade, from 1910 to 2010.

There's so much here. Girls are dancing in the streets at the end of WW I, climbing trees in a skirt and pantaloons, losing Japanese American friends to internment camps and living through blackouts during the second world war. A Vietnamese American girl escapes Saigon as a 5-year-old at the end of the Vietnam War and grows up in rural Georgia. A Middle Eastern American girl attends her private Islamic school in Michigan on 9-11. A fifth grader toasts marshmallows at a slumber party one day and supervises a National Day of Silence for Gay and Lesbian Rights the next day at school. 

This is American culture at its truest as over fifty girls of various races, regions, religions and economic classes reveal what’s universal and what’s unique, the challenges and prejudices, the desires and disappointments, hopes and losses, desires and joys.

Fun pop culture highlights from the decade open each chapter — did you know peppermint Life Savers were inspired by the life saving devices used in the Titanic disaster of 1912? — and there's a brief history of the decade’s events in politics, education, medicine, technology and entertainment.

Free from the influences that shape adulthood, young girls reveal American life in eye-opening ways. 


In 1911 Florence gets her first ride in the Model T her dad buys from a door-to-door car salesman. Helen rides to school in Montana in 1930 on horseback. In Little Rock, Arkansas in the 1960s Johnny integrates a white school, leaving a neighborhood where "nobody's a stranger unless you make them a stranger." In Michigan on September 11, 2001 Aalaa wakes up to a new world.

100 Years in the Life of an American Girl is an entertaining and eye-opening look at a century of life. Whatever your age or gender, you’ll learn about yourself, your daughters and sons, your mothers and grandmothers. This is the story of a country in voices that have never been heard before, the real story that was never taught in school.

Includes discussion questions at the end for book groups and classes.

About the author

Suzanne Sherman is an editor, writing consultant and memoir teacher ( 100 Years in the Life is inspired in part by the thousands of memoirs she has shepherded in her 30-year career. 100 Years in the Life of an American Girl is the first book in Sherman's 100 Years in the Life series. Visit for submission info and more.

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