Kirsten Learns a Lesson: A School Story

Janet Beeler Shaw

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Kirsten Learns a Lesson: A School Story

Kirsten Learns a Lesson A School Story After immigrating from Sweden to join relatives in an American prairie community Kirsten endures the ordeal of a strange school through a secret friendship with an Indian girl

  • Title: Kirsten Learns a Lesson: A School Story
  • Author: Janet Beeler Shaw
  • ISBN: 9780937295090
  • Page: 422
  • Format: Hardcover
  • After immigrating from Sweden to join relatives in an American prairie community, Kirsten endures the ordeal of a strange school through a secret friendship with an Indian girl.

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      Posted by:Janet Beeler Shaw
      Published :2018-06-12T06:23:16+00:00

    One thought on “Kirsten Learns a Lesson: A School Story

    1. Sarah Crawford on said:

      This is one of the few books in the series where it's actually best to read the historical section first and then the story. The historical section does a good job in explaining how schools were run in Kirsten's time and it's extremely different from the way things are done now.In this story Kirsten is going to start school but she speaks very, very little English and has a lot of trouble in class, especially when the teacher assigns her a poem to memorize and recite in front of the others.Anoth [...]

    2. Shelli on said:

      If you read my reviews you know I am a fan of the American Girls series for girls. I enjoyed this one but felt that it was two story lines when it should have been one. These are small-chapter books and dividing the story up this way means neither topic gets the attention that it deserves. Since this book is called Kirsten Learns A Lesson: A School Story, the book should have been just that, life for a young immigrant girl going to a rural school in 1854. School life at that time is so completel [...]

    3. Emily Von pfahl on said:

      Of the six original Kirsten books I think this is the strongest. I found the friction between Kirsten and her teacher as Kirsten struggles with a new language to be quite compelling, and one that many children can relate to. I also appreciated how the teacher and Kirsten found a solution together to overcome her challenges in school as it was realistic and showed that teachers are people with feelings and understanding too. I think that too often teachers are the antagonists in children's books. [...]

    4. Heather on said:

      I didn't like this book nearly as much as the first one. I guess since I love languages and literature, it is tough for me to identify with a little girl who doesn't want to learn a poem in a foreign language (to be fair, though, nobody likes reciting something in front of a classroom). There wasn't the pioneer life-and-death struggle in this book that is so gripping in some of the others. I also wondered how likely Kirsten's friendship with Singing Bird was--did pioneer children really make fri [...]

    5. Teddy on said:

      Like the side story with Singing Bird, however, I don't think this accurately portrays the. oh, who am I kidding. This is a kids book. Would read.

    6. Becky Keir Grace on said:

      The second on the Kirsten series picks with her going to school, and she is very nervous. Miss Winston, the new teacher is very firm, and takes note of Kirsten's accent. Kirsten is slowly learning English, but still struggles with certain sounds. She is embarrassed in front of the whole class on her first day, making her hate school. Kirsten finds her escape while going to the stream for water. She sees a Native American girl. The two begin to leave items for one another which develops into an i [...]

    7. Xyra on said:

      I really, really liked this book. Why? Well, my grandfather had issues in school because he spoke primarily German and this gave me a glimpse as to what it might have been like for him in school. I have to think my Swedish grandmother may have encountered similar issues when she joined her siblings in the United States too.[Note: this is book 2 in Kirsten's book seriese-BeForever. You can find these books in your library or used book sales or shops or yard sales.]First, I love the story. Kirsten [...]

    8. Erin on said:

      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 really d [...]

    9. Kristine Hansen on said:

      Kirsten starts school and meets an Indian girl - all the while experiencing several language barriers.I really wanted to love this book - what a great premise. An Indian child that doesn't speak English or Swedish, Kirsten with only Swedish and a handful of English, and a teacher who expects English only at all times What a dilemma!The problem was, the author had to point out that Kirsten was struggling with the language - she told use but never actually showed us. She seemed to always understan [...]

    10. Robyn on said:

      I liked how in this story, she befriends a girl (Singing Bird), despite the cultural & language barriers. And it's cool that it starts as kind of a secret-sister pen-pal type of gift exchange. But this friend must move away, & I was sad for Kirsten having to part w/ another close friend.It was also funny when the new schoolteacher is moving in w/ them, & Kirsten has a mental picture of her ruler next to her fork & spoon at her table setting! Makes me think of a couple who taught [...]

    11. Sam on said:

      I didn't love this book, but I thought it was a nice read. The ending was abrupt and left many loose ends. Maybe the author wants readers to continue reading the series. I think some students may enjoy Kirsten and could find her very relatable. She worries about fitting in at her school and hopes that her teacher likes her despite her struggles academically and with speaking English. There was some interaction between Kirsten and a girl from a nearby Indian tribe and both girls learned about the [...]

    12. Ashley on said:

      In this book Kirsten attends a frontier school and has to learn a poem in English to recite in front of the class. But she also meets an Indian girl named Singing Bird who becomes her secret friend. The two girls use their limited English to communicate and their little friendship is sweet. But in the end, Singing Bird's village has to move on to better hunting grounds because the settlers have driven out the local wildlife. When Singing Bird comes to say goodbye to Kirsten, Abby exclaimed, "Fir [...]

    13. Melanie Surani on said:

      We've all been new somewhere before, and it can be scary. Add in not speaking the local language and it's even more nerve-wracking. That's Kirsten Learns a Lesson in a nutshell. The special thing about this book is her secret new friend, Singing Bird -- a character which for years made me want to befriend a Native American, but I never lived in a part of the country where that would easily happen. And I suck at making friends. They communicated through rudimentary English and gift-giving, and sa [...]

    14. Mary Bronson on said:

      I thought this was a pretty good book. I enjoyed rereading it. Kirsten is a kind hearted and determined girl. She loves her new friend Singing Bird and she is determined to learn the poem her new teacher gave her. This new teacher has been positively pushing Kirsten to learn English and read. Plus her friend Singing Bird was teaching her some Indian words and how they live. It was sad for Kirsten to loose Singing Bird, but Singing Bird's people needed to eat and they follow the buffalo. She had [...]

    15. Bree on said:

      This review is from the perspective of a mother - Kirsten's adjustment to life in 19th century prairie American continues. I like that Kirsten doesn't immediately excel and struggles with school and life in her new place. The reader gets a clear picture of how the immigrants have struggled to conform to their new world, and still maintain a link to their old home and life. The budding secret friendship with the Indian girl seemed forced, but the lessons imparted about how settlers pushed out Ind [...]

    16. Jennifer on said:

      I hate that all of her friends seem to leave her. I feel like this has happened with my friends in my life. Friends come and go, but they have never lasted through the years. Sketch would be the only friend that has lasted, but he lives in England so it isn't in the physical sense. Any way, Kirsten's progression in this book is amazing. I couldn't imagine learning a new language, but her family did it the easiest way which plopping yourself in a foreign speaking country and taking the sinking or [...]

    17. Marya on said:

      Again, Kirsten deals with real-life challenges as she goes to school and has to struggle learning English. But her secret Indian friend, Singing Bird, has an even bigger problem-- starvation! The book does explain that since families like Kirsten's have been arriving and setting up farms, the hunting grounds for the Chippewa have become more and more depleted. I'm the one who had to explain to the 4-year-old I was reading the book aloud what "death by starvation" means. At least no one actually [...]

    18. Felicity The Magnificent on said:

      In this book, it was going to be the first day of Kirsten's American school, and she was scared. Her cousins told her about the mean teacher they were going to have. The school was a one room schoolhouse, so there was only one teacher and lots of kids. When they got there, there was a new teacher. She was nineteen years old. One of the boys in Kirsten's class was also nineteen years old, so he had to be a good role model for the other kids. One day their new teacher moved in with them, and Kirst [...]

    19. Goldilocks Reads (Jenna Vahue) on said:

      Kirsten learns English through reciting naval poetry and finds a new friend with a Native American named Singing Bird. They exchange little gifts whenever they see each other and it is so sweet. Promote interracial friendship between girls!

    20. Laura (Book Scrounger) on said:

      In this story, Kirsten has to begin learning how to read and write in her second language, at a school where she is older than the other beginners and has to play catch-up. But though learning new things can be difficult, it can also be wonderful, as Kirsten learns when she befriends a shy and secretive Native American girl who lives nearby. As a child I really enjoyed reading about the presents they left for each other at their secret meeting spot.

    21. Lynnette on said:

      Having just arrived from Sweden, Kirsten finds difficulty in her new school, new language, and new land. All ends well as she learns her lesson and more about herself after making friends with an Indian girl.The Kirsten books are well-written giving the small details about pioneer life. Kirsten is a child with fears and happiness with which small girls can identify. It does not offer much for boys, however. A definite weakness.

    22. Loraine on said:

      Excellent historical novels for youngsters. Kirsten speaks her native Swedish and is having difficulty learning English in her new home on the American frontier. This frames the telling of Kirsten's school experience. Young readers are introduced to the one room school house on the frontier. Kirsten does learn a number of lessons, one of them how to communicate with a young Indian girl who speaks as little American English as Kirsten.

    23. Lauren Zaglifa on said:

      Kirsten is settled with her cousins in Minnesota. It is time for her to go to school and it isn't the easiest thing in the world. HS doesn't know much English and is expected to memorize a poem on her own.When she meets an Indian girl Kirsten is introduced to whole new culture and also meets a new friend. When Kirsten's new friend leaves and her teacher is coming to live with her. Her world is turned side ways and then back up right

    24. Ashlyn Stelmach on said:

      This was another quick read so I could finish my reading challenge. It was not as good as the first one in my opinion because there wasn't a plot twist. But it was pretty good nonetheless. It definitely brings back memories from when I would read these books when I was in elementary school so I plan to finish reading these books at some point. But my next book will probably be one that is more age appropriate for me. This book would be a good one for school age children for sure.

    25. Miri on said:

      Kirsten is starting school in America with her cousins Lisbeth and Anna, it's a one room schoolhouse where everyone learns together, but Kirsten cannot read or speak English and she feels so out of place. When Kirsten makes a secret Indian friend named Singing Bird, she dreams of running away with the Indians where she'll never have to worry about school or memorizing poems or learning English again. Will Kirsten find her place in this new land?

    26. Emily on said:

      I enjoyed this book in the Kirsten series. Kirsten is having trouble learning English and having to communicate with everyone. It doesn't help that her teacher is extremely hard on her. It seems like the only time she ever gets a break is when she is visiting her Native American friend Singing Bird. I liked how in this book we get to see more people and Kirsten fitting in more with her classmates.

    27. Anna on said:

      When Kirsten went to go get river water one day she saw an Indian. Soon the became secret friends. They went on adventures together. They went in caves and meadows. Soon Kirsten showed Singing Bird her and Anna's and Elisabeth's secret hideout. And Singing Bird said, "Come to my teepee." Then Singing Bird had to leave and Kirsten never saw her again.

    28. Rebekah on said:

      After a long journey from Sweden to America and the across the country to Minnesota the Larson family has finally settled into their new home and the children begin attending school with their cousins. This becomes a whole new challenge for Kirsten as she is just learning to speak English. Kirsten was always my favorite American Girl.

    29. Athalia Stoneback on said:

      Great story. My heart went out to Kirsten, not feeling like she belonged, and trying to learn English. It was nice to revisit one of the three original American Girls- the other two being Samantha and Molly.

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