First Girl Scout: The Life of Juliette Gordon Low

Ginger Wadsworth. Clarion, $17.99 (224p) ISBN 978-0-547-24394-8
In a biography as engaging as it is comprehensive, Wadsworth (Camping with the President) documents the life of Juliette Gordon Low, who founded the Girl Scouts in 1912. Headstrong, artistic, and boundlessly energetic, Georgia native Low spent many years living in Britain, where her involvement in the Girl Guides organization sparked the idea of launching a similar group in the U.S. Neatly framed photographs and other period documents related to Low are smoothly incorporated into the book’s overall clean design, appearing against pale green pages sometimes printed with a fabric texture that nods toward the Scouts’ uniforms. The narrative moves briskly, despite the copious details Wadsworth includes (Low’s style of entertaining, numerous trips to visit family, marital woes, and the minutiae of starting and running the Girl Scouts). The author skillfully sets Low’s life story against historical backdrops: during the Civil War, Low’s father joined the Confederate army while her Chicago-bred mother’s brothers fought for the Union. Numerous quotations from Low’s correspondence and glimpses of her artwork lend further dimension to this well-rounded portrait. Ages 9–12. Agent: Lynn Bennett, Transatlantic Literary Agency. (Feb.)
Reviewed on: 01/02/2012
Release date: 02/01/2012
Genre: Children's
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