July 9, 2021

Review: Kit: Turning Things Around

Kit: Turning Things Around
American Girl Historical Characters
By Valerie Tripp
Illustrated by Walter Rane
Available now from American Girl
Review copy

Kit: Turning Things Around is an abridged collection of the final three core Kit books. (Kit also had a mystery series.) This second volume has more action than the first, but continues to be mostly character driven. These three books don't flow as smoothly together as some of the others.

The first part involves on of the most memorable characters in the series, Kit's Aunt Millie. Aunt Millie is an expert at thrifting and making the best out of what they have. As much as Kit loves her, she still lashes out when Aunt Millie demonstrates how poor she is to her classmates. In the second part, Kit and her friend Stirling visit a hobo camp with their new friend, the homeless Will Shepherd, and end up getting arrested when they ride the rails together. These two misadventures do help Kit in the climax. Her Uncle Hendrick keeps writing editorials criticizing the New Deal, so aspiring journalist Kit writes her own editorial based on her experiences with the people living and working through the Great Depression.

The aforementioned second part struck me as pretty over the top compared to everything else in the Kit books, but I probably would've loved the excitement as a young reader. Overall, this volume brings Kit's story to a satisfying conclusion. The first bit of news she writes in Kit: Read All About It! is a bratty complaint about her mother; in the end, she's using her writing to give a voice to children who are truly in need.

I do feel like abridging this set of books didn't do them many favors since the focus is so different in each that it feels like the book really hops around. At the same time, Kit: Turning Things Around is a pretty quick read with a lively heroine that I'm sure bookish young girls will love.

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