When we discussed getting the children kindles for Christmas, we were both concerned about the cost of putting books on them, on top of the cost of actually purchasing an electronic device (hint: watch the sales. I think we paid $79 each for the kids' kindle bundles. Don't pay the list price).
Anyway, I tried researching free and inexpensive books that we could get. In the search, I was surprised by how many American Girl books (12) were available for just ninety-nine cents.
In case you didn't know, you can put each book you buy on up to six devices (they must all be registered to the same account), so if I had four girls (instead of 3 boys and 1 girl) . . . well, I don't.
Also, if you're not sure about purchasing a kid's kindle, but do want cheap books, did you know you just read them online?
Incidentally, I have not yet bought all the books on this page. A few were on her kindle Christmas morning (as well as free classics like A Little Princess and books that are shared on her brothers' kindles). I thought it might be useful to have an inexpensive book I could surprise her with for a road trip, plane trip, holiday, etc.
Nonfiction and Short Stories
Most of American Girl's nonfiction books have a lot of full-color pages. If you read the following online, you will get that, but if you download them to a traditional black-and-white kindle, it will all show up in gray-scale. Just so you know.
- A Smart Girl's Guide: Staying Home Alone
- A Smart Girl's Guide: Drama, Rumors, and Secrets
- Friends: Making and Keeping Them
- Mini Mysteries: 34 Tricky Tales to Untangle (This is a compilation of what used to be three separate volumes)
BeForever (Historical Character) Mysteries
When I read my first American Girl book, Meet Kirsten, I was in second grade. It was a short chapter book with several full color illustrations. Fast forward a generation to the first time I bought books for my eight year old daughter. I was surprised at how long the mysteries were, and that there were no illustrations besides what you get on the cover. Now my daughter is ten, and these books are relatively easy for her.
The number in parentheses is the approximate year in American history that the novel is set in.
- The Silent Stranger: A Kaya Mystery (1764 Native American)
- The Smuggler's Secrets: A Caroline Mystery (War of 1812)
- Secrets in the Hills: A Josefina Mystery (1824)
- Shadows on Society Hill: An Addy Mystery (Civil War, 1864)
- Danger in Paris: A Samantha Mystery (Victorian America, 1904)
- A Growing Suspicion: A Rebecca Mystery (1914)
- The Jazzman's Trumpet: A Kit Mystery (Great Depression, 1934)
- The Puzzle of the Paper Daughter: A Julie Mystery (1974)