Books for Grown-Up American Girl Fans

American Girl dolls: Felicity, Josefina, Kirsten, Addy, Samantha, Molly by Bustle, opens a new window

For many readers who grew up in the 1990s, the American Girl series was the absolute coolest thing around. I remember being so excited the day I got my very own Molly doll. She had brown hair and wore glasses, just like me! My excitement only grew as I read through the book series that accompanied my new doll. Her adventurous spirit and experiences living during World War II captured my imagination in a way that only a good book can. Even now I love reading historical fiction centered around the lives of smart, determined women, and I'm sure many other readers do, too. So join me in trying out some of these titles specially selected for the grown-up American Girl fan.

Felicity (1774)


Revolutionary is a fictionalized account of the life of Deborah Sampson. After running away from her constricting life as an indentured servant, Deborah disguises herself as a man and joins the Continental Army during the American Revolution. Readers who loved reading about Felicity's adventures in the colonial era will be drawn into this tale of real-life Revolutionary heroism.

Josefina (1824)

Like Water for Chocolate

Family relationships are a strong theme throughout Josefina's book series, just as they are in Like Water for Chocolate. Food, family, and love all weave together in this magical novel, which tells the tale of Tita De La Garza, whose sorrow over an unrequited love is transferred into every meal she cooks.

Kirsten (1854)

Hattie Big Sky

Fans of pioneer girl Kirsten will find a lot to love in Hattie Big Sky. In the early 1900s, orphan Hattie inherits a homesteading claim in Montana from a distant relative. The only catch? She has just ten months to fence and cultivate the land or she will lose the claim.

Addy (1864)

An Extraordinary Union

Addy, a young girl whose journey to freedom from slavery is an integral aspect of her story, shows determination and ingenuity throughout her book series. So does Elle Burns, the heroine of An Extraordinary Union. Though Elle has escaped from slavery, she disguises herself as a slave once more in order to spy for the Union Army in the American south during the Civil War. 

Samantha (1904)

A Deadly Affection

Samantha, a wealthy young girl living at the turn of the 20th Century is a clever Suffragette in the making. Dr. Genevieve Summerford is also blazing a trail as a psychologist in 1907 New York. When her patient is accused of murder, Genevieve sets out to prove their innocence.

Molly (1944)

The Girl Is Murder

Set on the American home front during World War II, The Girl is Murder follows amateur detective Iris Anderson as she tries to locate a missing classmate. Like Molly, Iris is adventurous, intrepid, and tries her hardest to help her family and friends as they navigate life during war times.