First Girl Scout: The Life of Juliette Gordon Low
by Ginger Wadsworth
Clarion Books, 2012 review copy from library
If you were a Girl Scout, than you may know a little bit about the founder of the organization, Juliette Gordon Low. We hear about how spunky she was as a child and the sad tale of how a grain of rice thrown at her wedding caused her to lose her hearing. And then all of a sudden she's a woman in her fifties starting the Girl Scouts. Is it just me, or are we missing some backstory there? Well, this book provides it. At the same time it becomes clear why it is missing from the narrative that the organization prefers. For the founder of an American classic in scouting, "Daisy" spent a lot of her life in England. For an organization of acceptance, she spent her life in a truly privileged class. For an organization of high integrity, she was forced into divorce proceedings at a time when such things were absolutely scandalous. The lady herself - for all her drive, dedication, and lasting impact - could have been, personally, a little hard to take. All of which made the book fascinating for a Girl Scout leader and former scout who loved to see the blanks filled in. The book is also an insight into a personal story of growing up in southern society at the turn of the century, with lots of photos, letters, and personal stories. It was a truly interesting middle-grade biography with a great deal of care devoted to the research and to telling the story of a woman who defied the odds and expectations.
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