March's Book A Samantha Mystery, The Stolen Sapphire

Grab this months 2 book selections, a blanket and your favorite 18 inch doll friend, don't worry if you happen upon us mid way through, join us when you can and leave your comments here or email me at with any book club questions.

Tuesday, January 31, 2012


Just one more sleep until our Book Club officially begins!
Thank you to all who have agreed to join us on this fun journey back in time!
Remember I would love to hear from you so please leave me a comment here or email me at

Sunday, January 29, 2012

One of our group members ordered the book and look what they made!

One of our book club members (Dacia)just made this wonderful gingerbread from the Samantha cook book.
  " While searching online for Samantha Mystery books for Karenmomofthrees book club reading, I ran across this Samantha cookbook. I paid $4.50 for it and I just love it. It has recipes from Samantha's time along with descriptions of what was expected at the dinner table and so on. I told my daughter she could pick any recipe from the book, and we would make it. She loves gingerbread so that is what she choose to make. It turned out perfectly! I was really impressed."
I just love that this wonderful book second hand is still wowing readers! 
Pick up  a book and start a journey! Pick up Samantha's cook book and travel back in time and taste!
As with all my posts I would love to hear from you so please leave me a comment here or email me at

Saturday, January 28, 2012

Please add my photo to your blog or site to let people know about our group!

Please feel free to "grab this photo image" for your blog or website to let people know about our  group.
I am working of a "Grab my button" format but I am still in the learning stage! 
I am so excited to have all of you join me on this journey!
Thank you,
As with all my posts I would love to hear from you so please leave me a comment here or email me at

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Less then 1 week to the start of our book club!

I am so excited that our book club beings in one week! I am sitting here with my copy of The Curse of Ravenscourt and my favorite mug of Hot Chocolate!
I was in the American Girl store in Seattle on Sunday and got the 4th book of the Samantha series and am so excited to see how nice they look on my shelf!
I love books, I did not always as some of you know.
My mother was an avid reader, not one room in the house did not have floor to ceiling bookshelves lined with hard copies of books my mother read and collected. I think she would have been so proud of me for having a book club and for the amount of American Girl Books I have now collected and am reading my way through. My mother loved a good deal on books and while I was in the USA on the weekend my sister Bre-Anne (My most favorite person to shop thrift stores with) and I found over 20 AG books for my collection.

My Favorite was the mystery books I got, one of them a Molly Mystery I paid only 69 cents for. The least I paid for one of the books was only 25 cents almost a steal! The most expensive one was 79 cents! 

My sister also allowed me to borrow the three books my nieces got when they bought the full sized dolls:
McKenna, Rebeca and Marie-Grace
I have a lot of fun reading ahead of me and I hope you will join me in reading through the mystery books!
Remember to let me know how you are doing with the book and comment often and ask questions!
I am looking forward to hearing from you soon!
As with all my posts I would love to hear from you so please leave me a comment here or email me at

Monday, January 23, 2012

So excited to read through the Samantha Mystery Series!

Today I am so happy to report that I now have all four Samantha Mysteries and I am so looking forward to reading through them. I hope that you will like me be hooked on the American Girl Mystery Series books and join us as we read The Curse of Ravenscourt 
  Starting February 1st and every few days after that I will post some questions for discussion on the 3 chapters at a time. 
It is my hope that you will all enjoy these books as I have and join me in discussing them in the comment section of each post. 
I am so excited to now have all 4 of the Samantha Mysteries
I just added the 4th book The Cry of the Loon, from the American Girl Store in Seattle. I had such a great time visiting the store yesterday with my nieces and enjoying the day with my nieces and my sisters. 
Here I am with 4 of my 5 nieces in the book section at the American Girl store. I picked up my copy of
The Cry of the Loon and can not wait to get to it and read it with you all.
As with all my posts I would love to hear from you so please leave me a comment here or email me at

Friday, January 20, 2012

Welcome to Samantha's World

I found this book on where you can pick up copies of this book second hand from $2.00
I love the cover art and am on the look out for this book in my travels to the library and second hand books in my area.
Now if you do not have a Samantha doll and are looking for one, you can  try and try your luck at finding her in 18 inch size.

But if you are looking for the 6 inch doll  you can find her for under $15 at

I also under stand that if you are a member at Costco and Sam's club there is a great deal of all the regular  series books and the mini doll, for under $40. A very good deal if you can come by it!

American Girl  also offers the Samantha movie for under $14 if you are looking to add it to your collection or check your local library, to see if you can borrow it and get into the spirit of the early 1900's getting a visual idea of what the world looked like during the time our first book club selection takes place. 
Please let me know if you are having a hard time locating our first selection, I hope that most of you now have the book and are excited to start our book club discussion February 3rd.
As with all my posts I would love to hear from you so please leave me a comment here or email me at

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Feed your mind with reading and some treats from Samantha's time with her cook book

While researching Samantha's time period, I came across a Samantha cookbook that was published in 1994.
This 44 page soft covered book that contains recipes and information about dining in the 1900's.
It is out of print from what I can tell but looks like it would be a great resource and fun cookbook!

Some of the recipes included are Strawberries and Cream, Saratoga Potatoes, Blueberry Muffins, Cream of Carrot soup (a favorite of mine) , Corn Oysters, Ice Cream Snowballs, Apple Brown Betty, Chicken Salad Sandwiches, Gingerbread and Lemon Ice.

I have not been able to find a copy of my own of this book but I am looking for one! 
I have linked the recipe names above to on line recipes so if you can not find a copy of your own and you still want to give a try to some recipes from the 1900's you have them easily accessible.
I am so enjoying researching Samantha's time period, and I hope you will join us Feb 1st for our first book 
As with all my posts I would love to hear from you so please leave me a comment here or email me at

Monday, January 16, 2012

Images of New York City in the early 1900's

I found this image of New York City from the early 1900's on Google Images.
Our first book club selection takes place in New York City in the winter at about the time this photo was taken. I thought I would share this photo and give you an idea of what New York looked like in Samantha's time.
Times were also very hard for the poor working class families in New York in the 1900's, this photo also from Google images shows a family assembling artificial flowers in their tenement (small one room rental apartments) this photo does not show any joy, which is something the poor working class did not have much of.
I am looking forward to sharing more with you as we get closer to starting our first book
Remember to pick up your copy and if you have any questions to email me at
As with all my posts I would love to hear from  you so please leave me a comment here or email me at

Saturday, January 14, 2012

A bit of information about Author Sarah Masters Buckey Author of our first book club selection

All my information for this post about  Sarah Masters Buckey comes from

Today I thought it would be interesting to know a bit about the Author of our first book club selection a Samantha Mystery The Curse of Ravenscourt, Sarah Masters Buckey.

Sarah Masters Buckey is an award winning Author, who won an Agatha Award for Best Children’s Mystery, for her Molly Mystery The light in the cellar She has also been nominated for the Agatha Award for 

 A Thief in the Theater and in 2005 for The Curse of Ravenscourt.

She was nominated for an Edgar Award in 2007 for The Stolen Sapphire.

 In addition to writing our first book club selection Sarah Masters Buckey is also the author of
Marie-Grace Gardner books: Meet Marie-Grace, Marie-Grace and the Orphans, and Marie-Grace Makes a Difference 

. She also wrote The Hidden Gold: A Marie-Grace Mystery. 

Which is due to be released shortly! One I have pre ordered and hope to include as one of our up coming selections!

In addition to being an award winning author I understand, Sarah Masters Buckey is also a mom of 3, something in that just sits right with me.
I am getting really excited to start our book on February 1st and I hope you are too.
Remember to check out our first book club selection at your local library, book store or American or order a copy from (who offer free world wide shipping)
As with all my posts I would love to hear from you so please leave me a comment here or email me at

Friday, January 13, 2012

Make yourself a bookmark before the club starts!

Here in Canada we call book mark with a string a "book thong" but you can call it a book mark. Today on you can check out how I made mine. Click here to see the tutorial.

Remember to pick up your copy of our book club first selection  THE CURSE OF RAVENSCOURT
from your local library or bookstore, American Girl or The Book Depository and pick up your copy for our February adventure today!
As with all my posts I would love to hear from you so please leave me a comment here or email me at

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Coming soon but avalible for Pre order at the Book Depository

I just pre-ordered my copies of The Hidden Gold a Marie-Grace Mystery,  The Cameo Necklace a Cecile Mystery and The Crystal Ball a Rebecca Mystery from
and my total came to $15.66 US Funds, (you can order in Canadian funds but I have my pay pal account as US Funds).  They are scheduled for release in 46 more days in the UK.  Making each book only $5.22. (in Canadian funds each book is $5.32. Such a great deal I had to share with you. They are offered at the pre-order price of 24% off .

I am getting so excited for our first book and I hope you will join me while we read through the Mystery series. Remember to check your local library, book stores and American Girl locations for your own copy or you can use who offer free shipping world wide.
As with all my posts I would love to hear from you so please leave me a comment here or email me at
PS My mother would have been so proud of me, a book club and 5 books on order...I wish she could see me now!

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

How to get your child intersted in reading

As you know I am busy preparing for the launch of our first book Samantha's Mystery The Curse of Ravenscourt  for February 1st.

I thought it might be interesting to some of you to hear my story.
I have to be honest and tell you all that I never fully understood how to read and retain what I have read until I was in my twenties.

  I have dyslexia a type of learning disability and reading was always a chore for me. I struggled with reading, writing and math all through school. It is still a problem I have to day and I work hard to correct and over come it.  My mother, was more then an avid reader, she would read several books a week and often 3 of 4 at a time, I could never understand how she could do that and remember everything.

My mother told me that it did not matter what I read as long as I read something. She did not care if it was the cereal box or a comic or a magazine as long as I was reading.

When I was 18 I went to cooking school. I wanted to be a Chef. There was a lot of reading, mostly in French and we had to memorize our recipes. It was my love of cooking, baking and glossy gourmet magazines with recipes I longed to try that finally got me reading, and retaining what I had read.
The lesson here is find something you want to read and practice.

I am a visual person as well so you will notice that in most of my writing I have lots of photos showing "what to do" to accompany the writing.  I learn by watching first, and I think many others do too.
My son struggles with reading as well and while I hate to see him struggle so much, I know that if we keep practicing and find something for him to read at his level that he is interested in, reading will become easier and he will feel more confident.

 So what do some experts say?  says "Motivating your tween to read is so important, and when your child hits middle school, reading skills play an important role in school success. Recent research indicates that readers do better on standardized testing, such as the SATs, than do non-readers. And don't forget about the enjoyment that reading can bring an individual. The good news is your preteen doesn't have to read the classics in order to benefit from reading. Tweens may take an interest in a book if they're familiar with the story. If your daughter recently saw a great movie, see if you can find the book from which the movie was based. How many tweens rediscovered the love of reading after watching the Harry Potter movies or The Chronicles of Narnia series?"
 (the above photos are the newest releases for the mystery series)
I have to agree that it is easier to get children to read about things they are interested in and if your child is already interested in the Historical dolls offered by American Girl  then the Mystery series of books may just be what your tween needs to springboard into reading and adventure. Read it together, take turns and talk about what you read. For me when in doubt, I  switch to recipes and create something tangible.  Keep encouraging reading,even with recipes, you have a tangible product to show for your work, this is it's self motivating.
I hope you will consider joining us as we begin out journey February 1st!
As with all my posts I would love to hear from you so please leave me a comment here or email me at

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Getting excited for the start of our book club and hope you are too!

I am so excited to get this book club started and I hope you are too.
Please let your friends, family, teachers, home school groups parents and grandparents know that we are going to begin reading Samantha's Mystery The curse of Ravenscourt   February 1st!
Every few days we will have a chapter discussion and through comments on each post share what we like about the book.

My plan is to read through the Samantha Mystery series first and move on to the Kit series for those of you who want to read along. I hope to have many of you join me on this literary adventure!

As with all my posts I would love to hear from you so please leave me a comment here or email me at

Sunday, January 8, 2012

Sneek Peak to my online American Girl Mystery Book Club

Welcome friends to my very first on line book club. I am Karen Owen aka Karenmomofthree from my blog Karen Mom of Threes craft.blogspot.
I recently discovered the American Girl Mystery book series and thought it would be great and fun to incorporate an on line book club and blog and invite all my blog followers and followers from Doll Diaries to participate.
So follow along, feel free to comment and send any questions to,
Our first Mystery Book Selection for February 2012 will be The Curse of Ravenscourt, a Samantha Mystery.  ISBN#978-1-58485-987-1
You can find your own copy of each book at your local library, book store,
American Girl, or if you would like to order your books on line I order mine from as I do not live in the United States and my local book stores do not carry the series. The Book Depository offers world wide free shipping. We will read all the Samantha Mystery's first followed by the Kit Mysteries and I welcome your comments and questions by leaving comments here or emailing me at
You can follow my blog by email as well by signing up on the top right corner. You will be alerted when each new post or activity comes up.