Juliette Gordon Low - known as Daisy to her family and friends - is a “girl with gumption.” While other girls of her era were learning to be proper and dainty, Daisy searched for adventure. When she grew up, she founded an organization devoted to giving American girls the opportunity to have adventures and make differences of their own - The Girl Scouts of America. This book, uniquely illustrated by Hadley Hooper, tells Daisy’s life story, and the story of how the Girl Scouts came to be. The illustrations include many quotations from sources like the very first Girl Scout handbook, and biographies of Juliette Low. Two pages of back matter also place the early days of the Girl Scouts in their proper historical context and provide the text to the Girl Scout Promise and The Girl Scout Law. The book ends with a series of faces belonging to women who were once Girl Scouts themselves, reminding us that “Every little girl goes to make up some part of parcel of our whole great nation.”
I was not a very good Girl Scout, and thanks to some bullies, didn’t enjoy it much either. My disdain for the organization aside, however, I love this book. I knew a little bit about Juliette Low from my own scouting days, but her life story was never presented to me in such an accessible format. The book is not only interesting, but also beautiful to look at, and very contemporary in terms of style. While the illustrations might make it better for one-on-one sharing rather than a group read-aloud, I still think it’s the kind of thing I could read to groups visiting my library. I have yet to partner with a Girl Scout group, but I might use this book as a jumping off point for reaching out to them. It’s also nice to have another nice biography at a somewhat easier reading level than some of the more dense titles we have. Biography book reports are very popular with our local schools and it never hurts to have another new attractive title to share.