American Girl Wiki
American Girl Wiki

A Surprise for Caroline is the third book in the Caroline series.



Only in A Surprise for Caroline

Chapter by Chapter Summary

Chapter One: Winter Wishes

Chapter Two: Not Ladylike

Chapter Three: Christmas

Chapter Four: Danger on the Ice

Chapter Five: Fast Friends

Looking Back: Growing Up in 1812

Discusses Christmastime and growing up during the 1810s. Topics covered:

  • Sleeping arrangements among children in families
  • The prevalent idea that infants should not be coddled as a way for children to grow up healthy and strong
  • Lack of formal education for children and dedicated schoolhouses in small towns
  • Makeshift schools and homeschooling by mothers, with rote memorization as the primary form of formal learning
  • Children learning necessary life and survival skills from their parents, with boys learning farming and skills needed to run the family business from their fathers and girls learning how to care for younger children, cook, and mend clothing
  • Embroidery as an important skill for girls to have
  • Differences in playtime between boys and girls, with boys participating in outdoor pursuits and activities and girls pretending to practice their mother's chores
  • Dolls, jump ropes, and wooden animals as common toys of the time
  • Differences between how southern and northern states celebrated Christmas, with some northern states viewing Christmas as a day of church or prayer
  • Simple decorations and exchange of handmade gifts for families who chose to celebrate Christmas in the northern states

Items associated with A Surprise for Caroline

References and Footnotes