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Happy Birthday, Samantha! is the fourth book in the Samantha series.


Previously Mentioned[]

Chapter by Chapter Summary[]

Chapter One: Petticoats and Petit Fours[]

Chapter Two: The Party[]

Chapter Three: New York City[]

Chapter Four: Follow That Dog![]

Chapter Five: Changes[]

Looking Back: Growing Up in 1904[]

Discusses childhood in turn of the century America. Topics covered:

  • How childbirth was handled by families and doctors, and the various ways that babies were pampered and taken care of by nursemaids and nannies.
  • The many things a child would do in their playroom, such as play with toys and eat their meals on child-sized tables and chairs.
  • Laws and toys that were invented to help children embrace their childhoods, as adults and parents were beginning to understand that childhood was a precious time that should be spent playing rather than working.
  • Popular games, toys, and books that children played with, such as teddy bears, dominoes, Alice in Wonderland and The Wizard of Oz.
  • Similarities young boys and girls had with their clothing styles at the time.
  • The expectation for upper class children to grow up to be proper ladies and gentlemen, with many girls beginning to be expected to act more mature at the age of eight or nine years of age.
  • Clothing and appearance changes girls endured when they turned fifteen years old and how many upper class girls also began to attend finishing schools.
  • Different paths that girls could choose when they turned eighteen, in which they were officially welcomed into the adult-world with coming out or debutante parties.

Book Covers[]


  • Early editions of Happy Birthday, Samantha! have the word "suffragette," which was what English women for suffrage wished to be called; American women preferred the word "suffragists." Later editions correct this.[2]
  • In Samantha: Lost and Found, the first two chapters with the spoiled party are removed; the book opens with the trip to New York City. Rather than it being in part a make up for a spoiled party, it is considered a special trip for her birthday.

Items associated with Happy Birthday, Samantha![]


  1. This is the first book of the central series Agnes and Agatha Pitt appear in, but they chronologically appear first in Samantha Saves the Wedding.
  2. Samantha's American Girl Teacher's Guides, pg 28.