American Girl Wiki

Just Josefina is part of the Short Stories collections, focusing on Josefina Montoya.



Story Summary[]

Meet The Author[]

Valerie Tripp discusses how her daughter Katherine looks like her but is her own person--something she conveys in the story.

Looking Back: Women's Rights in 1824[]

Discusses a woman's legal rights and independence in New Mexico as part of Mexico. Topics include:

  • The many responsibilities and rights that New Mexican women had in the early 1800s and how they traced back to Spanish traditions such as keeping their name after marriage.
  • The contrast of American women's general lack of rights--including no right to keep their own last name, property rights or earnings, and lack of legal rights and representation
  • The legal rights and actions New Mexican women were able to take, including the legal right to to sue her husband (and examples), keep property that was hers before marriage, keep money she earned as her own, and making choices about her property such as passing it down to daughters in wills that were written in their own names and legally enforceable (and examples of inherited goods)
  • Dona Tules, a woman who ran her own gambling house, became wealthy, and served as an adviser to both Mexican and American soldiers.
  • The traditional clothing styles of New Mexican women and their free mingling in places such as gambling halls and habits such as gambling and smoking.
  • How trading with the American started to change the traditional ways that New Mexican women dressed
  • How New Mexican women, upon becoming American citizens in 1848 when New Mexico (and other land) was annexed into the US, lost many of the legal rights they had had previously in the legal system--but kept their culture and spirit even so

Activity: Make Empanaditas[]

Learn how to make an apple empanadita.

Glossary of Spanish Words[]

A glossary of Spanish words used in the text.

Items Associated With Just Josefina[]


  1. Dolores is returning after visiting her mother in Santa Fe to come live at the rancho proper.
  2. While she is introduced in Josefina Saves the Day in book release order, this story occurs earlier chronologically.