Read an Excerpt!

There’s nothing like reading the girls’ stories about life in every decade across a hundred years in their own words. Sample the voices of ten decades.


The Series

100 Years in the Life of an American Girl is the first book in the 100 Years in the Life series. There’s much more to come, and you can read all about it here.


Get Your Story Published

Have a good story to share with 100 Years in the Life? It could be published in the next book in the series. You don’t even need to be a writer.



There’s so much to enjoy and learn about through real-life experiences, and this new series, 100 Years in the Life, is exactly that: real-life stories about different topics through time.

In this first book in the 100 Years in the Life series, over 50 women and girls tell about girlhood in every decade of a century in their own voices. Birthdates range from 1907 to 2001, with stories of life from rural Maine to the island of Molokai’i. Besides regional diversity, racial diversity is part of the book, too, and stories reveal changes and similarities through the decades. What is life like for a Jewish immigrant from Russia in Indiana in the 1920s? An African-American girlhood in Little Rock, Arkansas in the 1960s has its joys and its challenges. Being a Syrian born in Oregon and attending an Islamic private school in Ann Arbor, Michigan on 9/11 gives a new understanding of being American.

What’s similar through time and what’s different? What do you remember and what can you hardly imagine?

You’ll read about the juicy real-life stuff, from the days before telephones to the times toys turned digital.

Explore the website! Enjoy the slideshow — some of the photos from the book. Read excerpts. Be entertained by the blog the blog about a century of American life. Submit your idea for your own story for the next book in the series. If your story is selected to be published, I’ll be in touch with submission details or to set up an interview if you prefer your story written for you.

Over 50 girls tell the stories of a century.

Some of what you’ll read about:

          • At five years old in 1912, Mary Ann arrives too late to board the Titanic for the trip across the ocean.
          • Lois goes in her dad’s Studebaker to see the first moving picture in town: The Covered Wagon.
          • Shannon sneaks into the family bathroom with her new guitar in the 1950s, slicks back her hair with her dad’s Brylcreem and plays she’s Elvis, wiggling her hips and singing, “You ain’t nuthin’ but a hound dog.” One day, Mom walks in.
          • At 12 years old in 1969, Victoria goes to Woodstock.
          • Suitcases wait by the door at Terri Ann’s house in Saigon in 1975 until the moment her dad, an American GI, gives the word: This is it! Let’s go!
          • In the 1980s, Nicole plays Pac Man — and Ms. Pac Man — at the video arcade.
          • Risa is raised vegan from birth and even kids at her alternative school don’t always understand.

What’s timeless and what defines a decade? You’ll learn all about it in the pages of this book, available in print and on all e-readers.

About Suzanne Sherman

Suzanne is a writer, editor, writing coach and writing consultant based in Northern California and online. For thirty years she has been a book and magazine editor in the San Francisco Bay Area.

Suzanne’s specialty is memoir. Her memoir career started twenty years ago in Santa Rosa, California, as adjunct faculty in memoir at SRJC. She has also taught memoir at University of California Extension, Southern Oregon University, Rogue Community College (online), and Story Circle Network (online). Currently, she teaches memoir in Sonoma County and online. See for more.

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From the Blog


Bookstore Appearances

May 16 | Meet and Greet
Napa Copperfield’s Bookstore
Napa, CA
[more info]

March 28 | Meet and Greet
San Rafael Copperfield’s Bookstore
San Rafael, CA
[more info]

March 14 | Meet and Greet
Petaluma Copperfield’s Bookstore
Petaluma, CA
[more info]



2016 | Presentation: Girlhood Through a Century
Julia Morgan School for Girls
Oakland, CA

[more info]

December 14, 2015 6 pm – 8 pm | Gaia’s Garden, Santa Rosa, CA|Dining with Authors: Reading by Story Contributors to 100 Years in the Life, from the 1920s – 1970s

September 26, 2015 2 pm – 4 pm | Gaia’s Garden, Santa Rosa, CA|Author Reading

January 10, 2015 | Book Launch Party
French Garden Restaurant
Sebastopol, CA

[more info]

Readers Say…

Linda Joy Myers

I love this book! It’s an important testimony to the lived history of decades of young girls, with the clever addition of cultural history for each era to give context for the personal stories. Informative, fun and illuminating. A treasure!

Linda Joy MyersPresident of the National Association of Memoir Writers
Susan Hagen

Brilliant! This powerful collection of personal stories weaves the American experience like I’ve never seen done before.

Susan Hagenco-author Women at Ground Zero:
Stories of Courage and Compassion
Matilda Butler

Enlightening and entertaining! Jewels.

Anne Hill

A magical tour through a rich era of history! Suzanne’s skills with storytelling vividly bring these girls to life. My young nieces and I love every one of the stories!

Anne Hillco-author of Circle Round