For nearly 3 decades, The American Girl dolls franchise has been popular among pre-teen girls. The collection features a series of dolls from different periods in history, as well as modern dolls and “Just Like You” dolls, which come in a variety of eye colors and hair colors and lengths. Since 2001, American Girl has introduced a series of Girl of the Year dolls, which are available for one year only.
The American Girl website describes these dolls as characters “with an inspirational story of what it means to be an American girl today”. Included with the Girl of the Year dolls are accompanying books that detail the character’s “story”. Additional accessories for the dolls are also available.
These highly collectible dolls are greatly anticipated- and rumor has it that the American Girl 2010 Girl of the Year Doll may be an African American doll. In a year where America has elected its first African American president, this would be a welcome change for American Girl fans.
One of the reasons American Girl fans believe that the 2010 Girl of the Year Doll will be African American is because the accompanying books for the 2010 doll have been written by author Jane Kurtz. Kurtz is the author of many books based on characters from Africa, including “Jakarta Missing” and “The Storyteller’s Beads”. Kurtz, who is white, grew up in Ethiopia and primarily writes books about African American children.
On the Amazon.com website, a search for “American Girl 2010′ books lists two titles by Kurtz: “Girl of the Year 2010 Book 1” and “Girl of the Year 2010’s Real Adventures” (American Girl Today).
Currently, American Girl’s only African American doll is Addy Walker, a historical character from 1864. The “Just Like You” series features a few African American doll selections as well.
The official announcement of American Girl’s 2010 Girl of the Year Doll is expected by the end of 2009.
A List of Previous American Girl ‘Girl of the Year’ Dolls:
2001: Lindsey Bergman (a Jewish doll)
2003: Kailey Hopkins(an activist swimmer and surfer)
2005: Marisol Luna (a Latin doll)
2006: Jess Akiko McConnell (Japanese-American and Irish heritage)
2007: Nicki Fleming(an animal lover)
2008: Mia St. Clair a big seller after this doll was introduced on the Oprah Winfrey Show in late 2007)
2009: Chrissa Maxwell and friends (this Girl of the Year Doll, who took a stand against bullying, was introduced with two best friend dolls, Gwen Thompson and Sonali Matthews. Sonali is Asian-Indian). The Chrissa Maxwell doll will only be available until December 31, 2009.
“Complete Guide to American Girl Doll Collecting”