Joss Kendrick: American Girl’s 2020 Girl of the Year Rocks Surfing and a Hearing Aid (+ Giveaway!)

American Girl kicked off the new decade with their annual “Girl of the Year” announcement. The 2020 American Girl doll of the year is Joss Kendrick, a 10-year-old surfer from So-Cal who also happens to rock a hearing aid. We can’t get enough of the important messages of representation, determination, and inclusivity in this doll and her accompanying story. 

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As the mother of a daughter (and son) who surf – I understand the wonderful lessons in pushing past limits, and getting up repeatedly after getting crushed by waves. Joss’s inspirational character personifies the importance of being open to new things. Joss’s surfing experiences pivot her to see cheerleading through the lens of soaring through the air and finding athleticism in different ways. 

Although American Girl has already offered the option of outfitting dolls with hearing aids, wheelchairs, and crutches – Joss is American Girl’s very fist doll with a disability (congenital hearing loss) that is part of her story. 

Born deaf in her left ear, with some hearing capabilities in her right ear, Joss comes with (two) hearing aids in a small case, that help her hear out of her right ear. Her passion for surfing and cheerleading come to life through her story, in which American Girl worked with surfing, competitive cheerleading, and hearing loss experts to create Joss’s account of ambition, dedication, and pushing past stereotypes. 

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Alongside Joss, American Girl committed to a $25,000 donation to the Hearing Loss Association of America (HLAA), a nonprofit organization dedicated to representing people who live with hearing loss. 

Win it! We’re so excited to partner with American Girl to giveaway Joss Kendrick, American Girl’s 2020 Girl of the Year to one lucky reader. Just visit the widget below (U.S. only and all entries are verified), and be sure to check back to see if your name pops up as the winner! 

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Meet Blaire Wilson: American Girl’s 2019 Girl of the Year + Giveaway!

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Say hello to Blaire Wilson – American Girl’s 2019 Girl of the Year (!) – described by American Girl’s VP of marketing as “an everyday girl who thrives on using her many talents to make meaningful connections with others.” Blaire carries an important story about building and maintaining supportive relationships with family and friends, by being present (curbing screen-time), and spending meaningful time together – which is indeed a relevant message for girls (and their families) today.

As the mom of a now middle-schooler, I’m a big fan of the accompanying chapter book series written by Jennifer Castle. In her two books, Blaire touches upon issues of food sensitivity and the struggle of retreating to devices in an unhealthy way. With the support of family and friends, Blaire learns to strike a healthy balance – reminding us that being fully present at every occasion in life is what truly matters.

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Blaire is also super talented – she enjoys cooking and decorating at her family’s sustainable farm and bed-and-breakfast in upstate New York. With curly red hair and bright green eyes – Blaire has a line of outfits, accessories, and products for purchase that reflect her life on Pleasant View Farm, including Blaire’s Family Farm Restaurant (hello customizable kitchen, serving cart and healthy food!), fun party decor and party planning accessories, and my personal favorite – an adorable little lamb and piglet.

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Fans can learn more about Blaire at a bunch of AG events and activities lined up for 2019 (find a store near you here).

WIN IT! Thanks to American Girl, we have a Blaire Wilson doll + book to Giveaway! Enter via the below widget and check back to see if your name pops up as the winner. U.S. entries only and best of luck!

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Introducing Luciana Vega: American Girl’s 2018 Girl of the Year + Giveaway!

 

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Introducing Luciana Vega – American Girl’s 2018 Girl of the Year!  This adorable 11-year-old character is of Chilean descent, and she is set to inspire and encourage – with dreams of being an astronaut and the first person to set foot on Mars.

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Luciana is a champion of STEM, a role-model, and a leader – working passionately towards her dreams, while defying stereotypes and embracing risks  – to teach girls about failure, resilience, and success while charting their own life course.  She also comes with really cool, creative accessories (sold separately) including a Flight Suit, Space Suit, Mars Habitat, Maker Station, Telescope Projector Set and more.

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American Girl collaborated with an advisory board including a NASA chief scientist and astronaut to create Luciana’s story along with details that went into the doll’s creation. Her story, chronicled by Erin Teagan highlights the ways in which Luciana’s hard work and award-winning essay submission on planetary geology earn her a scholarship to attend Space Camp.


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Luciana is also a fun and spunky 11-year-old!  She loves adding her own personal flair to everything – from the sparkly stickers on her flight suit to the rainbow LED lights on her robot.  My ten-year-old is pretty obsessed with the purple streak in Luciana’s hair and her funky little doll boots and fanny-pack that opens to hold little items. She also devoured her book in one day and told me all about Luciana’s best friend and the baby girl that her family adopts. She can’t wait to move on to Luciana’s second book: Braving the Deep.

Win it! We’re so excited that our friends at American Girl are celebrating Luciana’s arrival by giving away a doll to one lucky reader!

Update: Giveaway closed.

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Aloha, Nanea Mitchell: American Girl’s new Hawaiian Doll + Giveaway

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Introducing, Nanea Mitchell, American Girl’s new BeForever character! This darling doll is a 9-year-old Hawaiian girl who adores her close-knit family, dancing the traditional hula, fishing alongside her father and playing wither her dog, Mele.  She lives on the Island of Oahu – and her story explores the life of islanders in 1941 during the attack on Pearl Harbor and the U.S’s entry into World War Two.


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Her story helps American Girl fans contextualize a significant period in history where one girl can make a meaningful difference.  It also highlights the ways in which courage, patriotism and the aloha spirit synonymous with the Hawaiian people inspired a war-torn nation.

As a former resident of Hawaii – Nanea is a new favorite for me! And as a parent, I appreciate the lessons woven in the Hawaiin teaching of “kokua” – doing good and selflessly giving – which Nanea personifies.

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American Girl fans will get to experience an all-new face mold in this adorable 18-inch doll – and a bunch of authentic-to-the-era accessories including a Hula Outift, Hula Implements and Nanea’s Family Market with 90 pieces that include a wood stove and more.

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In support of Nanea’s inspiring mission, American Girl will be collecting donations for the American Red Cross Service to the Armed Forces (SAF) and will match every dollar donation made in store and at amerciangirl.com in the U.S. (up to a maximum of $75,000).  In addition, the brand is giving away $575,000 worth of its signature 18-inch dolls to the American Red Cross to children living in times of crisis. We adore this mission, Nanea’s story, and American Girl’s steadfast commitment to giving back.

Win it!

American Girl is spreading the aloha with a Nanea Mitchell doll and book giveaway for one lucky winner! Enter to win via the below widget (U.S. only) and check back to see if your name pops up as the winner. Best of luck and thanks for visiting!

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Meet Z Yang: American Girl’s Korean-American Filmmaker Doll + Giveaway

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Introducing Z Yang: American Girl’s first Korean-American doll!  Z (short for Suzie) launched today as part of American Girl’s new line of contemporary characters – representing more diverse backgrounds and creative interests. This adorable doll is an imaginative young filmmaker from Seattle who loves to make stop-motion videos. She’s already racked up a ton of fans (hello, millions of views!) via her “Z’s Crew” web series on American Girl’s YouTube page.

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Z’s stop-motion vlogging adventures are told in a two-book series, The Real Z, and Z on location. She also has a line of fun accessories available for purchase including video making supplies and a cute accessory set with glasses.

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Z loves staying connected with friends and sharing stories through her stop-motion videos.  And to celebrate Z’s launch, American Girl is hosting Z debut events at its retail locations nationwide the weekend of April 28th (this weekend!).  On May 6th, American Girl’s stores in NYC, Chicago, Seattle, Dallas, and DC will host meet-up events to introduce fans to real girls who, like Z, have gained a strong online following based on their creative passion for photography and stop motion videos. They are:

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Inspired by Z, my kids gave stop-motion video making a go.  Check out their first video below!

Win It! American Girl is kindly sending a Z Yang doll + book to one lucky winner. Enter this giveaway via the below widget.  Best of luck and thanks for visiting!
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Logan Everett: American Girl’s First Boy Doll + Giveaway!

Did you all hear the exciting news from American Girl?  Along with a diverse set of new dolls for 2017, American Girl recently introduced their first-ever boy doll, named Logan Everett. Logan-Everett-American-Girl-Boy-doll.jpgWe’re so excited about this adorable boy character and the opportunities for all children to creatively play with dolls.  We love toys that give our boy the chance to explore nurturing roles and relationship-building through play – and parents have been requesting a boy character from the iconic brand for decades.  American Girl’s inclusion of a new boy character is simply wonderful, and it’s no surprise that Logan has been flying off of store shelves!

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With an un-tucked plaid shirt, cool jeans and sneakers, Logan Everett is a fun drum-playing boy, with unique hand positioning to help him hold his instruments (rhythmic drum set sold separately).  Like the other American girl dolls, his gray eyes open and close – and he has adorable short brown hair.  Logan is also the buddy and band mate of Tenney Grant, another new doll character from Nashville. As a singer and songwriter, Tenney has her own book series and original music available for purchase.

We’re so excited to partner with American Girl again, to giveaway their first-ever boy doll, Logan Everett to one lucky winner! In addition to the Logan doll, the generous team at American Girl is also including the first two books in Teeney Grant’s series! To enter visit the widget below. Please note that all entries are verified.  Best of luck and thanks for visiting!
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