Lea Clark: Girl of the Year™ by American Girl®


American Girl®!!!

I can remember when I was in middle school, my mom was on the city council. For some strange reason I liked to go along and sit in the waiting room of the city hall on Tuesday nights and read my American Girl® book while my mom was in her meeting. I'd be the only one there. The chairs were made of a coarse, woven fabric and had square, metal frames. The lighting was dim. I'd usually have wet hair, pulled back into a ponytail, fresh out of volleyball practice, with my backpack at my feet, nibbling on a granola bar and thumbing pages ravenously.
Photo Credit: Flickr: Josta Photo


This might not sound crazy at first glance -- the city hall was across the street from the school, so for most commuter families this would make ideal sense for logistics and rides. For me it was a choice -- I lived only an additional (and easily walkable) three blocks away. I enjoyed that one hour that I was free from homework, sports, peers, heck, even television--I lost myself in the stories of another girls life for that brief moment. American Girl®, for me was a fabulous escape from my life. Recreational reading. I could relate as a young, American girl myself after all!

Now I am thrilled to share with you, Lea Clark, American Girl® 2016 "Girl of the Year™!" The GOTY line, introduced in 2001, is an inspiration to girls today. The 18" dolls are a reflection of this generation and the real dreams and opportunities our girls can live out. 

I'm writing this as a woman who has waved goodbye to her twenties. I'm a mom. And I could not wait to crack the spine on Lea Dives In! My husband is never surprised to see me don a headlamp and have a book, perhaps even several books nestled into bed with me at night, but even he looked at me with a little smirk as I started reading the book with the young girl in the brightly colored dress on the cover. As with Harry Potter, mama gets to enjoy the story before any of the youngsters do!

Enjoy I did. The author did an amazing job of reflecting a girls thoughts and emotions as well as problems that would be monumental for that age demographic. I liked the secondary theme woven into the book (no spoilers here!) You see, Lea is BRAVE. This is absolutely something I can get behind as a mom and a woman, trying to inspire strong girls in an uncertain and often oppressive culture. What's fun for me though, is reading the book as a mom, well past aspiring to be like Lea, there was another character in the book that struck a chord with me that I hope to emulate. I'll let YOU decide who that was after you read your own copy!

Think your daughter could use a little dose of inspiration -- maybe if she needs to escape for a bit, as I did when I was younger. This book -- this incredible Girl of the Year™, is for her. Lea Clark is not only adorable, with the quality and notoriety of the American Girl® brand, she's a symbol of bravery for little girls all over! 

Did you enjoy American Girl adventures as a kid? Who in your life would love an American Girl doll? Do you like the concept of GOTY?

110 comments:

  1. How do you get hair that appears real and the kids can manage it without it looking like most dolls they have?

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  3. My daughter is in LOVE with her AG doll (she only has one "real" one). How many years have they been making the Samantha doll? What doll has had or has the longest run? My 9 year old has their Samanatha, but my 24 year old cousin had what they said is an identical AG when she was little.

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  4. My 7 year old granddaughter is just now introducing us to American Girl. I love the idea and the message behind them but my question is "How do they arrive at the price?" I think they are to expensive for an average family.

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  5. So we don't know a lot about AG, but we've been in one store before and my girls were in AWE! So I'm just excited to learn more!

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  6. We love Lea!! We wondered when a boy AG doll will come out?

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  7. We love Lea!! We wondered when a boy AG doll will come out?

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  8. My question is what age is a good age to give this doll as a present. My granddaughter is 3 but I think she is too young.

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  9. I love the AG dolls and so does my daughter. I would love to know what other ideas do they have for incoroprating history into the lives of the dolls? What other eras are they going to spotlight?

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  10. My question is how they decide on the theme/country of origin for the doll of the year, each year?

    kellywcu8888ATgmailDOTcom

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  11. I would like to know if there is a Pilgrim doll in the works! Does American Girl take ideas from customers on doll ideas? Also, can girls audition to be in AG catalogues, or does AG go through model agencies?

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  12. Lea is beautiful, we hope to get her or win her! I have always wondered how do know girl of the year that they will create? Thank you, Paula C.

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  13. Lea is beautiful, we hope to get her or win her! I have always wondered how do know girl of the year that they will create? Thank you, Paula C.

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  14. How many of the dolls are available now?

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  15. Would love to know if there are a certain amount of Lea made?

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  16. Would love to know if there are a certain amount of Lea made?

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  17. Any hopes of them coming out with larger sizes in the matching outfits? How about matching mommy outfits too?

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  18. I don't know much about the AG dolls, they are very expensive. Who had the idea for them, they do seem to embody wholesome values that I like.

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  19. How does AG choose the time period for the next doll's release?

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  20. I'm wondering if they are going to come out with more hair colors!

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  21. How long does it take to make one of the dolls?

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  22. Will any American Girl dolls have freckles in the future?

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  23. We wondered why AG Julie has such thin hair, compared to the other dolls!

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  24. Any idea which location new AG stores will open in 2016?

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  25. I would love to get inside the head of the doll designers!!

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  26. I would like to know why AG did not make more of Grace's La Patisserie when they sold out.

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  27. Where are the dolls made? I still have my AG doll from the 90s!

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  28. I am wondering if the girls are inspired by reaal children or just their imagination?

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  29. When will they be expanding with more stores across the US?

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  30. im just wondering if there are plans to make more diverse american girls any time soon

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  31. I also would like to know if they have any plans for a boy doll.

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  32. I'm from St. Louis--I'd love to know a bit more of how they selected which parts to be in the book!

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  33. I love American girl dolls my daughters had them and now i have grandchildren are there ever any sales or discounts on the dolls ?

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  34. Will AG consider changing the materials they make the dolls out of to something more environmentally friendly?

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  35. Are there any plans to release a non-English speaking doll (and book)?

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  36. I would like to know if they will make a boy doll in the future

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  37. I really miss the Beforever (Historic) friend dolls like Ruthie and Ivy. Any chance AG will make friend dolls again?

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  38. I know that part of the price is that they are "heirloom quality"---what exactly does that mean?

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  39. id love to know more about the process of coming up with new dolls!

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  40. Do they base any dolls off of real life kids?

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  41. I'm wondering if there will be new matching accessories?

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  42. I would ask if the makers base their dolls from trends or from their own imaginations.

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  43. id love to know more about the next doll they will come out with

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  44. Are there ever any sales or special deals on the dolls

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  45. What's the easiest way to untangle their hair?

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  46. I would love to see AG branch out and have an 18" doll line that includes dolls from other countries. Does AG have any plans for this?

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  47. I'd love to learn how they decide upon each doll, their historical time period and story. I think that's the best part about these dolls and think it must be a lot of fun to help choose each new doll.

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  48. Do they create the backstory or the doll first?

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  49. I would ask if they research and then decide which girls get to become AG and why?

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  50. Id love to know how they come up with a name for each doll.

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  51. My daughter and I love the Beforever and GOTY books. I was wondering if the artists for the books have ever given AG ideas for outfits for dolls. When Beforever was launched, I saw that the clothing designers did a lot of research before designing outfits for the dolls. So, I am not sure if a book's artist has given AG any ideas on outfits or if the artist just copied the designer's work.

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  52. I'd like to know how the faces are designed. Are they made after the likeness of anyone?

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  53. I'm wondering if they will ever come out with glasses that will actually stay on an American Girl?

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  54. My kids want to know: How do they decide on the story behind each of the girls' of the year? Who names the American Girl dolls?

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    1. And how do they design the pets for the dolls?

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  55. I am curious about the demographic of the creative team members who come up with the name and background of their American Girl dolls.

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  56. I would ask if the stories are historically accurate or are they made up for each doll

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  57. What motivated the idea for this product

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  58. What inspires the books that go with each girl?

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  59. I think it would be fun to see AG make "mommy and me" matching clothes. Does AG have any plans for this?

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  60. Id like to know if Lea's story was inspired by a real person

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  61. I would be curious to know if there are ever any plans to have any American Girl dolls that will be "older" than the current dolls? Perhaps even one of the current dolls, just portrayed as 5 to 7 years older?

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  62. I have just started seeing the American girls. How long have they been making these dolls?

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  63. I want to know if they have plans for more diversity in the American Girl of the year.

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  64. I would ask if theey are going to be coming out with more non traditional lines

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  65. I would love to know who came up with the American Girl doll idea, and what their inspiration was!

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  66. I'd love to know where they get the ideas for the new dolls. THey are all so cute and have such great stories.

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  67. I would like to know who and how many people design the fashions for thwe dolls

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  68. Id love to know how many more girls they plan to introduce

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  69. I don't know much about American Girl dolls but can't wait to read your article about them. My granddaughter is getting to the age where she will want one very soon.

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  70. I would love to see a GOTY that is a farmer or a homesteader! She could have some really cool pets. I missed out on Caroline's calf, but got Kit's chicken keeping outfit with hen! Does AG have any plans for a farmer or homesteader doll? That would be too awesome! She could be a bee keeper and heirloom veggie grower. Maybe her family has a CSA. And, where can I pitch my doll ideas to AG?

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  71. im wondering how they decide which american girls to create...

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  72. I would ask them if they have a panel or some kind of commitee or if they use kids to decide which doll to come out with next.

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  73. I'd love to know where they get the inspiration for the dolls faces, hair color, etc. They are all so beautiful.

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  74. Which doll has been the most popular over the years and why do they think that is?

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  75. Id love to know about the designing of the dolls clothes. that must be the best job

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  76. I'd love to know which historic period is next.

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  77. Does AG plan on bringing back any of the other older historical (now Beforever) dolls like they did Samantha? I would love to see Felicity and Kirsten come back.

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  78. Are they planning to make any more movies for the BeForever dolls?

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  79. I would ask if they will ever have any Tshirts or that type of marketing for the dolls.

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  80. Will AG ever make a talking doll?

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  81. Would love to know how they come up with all the ideas for clothes.

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  82. Do they have any plans to make a series of early reader books about the dolls for younger kids?

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  83. Has AG ever modeled a doll after a real person?

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  84. yes! Id like to know how many people it takes to come up with a new doll. what a fun thing to do!

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  85. I'd love to know more about their manufacturing process.

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  86. I would ask if the books for the dolls are written first or the doll is created first.

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  87. Would love to know how to make some of the accessories myself, to save money.

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  88. Are the products sustainably made?

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  89. are they going to release any more new girls this year?

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  90. Is AG planning to release a Camille doll on the Lea collection

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  91. My daughter and I would like to know why AG has taken out the pictures from the new Historical/Beforever books. We really enjoyed the pictures and would like to see the future Beforever books with pictures. Any chance AG will include pictures in future Beforever books?

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  92. I'd love to know a little more about the process of writing the books.

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  93. Will they ever make an American Boy doll?

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  94. I would ask if theey have any plans in making teen dolls? Historical in particular.

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  95. Are there any plans to move AG production to the US or at least out of China?

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  96. Where are they planning on opening stores next?

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  97. Will American Girl ever make a full-sized doll house for the 18" dolls? I imagine if they did, the cost would be enormous.

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  98. How many American Girl Dolls have been sold? I'm wondering how many little girls have one?

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  99. I would ask if they have any idea f what they see their product being 10 years down the road. Will they give their dolls interactive features or leave them as s?

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  100. One year I got all five of my granddaughters an American Girl doll, one of the favorites is Kit she goes everywhere with my youngest granddaughter they even have Christmas presents for their dolls, it is very cute, when is American Girl going to open a store in Oklahoma?

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  101. Curious how they decide who is the girl of the year?

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  102. I would like to know who names the dolls, how is the theme of the doll chosen, and are the planning on making any American Boy dolls. Thanks!

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  103. Have they ever used some young girls in an advisory capacity? Allowing them to give input as to which time periods and themes they're interested in?

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  104. I would like to know who comes up with the ideas and stories for American Girl dolls?

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  105. Are the American Girl Dolls hand crafted or machine made? Thank you & I wish everyone the very best of luck! Also, thanks so much for this wonderful giveaway! Paula C.

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  106. Are there any plans to produce an 18in boy doll?

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