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?