I love American Girl dolls and merchandise with a historical and educational component. (And don’t you wish you thought of it first? Or is that just me?) Previously, the books were limited to the historical doll characters but now there are many more — mysteries, contemporary fiction, advice books, and activity books.
Girl of the Year Book – Kanani
The American Girl doll of 2011 is Kanani, a 10-year old Hawaiian girl. In the Aloha, Kanani book by Lisa Yee, Kanani’s cousin Rachel visits from New York while her mom is on her honeymoon. But no matter what Kanani does, Rachel seems miserable. When the girls rescue a baby monk seal, slowly Rachel begins to warm up to Hawai’i and Kanani. Both AJ and I loved this sweet story of friendship infused with Hawaiian culture.
The second book about Kanani is Good Job, Kanani about Kanani’s troubled friendship with Celina, her best friend, whom she doesn’t have much time for now that she’s trying to raise money by selling shave ice.
Check out the other contemporary fiction books from past Girls of the Year and Innerstar University™ choose-your-own adventure books.
Historical Character Books
Each historical American Girl character has six books books with themes of love, friendship, courage, compassion, and tolerance set in the historical time period from the 1700s with Kaya, a Nez Perce girl, up to the 1970s with Julie and Ivy, girls living in San Francisco.
The mysteries also are about the historical characters. AJ and I have read many of the different mysteries and we really enjoyed them. They’re age appropriate and probably around a third grade reading level.
New Mystery Books:
You’ll find The Smart Girl’s Guide to . . . well, pretty much anything in the American Girl section of Advice books.
In this category, I highly recommend the Care and Keeping of You – The Body Book for Girls. So many people have recommended it to me as the BEST book for puberty. We just got it out last night and I thought it was great. (I actually gave AJ the entire Care and Keeping of You Collection.)
Activity books round out the book choices available with books for doll play and doll hair, Paper Dolls, art and craft books, quiz books, just to name a few. Although the paper dolls are beautiful, we’ve had trouble with the sticky dots used to hold the outfits in place.
New American Girl Activity Books:
Enter to win the American Girl of the Year books — Aloha, Kanani and Good Job, Kanani. Winner will be chosen at random. Giveaway ends July 31, 2011. (Imagination Soup’s official giveaway rules.) U.S. and Canada only please.
Download my free "Can't Put 'Em Down Books for Kids" e-book for ages 2 - 18.
Also, I'll send you a bonus "23 Reasons to Read" printable poster!