This is part of our Monday Summer Reading Series
In honor of the temporary American Girl Store opening at Twelve Oaks Mall this weekend, I would like to suggest the books based on the historical line of dolls from American Girl. My daughter has read many of the series and they gave her a chance to experience American History as girls her age would have. The books emphasize how girls throughout history share a lot of the same experiences, while also talking about the challenges of the time.
We were able to buy many of the book sets in combo packs at Costco and Sam’s Club packaged with a mini-doll. The first year we saw them, we picked up two that we thought she would like. The next year, we bought all of the series that were in stock.
In 2014, American Girl rebranded the historical line into BeForever. Previously there was a 6 book series for each of the main historical characters. In the BeForever series, there are now 3 books for each character. For the pre-existing characters, the original six books were consolidated into two volumes. The current dolls have had their books consolidated for the new release. The older books are still available through the library and online.
Several of the characters have mystery books as well. These books are a little more advanced reading.
The BeForever Characters
Kaya – 1764
Kaya is a member of the Nez Perce tribe living in the Pacific Northwest before contact with European settlers.
Felicity Merriman – 1774
Felicity lives in Williamsburg at the dawn of the American Revolution. She is torn between her Patriot and Loyalist family and friends.
Caroline Abbott – 1812
Caroline lives during the war of 1812 and lived in Sackets Glen, NY. Her family ran a ship-building company near Lake Ontario.
Josefina Montoya – 1824
Josefina is a Mexican girl who lived in New Mexico while it was still a part of Mexico. There are Mexican phrases incorporated into the books.
Marie-Grace Gardner & Cécile Rey – 1853
Marie-Grace and Cécile were introduced as co-main characters instead of a main character and a best friend. Of the 6 book series, 3 books focused on each character. They lived in 1853 New Orleans. Cécile is from a bilingual French-African American family and her books incorporate some French words and phrases.
Kirsten Larson – 1854
Kirsten is a Swedish immigrant who settles in the Minnesota territory with her family.
Addy Walker – 1864
Addy Walker is a fugitive slave who escaped with her mother from a North Carolina plantation. They are now living in Philadelphia during the American Civil War.
Samantha Parkington – 1904
Samantha is one of the original American Girl Dolls. She was orphaned before the series began and is raised by her wealthy grandmother. Samantha’s best friend Nellie is an Irish immigrant who works for Samantha’s neighbors.
Rebecca Rubin – 1914
Rebecca Rubin is living in New York City with her extended family who are Jewish Russian immigrants. The books explore the issues of assimilating to a new culture while maintaining your own traditions.
Kit Kittredge – 1934
Kit Kittredge lives during the Great Depression and her family struggles with adapting after her father loses his job. Her best friend is Ruthie Smithens, a daughter of a banker whose family does not suffer during the Great Depression.
Molly McIntire – 1944
Molly McIntire is my daughter’s favorite American Girl character. She saved money to buy her as a Kindergartener. Molly lives in Springfield, Illinois during World War II. During the war, her father is a doctor stationed in England and her mother returns to work in a factory. Emily Bennett is a young English girl who comes to live with the McIntire family to escape war-torn England.
Maryellen Larkin – 1954
Maryellen Larkin lives in Daytona Beach during the mid-1950s. She was introduced in 2015, after my daughter had outgrown the American Girl series, so I don’t know much about her.
Melody Ellison – 1964
Melody Ellison is the newest American Girl doll scheduled to be released this summer although her books are available now. Local kids will be sure to identify with her story since she lives in Detroit and her father works on an auto assembly line. She is the third African-American historical character. Melody’s story explores the civil rights movement and Motown Music.
Julie Albright – 1974
Julie Albright lives in 1974 San Francisco. As the most modern of the historical dolls, Julie’s doll explores concepts like divorce, gender equality, environmentalism, and more. Julie’s best friend is Ivy Ling a Chinese American and the only Asian-American doll in the series.