Introducing Melody Ellison, the newest American Girl

Disclosure: I was invited to Melody Ellison’s Debut Party and received a Melody Doll in exchange for this recap and review. All opinions are my own.

Introducing Melody Ellison

Melody Ellison is American Girls’ newest doll in the BeForever line of historical dolls. She was a 9 year old girl in 1964 Detroit. Through her stories, Melody explores the history of Detroit and the 1960s with Motown music and Civil Rights. Melody loves to sing both at church and backing up her brother’s Motown music. She also learns to use her voice to speak up for equality.

Introducing Melody Ellison

I love the way that the American Girl BeForever stories make history real by exploring a child’s perspective.  By exploring events through the eyes of a child, kids can relate better to the different time periods and see similarities to their own lives. 

Melody’s Debut Party 

The debut party for Melody Ellison was last Saturday night at the Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History


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During the creation of Melody and her story, American Girl enlisted the help of an advisory panel. At Melody’s Debut Party, we heard from Katy Dickson, CEO of American Girl and were introduced to Melody’s Advisory Panel and Denise Lewis Patrick, the author of the Melody books.

Melody Ellison - Advisory Panel

From left:


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  • Katy Dickson (speaker) – CEO American Girl
  • Rebecca de Schweinitz – Professor of History at Brigham Young University
  • Denise Lewis Patrick – Author, the Melody books
  • JoAnn Watson – former Detroit City Councilwoman
  • Phyllis Bond-McMillan, daughter of the late civil rights activist Julian Bond
  • Gloria House  – Professor of Humanities & African &  African American Studies at UM Dearborn
  • Juanita Moore – President & CEO of the Charles H. Wright Museum
  • Thomas J. Sugrue – Professor of Social & Cultural Analysis & History at New York University

I loved that they had food representing different parts of Detroit’s heritage:

  • Soul Food – Mac & Cheese Cups
  • Mexican Town – Mini Street Tacos
  • Greektown – Lemon Chicken with Rice

Melody Ellison - Debut Party - Food

Kids at the event had the chance to decorate pennants like Melody would have done. 

Melody Ellison Craft

Melody’s entire collection was also on display. 

Melody’s Collection

At the debut party, they had Melody’s full collection on display. Her collection includes her music studio and recording equipment, bedroom set, neighborhood block party, and more.

Melody Ellison - Recording Studio

Personally, my favorite part of her collection was the Block Party Collection. The full collection includes the table and chairs, or you can buy just the block party set.

Melody Ellison - Block Party Collection

The Block Party set includes mason jar lid pies and a Bingo Set. And yes, my daughter tested it out and the bingo set actually works! During the debut party, we learned that the mason jar lid pies were inspired by the childhood of Juanita Moore, president & CEO of the Charles H. Wright Museum of American History, who served on the advisory committee for the creation of Melody. 

melody-ellison-bingo-works

Melody Ellison Doll

Our Melody Ellison Doll arrived yesterday. My daughter immediately unboxed the doll. As we were looking for a place to take pictures, I noticed that Melody’s dress and hair accessories match the color that we had just painted my daughter’s room. Of course my daughter had to introduce Melody to her other American Girl dolls – Molly and Emily.

Melody Meets Molly & Emily

My daughter curled up with Melody and her book. After just a few pages as I took pictures, she said that the book was really good and she can’t wait to read it.

melody-ellison-reading-with-melody

Ever since my daughter was introduced to the American Girl dolls, she has wondered why there wasn’t a girl from Michigan. She is so happy that there finally is a doll from Michigan.

How to Get Melody

Melody is available now at American Girl stores including the temporary store in Twelve Oaks. She is also available online at AmericanGirl.com. You can also purchase Melody Ellison at the Charles H. Wright Museum through September 4 or while supplies last.

melody-ellison-retail

Donation to Detroit Public Library

In honor of Melody, American Girl is giving back to the Detroit Public Library System. They will be providing $175,000 to the library. The donation includes Melody dolls and books ($125,000 retail value). With the book donations, the library will provide a free Melody book to any area child who wants one through the end of 2016.

Melody Book Giveaway

Every guest at the party was given a goody bag that included the No Ordinary Sound – A Melody Classic Book and a t-shirt for Melody.

melody-ellison-goody-bags

Since we now have 3 copies of the book, we are following American Girl’s example, and giving away our 2 extra copies of the book. Entry is via the form below. The contest is open to U.S. Residents age 18 and older.

Melody Ellison Book Giveaway

 

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Anna Mae

Anna Mae owns & operates Ann Arbor with Kids, a website dedicated to Family Activities in Ann Arbor. My husband and I moved to Ann Arbor in 2003 and our daughter joined the family in 2006.

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