American Girl's promotional picture of the Addy Walker doll.

American Girl’s promotional picture of the Addy Walker doll.

I was a big fan of dolls growing up. From my earliest memories, I can remember having a doll in my hand at all times, a friend that I could tell my deepest secrets to. But perhaps my favorite dolls were my American Girl Dolls. These dolls were my favorite because they came with their own stories. Each doll was supposed to be from a specific time in America’s history. Each doll came with period clothes and accessories from that time, as well as books that told the story of the doll.

I loved reading the stories and imagining how girls lived a long time ago. The American Girl Dolls introduced me to a different time. While the dolls were not based on real life people, their stories were representative of real life girls who lived during these times. The American Girl Doll company produced many different dolls that were from many different time periods. They told stories of the Native Americans, the life of an African-American girl during the Civil War, and so many more.

I owned Molly, a girl growing up in during World War II and Kit, a girl growing up in during the Great Depression of the 1930s. I lovingly played with them for years, until finally I outgrew them and gave them to my young cousin to play with, passing on my love for dolls and the real stories of girls in the past.

The promotional video for Addy, an African-American girl living during the Civil War, shows how much work and thought went into making these dolls historically accurate and interesting for the young generation. There are actually exhibits in museums dedicated to showing these stories and telling the story of the real life girls who lived during these times.

American Girl Doll has changed a lot since I was a kid, but I hope that they are still producing the same quality of stories and dolls for children of all ages. Because telling the story of little girls throughout history through dolls is such a fun and creative idea.

I loved American Girl Dolls growing up and I hope that the younger generation is experiencing them just as I did. Dolls can be a girl’s best friend, and I know my American Girl Dolls were produced some of my favorite memories and times playing as a kid.

-Julia Templeton
Junior Girl
Girl Museum Inc.

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