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If you haven’t heard yet, American Girl released the brand-new 2015 Girl of the Year, Grace Thomas earlier this month. I fell in love with her as soon as I read about her. An avid baker with an entrepreneurial spirit, Grace shows girls today that following your dreams can lead to sweet rewards. Following my dreams is going to be my motto this year as I reach for the stars and start my path down a road that is scary yet what I have been wanting to do for a long time. Grace and I are already kindred spirits.
As many of you know, American Girl has been one of my favorite companies for girls. Their dolls all have a story behind them that is positive and uplifting to young girls. They also have some amazing accessories and outfits that make them one of a kind. Every year American Girl releases a Doll of the Year that is available for only one year (or until supplies last). I waited to the last second last year and was unable to buy Isabelle last year (for a gift) so make sure you don’t end up like me and purchase her early to enjoy throughout the year.
The American Girl company loves to give back. If you missed my post in December about how American Girl donated a doll to a charity of my choice be sure to read about it. A child who has been diagnosed with cancer in Indiana is loving her Isabelle right now. I love companies who better society and make a difference. This year American Girl, thanks to the story behind Grace, is launching For Goodness, Bake!–a year-long fund-raising initiative in support of No Kid Hungry, the campaign to end childhood hunger in America from Share Our Strength. Starting January 1, American Girl is encouraging girls to host charity bake sales in their local communities and donate proceeds to No Kid Hungry. Because 1 in 5 children struggles with hunger in the United States, American Girl is helping ensure all children get the healthy food they need every day. For every $1 a girl raises, No Kid Hungry can connect a child with ten additional meals. They even kicked the event off by donating $50,000 to No Kid Hungry! . Parents can visit americangirl.com/girloftheyear to learn more about the initiative, to register for the Bake Sale for No Kid Hungry, and be entered into the For Goodness, Bake! sweepstakes for the chance to win one of 41 Grace prize packages.
Grace, an avid baker with an entrepreneurial spirit, is motivated to follow her dream of starting a baking business after an inspiring trip to Paris. Available for only one year, the Grace collection includes a beautiful 18-inch Grace™ doll featuring long dark-brown hair and sparkling blue eyes, plus several French-inspired outfits, accessories, and toys that reflect her interests, such as the premium French Bakery Set with more than 60 pieces!
Other Grace-related activities for girls include the In the Mix with Grace online journal and year-long Grace-themed retail events. A full-length movie based on Grace’s stories will debut on DVD from Universal Studios Home Entertainment later in 2015. Grace also has three books, two that are available now and 1 that comes out in May. I was sent the first one, Grace, and have enjoyed getting to know her. My kids at school are going to be excited when I bring it to our classroom library. This is a book that I can’t wait to share with the girls. In a few years, I see myself reading this to Caroline as a “Night Night” story!
The Grace books are written by Mary Casanova who also authored the books for the Girl of the Year characters Jess, Chrissa, and McKenna. She grew up in an active, outdoorsy family of ten children. With so many siblings, she often felt as if she were at camp, and she found it wasn’t always easy to be heard. Not until high school did she discover her love for writing. “I fell in love with the power and magic of words,” she recalls. “Words were my paintbrush. Writing became my voice.”
With every novel, Casanova researches and travels extensively. For Grace, she returned to Paris—this time with her grown daughter, Kate. Casanova reflects, “I’d been to France three times for research and to speak. This time, my research meant simply being a tourist. Because I’m geographically challenged, I invited my daughter, who used to be a band tour manager, to join me. We rented bikes, walked along the Seine, explored parks and famous sites, sipped coffee at outdoor cafes, sampled pastries, and took a baking class in the home of a French chef. Ah, Paris. What a wonderful place to do research!”
The Grace collection will be available on January 1 through American Girl’s catalogue; at americangirl.com; at all American Girl retail locations nationwide; and at American Girl specialty boutiques within Canada’s Indigo Books & Music stores in Toronto, Vancouver, and Ottawa. The Grace books can also be purchased through retail and online booksellers.
To learn more about Grace and the Girl of the Year™ line, go to americangirl.com, Facebook at facebook.com/americangirl, Twitter at twitter.com/american_girl, Pinterest at pinterest.com/agofficial, and American Girl’s Instagram page at instagram.com/americangirlbrand. To request a free American Girl catalogue, call 1-800-845-0005.