New American® Girl Character Encourages Girls To #LiftYourVoice

This post is a collaboration between TheYoungMommyLife.com and American Girl.
American Girl dolls are recommended for girls 8 and up. 

I want my daughter to be able to see herself in her world.

Since she was born I’ve searched high and low to surround her with images that make her happy to have brown skin and big, brown, curly hair—I’m talking books, dolls, clothes, movies, bedding. (I might have gone overboard a bit in decorating her room!)

It’s important to me that I build my children up. I want them to leave my house and be fortified. When she was a toddler, my daughter would light up when she saw a doll with the same features she saw on her own face. “Mommy, she’s brown-skinned like me!”

Her reaction is a bit more muted now, but I can see the twinkle in her eye when she sees that she’s represented somewhere.

This is why I’m pumped that American Girl is adding a new character, Melody Ellison™,  to its BeForever™ line. Melody is a hopeful 9-year-old girl from Detroit, Michigan, during the civil rights movement of the 1960s, with a voice like an angel.

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Staying true to the era, Melody’s story is about how she uses her voice to speak out against inequality and injustice. It’s a perfect match for the today’s climate today as I talk to my children about the issues they see in the news.  To help the conversation, American Girl also has downloadable discussion guides available, which explore themes and issues from the 1960s.

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When my daughter first met Melody, she smiled and said, “She looks like me,” and she hugged her tight. I think Melody is definitely a winner in this household.

American Girl is inviting you to visit American Girl retail stores across the country for a chance to live in Melody’s world from August 26-28. Attendees will have an opportunity to listen to some Motown, eat some special block party food, enjoy free crafts and receive a free Melody-inspired doll tee while supplies last. Check your specific store location for exact details and event timing.

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In each of Melody’s three stories, penned by the award-winning author Denise Lewis Patrick, she fuses her love of singing with her desire to see change in her community.

To celebrate the fairness and equality theme of Melody’s stories online, American Girl has created Lift Your Voice with Melody, a campaign that encourages American Girl fans to share their photos and videos of how they’re speaking up to make a difference. Watch the Lift Your Voice with Melody video and then share your own inspiring videos and photos, using the hashtag #LiftYourVoice.

The Melody doll and related products will be available on August 25, 2016 at americangirl.com; at all American Girl retail locations nationwide; through American Girl’s catalogue; at American Girl specialty boutiques at select Indigo™ and Chapters™ locations in Canada; and at El Palacio de Hierro in Mexico City. The Melody books can also be purchased through retail and online booksellers.

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