Saturday, August 18, 2007

Welcome, Julie!

Finally, we have a new American Girl!

Meet Julie, a girl of the 70's. Yes, you read that right, a girl of the '70s. Yes. The 1970's. Which I think is supercool because so much of recent history doesn't get taught to kids because it's too "controversial."

And the books are written by Megan McDonald. How cool is that!

And OMG! here's the synopsis of the first book:

Julie Albright doesn't want to move away from her San Francisco neighborhood near Chinatown, even if her new apartment is just a few miles away... Julie tries to make the best of it by joining the school’s basketball team, but the coach won’t allow girls to play. She learns that it’s up to her to make positive changes in her new school—and her new life. The “Looking Back” section discusses the women’s movement, divorce, and other issues of the turbulent 1970s.
(emphasis mine, of course)


The second book focuses more on Julie dealing with her parents divorce, and the fact that it wasn't as common back then. The third deals with culture clash between Julie's family and her best friend Ivy Ling's family. It also breaks tradition by being about about New Year's instead of Christmas. (The AG books all follow the same pattern - with the exception of Kaya's: Meet [blank], school story, xmas story, spring/birthday story, summer/heroic story, winter/growing up story.)

It gets better! In the fourth book
Julie and her best friend, Ivy, find a baby owl in Golden Gate Park—and it needs help. At a wildlife rescue center, Julie meets Shasta and Sierra, two bald eagles that will be caged for life, unless money is raised to release them back into the wild. For Earth Day, Julie thinks of a unique way to tell the public of the eagles' plight. The “Looking Back” section explores the beginning of the environmental movement.

Bwhahahahaha. (Sorry, I'm just imagining the reactions of all the conservatives that like the AG series bc it's "good, clean fun.") That is just so cool.

The fifth book is about the bicentennial. (Which is another break in tradition, because the first book takes place in 1974 and the series usually span only a year and a half, if I remember right.) In the sixth book Julie runs for school president. (Nice timing there, AG. ;) )

Although, of course, we are left with one big question, and I hope you are all asking it along with me. (Especially since the American Girl books are supposed to be about the idea of American girls being diverse in all kinds of ways.) Why the hell is this Julie's series and not Ivy's? Did American Girl think that they just didn't have enough blonde girls in their line? Are we ever going to have an American Girl of Asian descent? :(

At least they do give Ivy her own book (written by Lisa Yee), like they did for Samantha's friend Nellie, Felicity's friend Elizabeth, and Molly's friend Emily, when their movies came out. Which makes me wonder if this year's movie will be about Julie. That would be interesting. But I doubt it, since they have a theatrical release movie about Kit coming out next summer.

Maybe the fall doll drawing will feature Julie and Ivy this year? The first one featured Kaya, when she first came out. The last few years have featured the girls whose movies were about to come out. So maybe this year it's back to the new girl since there doesn't see to be a fall movie. Hmmm. I hope they at least keep the drawing as being for two dolls, American Girl and Friend. At least that will mean Ivy will get more exposure than she normally would.

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