The excitement begins to build at the end of each year. American Girl lovers across the globe await the news with excitement. Who will be American Girl’s Girl Of The Year™? Last year, we were introduced to Lea Clark™ and fell in love with her sense of adventure and beautiful photos! This year, we get to meet the new 2017 Girl of the Year — Gabriela McBride™.
As the parent of a HUGE American Girl doll fan, I have been hearing tidbits of news about Gabriela for weeks. Jaci will randomly happen into my office, plop down in the comfy chair in the corner, and begin giving me random facts about the incredible dancer with curly dark-brown hair and warm brown eyes. With Jaci’s own passion for dance, Gabriela is her soulmate of the doll world. Seeing so many of her own wishes and desires portrayed in the 2017 Girl of the Year made her even more excited to meet her and learn more about her.
Therefore, let me formally introduce you to Gabriela McBride with a few details I have learned about her over the past few weeks:
Gabriela is a true creative talent who uses the power of poetry to help her break down barriers and overcome a personal challenge with stuttering. She comes fabulously dressed in an exclusive outfit that reflects her creative side. Gabriela also comes with several performance-inspired outfits and accessories, including a dance barre, rehearsal and dance outfits, plus pretend headphones and a microphone—plus a book chronicling her unique story. Additional Gabriela products and books will be available starting in spring 2017, and—for the first time—the new Girl of the Year collection will be available for a full 12 months and beyond. (Jaci informed me this was a very big deal!)
Gabriela’s story will be told in a series of three books published by Scholastic and written by Teresa E. Harris. The first book Gabriela, hits shelves in January and tells the story of a quiet and creative girl growing up in a family of artists. Gabriela inherited a love of the arts from her parents, especially her mother, but spoken word poetry is becoming her own passion. Although Gabriela often finds herself in a battle with her own words because of her stuttering, she discovers that her poetry, filled with wit and honesty, helps her speech flow more easily and gives her the confidence to find her voice to help save her beloved community arts center from being torn down.
To connect both boys and girls with Gabby’s inspiring message, American Girl is partnering with Scholastic, the world’s largest publisher and distributor of children’s books and leader in comprehensive educational materials, to create and distribute Express Yourself, a custom curriculum program that teaches 3rd-5th grade students how to use poetry as a tool for self-expression. The free materials will be available on www.scholastic.com starting March 1, 2017, and include teacher lessons and corresponding classroom activities, a poetry poster, plus parent tips and learning ideas to do at home. In addition, to celebrate National Poetry Month, the program also features a poetry contest for students that will run throughout the month of April. The Express Yourself program will encourage all students to find their creative voices and share their own personal stories, while building confidence along the way.
The Gabriela collection is available NOW through American Girl’s catalog; at americangirl.com; at all American Girl retail locations nationwide; at American Girl specialty boutiques at select Indigo™ and Chapters™ in Canada and El Palacio de Hierro locations in Mexico City; and at Toys “R” Us stores starting in March. The Gabriela books can also be purchased through retail and online booksellers.
Additionally, you can visit the Gabby-dedicated site for free book excerpts, videos, activities, wallpaper and e-cards, and much more.