After the success of Grace Thomas, American Girl’s character of the year for 2015, I really wondered how they might be able to top themselves. After all, a character that had three books (plus an extra e-book), a movie, some of the best accessories, etc…was going to be a hard act to follow, but I am pleased to say I really do like Lea Clark, our 2016 American Girl of the Year.
I am a firm believer in the stories that brought the American girl brand to life. If I don’t like the stories, I will not like the doll and I won’t buy a doll if I have not read the stories. (I understand some people are different so this is a me thing.) Lea is a girl from St. Louis who travels to Brazil to spend some time with her brother Zac who is a college student staying with a host family in the Amazon rain forest.
American Girl has always featured some of the brother/sister dynamic, but this is especially emphasized in the Lea story and I was pleased to see Lisa Yee focus on a brother and sister that have a significant age difference between them. I too have an older brother who is five years older than me and sometimes that age difference seemed like a chasm. There comes a point in every girl’s life when she wants to be seen as older even though her older brother only sees her as a little girl and that is the situation with Lea and Zac. They have been apart, they have gone through changes and they have to get to know one another again. All of this is set against the education backdrop of international travel and the AG staples of making new friends, educating readers about the world around us, saving the day and finding out what is special inside of you. Lea is a good addition to the Girl of the Year series and I really liked her books. I am looking forward to book three in March. If you have a girl who is a reader…don’t let her miss out on this one! Buy them!