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Lost in the Stacks: Dolls of Our Lives

As a Gen X-er, the dolls of my life were a Baby Alive handed down from my sister, a pair of Donny and Marie Osmond dolls dressed in groovy purple chiffon, and my beloved Fisher-Price doll My Friend Mandy. None of my dolls learned a lesson and sadly, none of them saved the day – although Mandy sure could have! There were no thick catalogs filled with drool-worthy accessories. I couldn't go to a special store to outfit Donny and Marie in something other than purple chiffon. There also wasn't a set of formulaic story books where I could learn about history AND cheer on my spunky doll friend. If you’re thinking I’m the wrong audience for Dolls of Our Lives: Why We Can’t Quit American Girl, you would be right, but also wrong. I may not have had a Kirsten or Samantha, Molly, Addie or Felicity, but I thoroughly enjoyed reading Mary Mahoney’s and Allison Horrocks’ homage to all things American Girl. Their adventures down American Girl Road are told with humor and tons of references to ‘90s pop culture. Any book that includes Tonya Harding and Kerri Strug is my kind of book.

Although our authors are both Mollys, they’re willing to set doll loyalty aside to learn about the origins and continuing cultural impact of the American Girl brand. They road trip to Colonial Williamsburg to get a feel for how Felicity came to be, check out Julie from a public library, and learn how to throw a perfect American Girl party. Mary and Allison discuss iconic scenes from the books, note the importance of a good outfit and lament how hard it is to perfectly re-braid Kirsten’s hair. Mostly they, and their fellow American Girl fans, reflect on the very real influence the American Girl brand had on a generation of girls.

Whether you’re a Molly or a Kit, Samantha or Addy,Dolls of Our Lives is a treat for any fan of American Girls. So find Molly’s glasses, dig out Kit’s Saint Lucia wreath, and snuggle up and enjoy this nostalgic reflection on some of your favorite dolls (I’m still Team Mandy!).

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