Learn about American Girl’s Newest Beforever Doll Melody Ellison.
February is Black History Month, and American Girl has just released details of their newest addition. Her name is Melody and she’s an African American girl who lives in Detroit, Michigan during the height of the Civil Rights Movement. She also loves to sing and comes from a strong and loving family.
AG’s newest historical doll is a sight for sore eyes, since they axed Cecile, who was only one of two Black dolls from their period-piece roster. With the addition of Melody to their Beforever imprint, this gives parents and kids an opportunity to learn more about the 1960’s and this tumultuous time in our history seen through the eyes of one of their characters.
My daughter is an avid American Girl fan and owns 13 AG dolls, so I was very excited about hearing about Melody. I was also sent the first book in the Beforever Melody series called No Ordinary Sound. Released just in time for Black History Month, it gives us the origins of Melody’s story—my daughter and I have been reading it together and so far, it’s a wonderful read. She and I are both learning what the 1960’s were like through the eyes of a young Black girl who sees injustice around her.
Here’s more on Melody:
In No Ordinary Sound, readers are introduced to the characters who make up Melody’s world, the difficulties and racial inequalities of the civil rights movement, and the character-building moments that affect and inspire this young girl growing up in Detroit—where people were speaking out for freedom, and Motown was playing an important role in the racial integration of popular music. Melody’s hopeful nature and enthusiastic spirit are infectious, and her solid sense of fairness and her heart’s desire to make a difference will resonate with people of all ages.
The book No Ordinary Sound is available now, and Melody’s full product line will debut later this summer. My daughter and I cannot wait!
No Ordinary Sound was written by Denise Lewis Patrick, who grew up in Natchitoches, Louisiana. She wrote and illustrated her first book when she was ten, sewing the pages together on her mom’s sewing machine. She loves returning to her hometown and taking her four sons to all of the places she enjoyed as a child.
“A message that I hope readers take away from Melody’s story is to think about themselves in terms of their community…and what they can do to help—to change—their community for the better.”
American Girl assembled an advisory board that helped authenticate Melody’s stories so that it rings true to this pivotal time in America. It includes JoAnn Watson, former executive director of the NAACP, Gloria House, director and professor emerita, African American Studies, University of Michigan-Dearborn, and Thomas J. Sugrue, professor of history at New York University.