I always get really sad when American Girl discontinues a character in their Historical Characters line. When we said good-bye to Samantha, I was devastated, because Nellie (Samantha's friend) was my favorite character, and I was secretly nursing a hope of buying Nellie for The Pea one day. Then Kit and Elizabeth left, and so did Kirsten. Other than turning the dolls into collector's items with a super-high premium, I wasn't really sure why American Girl would discontinue such popular dolls (and such a steady revenue stream!).
The answer, of course, is to make way for new characters and new stories. In hindsight, it seems obvious, but I was too wrapped up in refusing to let go of the old characters to remember the biggest reason I like American Girl -- the Historical Characters are a great way to make history come alive for little girls, and there are so many more periods in American history left unexplored! Samantha, Nellie, Kit, Elizabeth and Kirsten will remain alive in their storybooks.
Take, for instance, American Girls' newest characters, Cecile and Marie-Grace. Their story takes place around 1853, in New Orleans. Until reading the Cecile and Marie-Grace books, I never would have realized that growing up in New Orleans at that time was so different from growing up in other parts of the U.S. I had no idea there was such a big and influential community of free people of color, and I am so glad that American Girl chose to highlight their story through Cecile Rey. I love how American Girl makes history fun to read, and how girls can re-enact what they've learned from the books with their American Girl Historical Characters.
I've just finished reading Meet Cecile and Meet Marie-Grace, and I can't wait to read the rest of the books!
You can now purchase Cecile and Marie-Grace dolls, accessories and books at AmericanGirl.com. Stay tuned for posts and photos of The Pea with her two newest American Girl dolls, Cecile and Marie-Grace!
Disclosure: American Girl sent me a Cecile and Marie-Grace doll. Product information is provided by the featured company/product and is indicated in italics. The views and opinions expressed here are my own.