American Girl fanboards and blogs have been all abuzz with speculation about the American Girl of the Year 2012. Rumor has it that her name is McKenna and she's a gymnast -- and they're correct! A few days ago I was sent a press kit with information about McKenna, but the details were embargoed until today, so I have been waiting with my fingers firmly clamped underneath my bottom so I wouldn't give anything away. Fortunately, the embargo is over, and I can finally release the good news!
READY TO FLY! AMERICAN GIRL'S 2012 GIRL OF THE YEAR McKENNA INSPIRES GIRLS TO FACE CHALLENGES WITH SPIRIT AND DETERMINATION
-- McKenna Online Initiative Promotes Save the Children's U.S. Literacy Program --
Middleton, WI -- December 26, 2011: This January, girls everywhere will flip for McKenna, American Girl's new 2012 Girl of the Year. A determined, energetic girl who loves gymnastics, McKenna shines on the balance beam, but when she falls behind in school, she must use her strengths to turn challenges into triumphs. Through McKenna, girls will discover the power of believing in yourself and your potential to achieve great things.
Available for one year, McKenna will launch with two books that tell her story; a beautiful 18-inch McKenna doll featuring long, caramel-colored hair and blue eyes; and an array of outfits and accessories that bring her world to life. And, extending the fun for girls, an all-new movie based on McKenna's stories will premiere on DVD from Universal Studios Home Entertainment in 2012.
Written by Mary Casanova, the 2012 Girl of the Year books, McKenna and McKenna, Ready to Fly!, introduce readers to McKenna Brooks, a skilled gymnast whose confidence tumbles when she starts having difficulty with reading comprehension -- and issue affecting many children as they enter fourth grade. With the help of her tutor, McKenna learns to bring the same focus and determination she uses in her gymnastics training to improve her reading skills and get her grades back up. As McKenna's self-assurance deepens, so does her desire to help her friends to face their own challenges. The nonfiction section in the back of the McKenna books features questions and advice from real girls on overcoming obstacles in the classroom and beyond.
To explore their own special talents, girls can participate in the McKenna's Take the Challenge! strength-finding quiz at americangirl.com/girloftheyear. Upon completion of the quiz, girls will discover their top three strengths out of a possible eight combinations, such as Music & Rhythm, Math & Numbers, and Nature & Animals. After completing ten fun offline challenges that correspond to a particular strength category, girls will receive a trophy. And for each trophy earned, American Girl will donate 25 cents (up to $50,000) to Save the Children's U.S. Literacy Program.
I was not given the full list of products for McKenna, but I did receive a book list, so I know there will also be 3 books: McKenna, McKenna: Ready to Fly!, and Take the Challenge!. I was also sent some photos which show that you will be able to purchase accessories such as a gymnastic outfit, a balance beam, parallel bars, pajamas, a cast and crutches set, and a gorgeous loft bed! Check out these photos of McKenna:
Here's McKenna at the Shooting Star gym where she trains, with her parallel bars set.
Here's McKenna in her gymnastics outfit. I love the way they did her hair in looped braids.
McKenna's loft bed is awesome. The Pea really wants one -- both the doll version as well as a loft bed for her own room! *Book spoiler alert!* McKenna is wearing her pajamas as well as her crutches and cast, as she ends up breaking her ankle at a gymnastics meet.
Speaking of the book, our press kit also included the book McKenna, so I got a chance to read it. It probably won't be winning any Newbery Medals, but it is a really inspiring story that girls everywhere can relate to in some way, because it's all about how McKenna faces a challenge in an area she dislikes (schoolwork) and how she overcomes it using the skills she has learned in an area she loves (gymnastics). Take The Pea, for example; she is not into gymnastics, but she is into dance, so she gets McKenna's love for the sport and her desire to participate in it every single day. Also, The Pea is great at academics -- in every area except spelling. Spelling is her weakness, but just like McKenna, she has learned that if she perseveres, she can improve her spelling skills and actually ace a spelling test!
Win a copy of McKenna and Take the Challenge!
To celebrate the arrival of McKenna, I'm giving away the books that came in the McKenna press kit! One lucky Bonggamom Finds winner will receive a (slightly used, i.e. read twice, once by me and once by my daughter) copy of the new GOTY book, McKenna (doll not included) as well as a (brand new) copy of Take the Challenge!: Crazy challenges and silly thrills to explore your talents and everyday skills, a companion American Girl activity book.
Leave a comment on this post and tell me which 2012 American Girl of the Year product your daughter/niece/granddaughter would love to receive in 2012. This entry must be completed before any extra entries will count. Don't forget to include your email address so I can contact you.
For extra entries, you can do any or all of the following. Please leave a separate comment for each extra entry with a way to verify the entry (i.e. tweet link, blog post link, Facebook id, Twitter id, etc.).
1) Blog about this giveaway, making sure you include a link to the giveaway in your blog post (1 entry).
2) Write this on the Bonggamom Finds Facebook page (1 entry):
I entered the American Girl McKenna book giveaway! http://tinyurl.com/bt56lr5
3) Leave a comment on any of my blog posts on Finding Bonggamom (leave a comment here with the link to the post that you commented on).
4) Follow @bonggafinds on Twitter and tweet this, up to once per day (1 entry per day):
Win a copy of McKenna and Take the Challenge!, American Girls' 2012 Girl of the Year books, on @bonggafinds! http://tinyurl.com/bt56lr5 #giveaways
This giveaway ends at 11:59PM PST on January 14, 2012; I will draw 1 winner at random on January 15 and post the winner's name after he/she confirms acceptance. Continental US residents only. For additional giveaway rules, click here. Good luck!
Disclosure: I did not receive a sample or monetary compensation for this post. Both books being given away were sent to me by American Girl for my personal use. This giveaway is not an official American Girl giveaway, therefore any comments or questions regarding this giveaway should be sent to me, Bonggamom, rather than American Girl. Product information is provided by American Girl and is indicated in italics. The views and opinions expressed here are my own.