American Girl, Unplugged

Last week, I happened upon a new blog: Unplugged Sunday, a blog about a family that…well, unplugs on Sundays.  They swap iPods and wifi for books, hikes, and cooking together.





Doesn’t that sound phenomenal?  The Professor and I were talking about how recently our computer/TV/screen-in-general time had seen a dramatic uptick, so we decided to dive into our own unplugged Sunday.

Were we successful?  Sort of.

It wasn’t idyllic, there was no hiking, no gourmet dinner.  Pookie whined all day with teething/growing/I-hate-being-weaned pains.  We didn’t even make it the whole day: we turned on the computer sometime after 6PM to listen to some sports talk radio (a station we can’t get on the actual radio) and to print a journal article for the Professor.  That led to fantasy baseball team-checking, Tetris playing, and so on.

But.  We played together on the floor.  We had a nice library outing.  We talked more about the Sunday sermon than we otherwise would have.  During Pookie’s nap, the Professor and I played Kings in the Corner and Go Fish while laughing our heads off.  We read in bed and turned out the lights early.

Not perfect, but good enough to try again.

How does that relate to American Girl?  I’m glad you asked.

After reading Cinderella Ate My Daughter and the author’s account of the American Girl store, my love for the American Girl books was rekindled.  I remember reading Meet Felicity, Meet Addy, Meet Molly, and the like in my grandmother’s basement when I was a little girl.  The books portray history (think the American Revolution, the Civil War, WWII, the Depression, etc.) through the eyes of relatable, strong, moral, dynamic young girls–the kind of girls you want your own daughter(s) to be.

So for my own reading and nostalgic pleasure, I browsed the American Girl section at the library, brought how a few of the classic Felicity books, a Felicity mystery (more of a novel length book), and a “Girls of Many Lands” book–a novel-length story that follows a girl named Cecile as she serves at the court of Versailles in 1711.  I haven’t finished any of them (see the teething/growing/I-hate-being-weaned note above) but plan to finish and write about them Thursday.

What’s your take on American Girl?


5 responses to “American Girl, Unplugged

  1. Grace June 28, 2011 at 3:16 pm

    I enjoyed the American Girl books as a kid, but at the same time I feel like the dolls/franchise promote inequality (not every family can afford an American Girl doll for their kids). Kiersten was always my favorite though, as I went through a phase where I was fascinated by pioneers. As I got older, I moved on to a series called “Dear America” which were written as diaries of girls observing historical events in the US, from the Civil War to the Titanic to the working conditions of Irish mill girls.

    • thismomreads June 28, 2011 at 3:59 pm

      I remember reading a Dear America book! I can’t remember anything about it, but the cover comes to mind.

      I do understand the unsettled feeling about the dolls; there were no American Girl dolls when I was reading the books (that I knew of) in my grandma’s basement, but when I went to the American Girl site when the interest picked back up this week, I felt a deep longing for one of those pretty dolls! I know they’re expensive, but I have heard that they are high-quality dolls that last, even through rough play. Perhaps the expense is worth it? I don’t know….we’ll see what we do for Pookie in the future, maybe we can find one in good shape on eBay someday?

      • Grace June 28, 2011 at 4:29 pm

        They are very good quality, but it’s still a lot to spend on a doll, especially considering that the clothes for them are almost as expensive as people-clothes. I eventually did get one, and it was my last doll, as I had already by that point outgrown them.

      • thismomreads June 28, 2011 at 9:48 pm

        I’m really enjoying this discussion…because it’s not entirely hypothetical for me–especially as my husband is convinced we’re going to have all girls.

        So the doll is expensive and the clothes are expensive, and I understand that. But what if we skipped Barbies and just got an American Girl doll (or maybe two so it had a friend)? I don’t know how much my parents spent on Barbies, but considering I had so many of them and their many, many, many accoutrements, they must have put a decent chunk of change into Mattel’s hands.

        Just curious to hear what you think. I also know of a blogger who helps her daughters sell old toys and things on eBay and use the money toward buying new (to them) American Girl things. I think, in the end, any options can be affordable/doable if you think outside the box.

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