American Girl has books written by Black women available for free

American Girl books aim to “educate, empower, promote understanding, spark important conversations, and create change.”

American Girl is dedicated to racial equity, and as part of that commitment, they’re providing free books written by Black women and featuring Black heroines.

According to the company’s website, the books aim to “educate, empower, promote understanding, spark important conversations, and create change.”

“From the beginning, American Girl has created timeless stories that help bridge the past and present,” the website states. “Each demonstrates how strong women can change the course of history — especially during our country’s most troubling times — with courage, compassion, and resilience.”

American Girl books
American Girl’s World by Us line features 18-inch dolls and books for characters Makena, Evette, and Maritza. (Photo credit: Business Wire via AP)

The experiences of three friends banding together to improve their world are told in the stories of Makena Williams, Evette Peeters, and Maritza Ochoa. As a group, they’re raising awareness of significant social concerns such as environmental protection, immigrant rights, and racial justice.

“Their relevant, timely stories show girls that they don’t need to wait until they grow up to make a difference,” American Girl said. “They can do it right now!”

Gabriela McBride, the “Girl of Today,” follows the journey of a 9-year-old girl immersed in the arts her entire life, including dancing, painting, music, and theater. While she has a lot to say, she struggles with stuttering.

The synopsis asserts that it’s more crucial than ever to instill in young girls the value of their opinions, and reading Gabriela’s stories may provide them the self-assurance they require to trust in the power of their own words.

The discussion of race in America is a regular feature of the news, just like in the 1960s during the civil rights movement. During Melody Ellison’s era, “ordinary people” discovered remarkable methods to advocate for justice and equality for African-Americans. Melody’s stories are said to help young girls have the guts to stand up for what they believe is right, even if it’s complicated.

Cécile Rey and Marie-Grace Gardner’s stories are told from two distinct perspectives. The novels, set in New Orleans in 1853, examine a city where racial concepts appear substantially different than elsewhere in America.

Cécile is a “free girl of color,” notwithstanding the existence of slavery. She is intelligent and well-off. She becomes friends with Marie-Grace, a white girl whose family is experiencing financial difficulties. They form a growing friendship despite coming from different origins in terms of race and class.

According to American Girl, Addy Walker’s stories could be a child’s first exposure to the idea of slavery – a painful and tragic period in American history – and should be shared to help comprehend the bravery and tenacity of Black people’s struggle for freedom, equality, and a better life in America.

“Much of what was being fought then is still being fought,” said Denise Lewis Patrick, author of Melody’s stories. “I hope these stories give parents a springboard to talk about what’s going on today, and why we are still in the place that we are today.”

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