If you grew up in the 90s, you grew up with these American Girl dolls. Find out which one tops them all.
12. Marie-Grace & Cecile Rey, 1853
AG Description: “Follow the unforgettable journey of Marie-Grace Gardner and Cécile Rey as they form an unlikely bond in their hometown of New Orleans. When sickness spreads through the city, these newfound friends learn to count on each other as they use courage and compassion to help those in need.”
Why: I don’t trust that these two dolls were released as one unit. Why can’t they be strong, independent women by themselves? But still, they’re reppin’ #NOLA, so they can’t be all that bad.
11. Caroline, 1812
AG Description: “As the War of 1812 begins, so does the story of Caroline Abbott’s bravery. She loves sailing with her father, but when he’s captured, Caroline must help keep the family’s shipyard running. When she sees a chance to rescue her father, Caroline discovers that she must use her mind and heart to guide her decisions.”
Why: Let’s be honest, Caroline just sounds like a total snooze.
10. Julie, 1974
AG Description: “In the 1970s, girls experienced all kinds of changes, and Julie’s story highlights many of them. She’s facing several challenges all at once—she’s moving away from her best friend, Ivy, starting over in a new home, and dealing with new issues at school. But with creativity and optimism, Julie learns to make a few changes of her own.”
Why: I’m not kidding when I say I actually thought of and wrote a draft of this story in my fourth grade Writer’s Workshop. Except I made Ivy the main character (I was offended they had yet to have an American Girl of Asian descent on the roster), and named her April. Out of sheer principle, Julie can’t be any higher on this list because she stole April’s story.
9. Rebecca, 1914
AG Description: “Many girls during Rebecca’s time lived in two worlds—the one their families came from and the America they all came to together. Rebecca loves to celebrate the traditions of her Russian-Jewish family, but she’s also excited about the new customs of New York City. With a little creativity, she learns how to stay true to her heart as she follows her dreams.”
Why: I think I like Rebecca because I imagine that she could have been friends with Tateh’s daughter from the musical Ragtime. She seems like a cool gal, but she came after my time, so I’m still a little skeptical.
8. Kaya, 1764
AG Description: “Discover the adventurous story of Kaya, a member of the Nez Perce. Her people depend on one another for survival, so after putting her little brothers in danger, Kaya is given an insulting nickname. When enemy raiders invade her camp, Kaya learns from her mistakes by drawing strength from the stories and lessons of her elders.”
Why: Kaya entered into the American Girl world as I started my exit out, so we always had somewhat of a shaky relationship. She didn’t help the matter any when she decided to go ahead and not follow the already-established book order. She tricked us with “Meet Kaya”, then she just went off book. She tried to redeem her self with “Changes for Kaya”, but it wasn’t enough.
7. Molly, 1944
AG Description: “Molly McIntire brings to life the story of a patriotic girl growing up during World War Two. While she waits for her father to return from his duties as an army doctor, Molly learns to pull together for the common good.”
Why: One of the original three dolls released, my favorite part of Molly was how she rocked those shuffle-ball-changes as Miss Victory in the Red Cross show. I also enjoyed her summer story because it reminded me of The Parent Trap with Lindsay Lohan. Other than that, I’d say Molly was pretty unmemorable.
6. Kirsten, 1854
AG Description: “Kirsten Larson brings to life the story of a girl dealing with different languages and traditions as her family settles in the New World. In time, Kristen discovers the richness of her new land — and the true meaning of home.”
Why: To be honest, it’s my mom that’s not happy with Kirsten. Kirsten the reason I tried to wear a crown of candles and almost burned down the house as I celebrated St. Lucia’s Day.
5. Samantha, 1904
AG Description: “Samantha Parkington brings to life the story of a bright and compassionate girl who, even though some consider it improper, befriends a servant girl named Nellie. Together, they show that true friendship is what matters most.”
Why: Samantha and I got off to a really good start. She was the first American Doll I ever received, and honestly, I really wanted to be her. I mean just look at those bangs. Even though her Grandmary seemed like a nag, I loved her Christmas story and “Samantha Learns A Lesson” served some serious realness about the industrialization of cities. BUT THEN I had a dream that she turned into a psycho killer doll and my mom had to hide her in the closet for the rest of my childhood.
4. Kit, 1934
AG Description: “Even though the Great Depression was filled with hard times for families, Kit helps hers by being resourceful. With her best friend, Ruthie, by her side, Kit figures out clever ways to make do with what she has. She also learns to treasure what money can’t buy—friends and family.”
Why: Kit is definitely someone I’d love to be friends with. She’d teach you how to be resourceful, learn how to live on a budget, and since she’s into the whole journalism thing, you know she would always have the latest gossip. You know you love me, XOXO Kit Kitteridge
3. Addy, 1864
AG Description: “An inspirational side of the Civil War era comes to life in the courageous story of Addy Walker. Along with her mother, Addy is escaping slavery to find her father and brother, who’ve been sold away. Once Addy arrives in Philadelphia, she hopes that her family will be together again soon—and discovers that freedom isn’t always fair.”
Why: Addy was truly an inspiration. She literally escaped from slavery at the young age of nine years old (like what?!?!), learned how to read and write within a matter of weeks, and extended kindness to that snooty Harriet chick even though Harriet had been a mega-biotch to Addy.
2. Josefina, 1824
AG Description: “From her family’s New Mexican rancho comes the story of Josefina Montoya. She’s trying to preserve what is precious after her mother’s passing. When her mother’s sister comes to live with Josefina’s family, she is overjoyed. But Josefina must learn how to remain faithful to the old ways while helping her sisters and father open up to new ones.”
Why: Major props for Josefina’s strength. She soldiers through her mother’s passing and deals Francisca, the snarky sister, and Florecita, the obnoxious goat that roams the rancho.
1. Felicity, 1774
AG Description: “Felicity Merriman brings to life the story of a spirited girl who believes the American colonies should be free. But her best friend thinks differently, so Felicity must find a way to hold both love and loyalty in her heart.”
Why: Felicity was a BAMF, and not just because we share the same first six letters of our name. She was a straight up feminist, by questioning female norms, wearing breeches, and featuring such scandalous low cut dresses, the Pleasant Company changed the dolls bodies to flesh colored muslin rather than the previous white the dolls had been sporting. She also wasn’t afraid to take on that basic Banabelle, who clearly needed to log out of life.