Millennials' favorite revolutionary heroine is back, as American Girl revives Felicity Merriman as its BeForever Doll for 2017. The beloved toy and book company has also unveiled five new characters, all from the present day, and will release its first-ever boy doll this year. Without putting too fine a point on it, we can definitely say that things are looking up for American Girl's product line in 2017.
A young girl living in Williamsburg at the beginning of the Revolutionary War, Felicity Merriman was the fourth American Girl, following the original trio of Kirsten Larson, Samantha Parkington, and Molly McIntire. Felicity joins fan-favorites Samantha, Addy Walker, Josefina Montoya, Kaya, and Kit Kittredge in the BeForever collection.
The world first met Felicity in 1986, with the publication of Meet Felicity by Valerie Tripp. Meet Felicity was followed by five more books — the American Girl-standard school, Christmas, spring, summer, and winter stories — as well as three mystery titles and a short-story collection. Felicity's best friend, Elizabeth Cole, got her own book in 2005, just ahead of the release of Felicity: An American Girl Adventure, which starred Shailene Woodley in the title role.
In 2017, Felicity returns with an all-new book. Written by Kathleen Ernst, Gunpowder and Tea Cakes: My Journey with Felicity puts readers in charge of the story. It's like a Choose-Your-Own-Adventure book with an American Girl in the lead!
American Girl's Girl of the Year for 2017 is Gabriela McBride. According to the Gabriela book description, "Gabriela has grown up surrounded by the arts ... [b]ut poetry is becoming her art form of choice, for good reason: she struggles with stuttering and poetry helps her words flow more freely."
Gabriela's mission in her inaugural title — written by Summer Jackson: Grown Up author Teresa E. Harris — will be to save a community arts center that is scheduled for demolition. The Gabriela doll and book combo pack is already backordered until Mar. 10, but don't let that deter you from picking up this great new character for your collection.
Two more new American Girl characters are coming on Feb. 16. Tennyson "Tenney" Grant and Logan Everett are aspiring musicians pursuing stardom in Nashville. Tenney is the first character in the American Girl Contemporary product line, and Logan is the first boy doll released by the company. The first two Tenney books, Tenney and Tenney in the Key of Friendship, are available now. A third title, Kenney Shares the Stage, will hit stores on Apr. 25.
Later this year, American Girl will launch two additional characters: Z Yang and Nanea Mitchell.
Young filmmaker Z heads up the Z.Crew, which teaches American Girl fans how to create their own stop-motion videos. Her doll, books, and other merchandise will finally be available later this spring. Z will be the second American Girl Contemporary character.
Nanea Mitchell is "a Hawaiian girl who does her part to help and heal during wartime." Rumor has it that her story will be set around the time of Pearl Harbor, but American Girl has not yet added a year to her logo. Nanea will be available this fall.