Wednesday, August 22, 2012

American Girl's Read-A-Palooza With Marie-Grace, Cecile, Jaedyn & Sage

Real life 9 year old American Girls, 
Jaedyn (  
and Sage ( have a reading play day at Chicago's Ping Tom Park in Chinatown with 9 year old American Girl Dolls, Marie-Grace and Cecile.

There are two weeks left of American Girl's Read-A-Palooza, so there's still time to do something great for Save The Children and for your daughters through September 3rd.   We've given away 5 American Girl books to one of our lucky readers and we've been posting about Read-A-Palooza since it began in May.   For more information about Read-a-palooza and American Girl’s partnership with Save the Children click here.

We've been rockin' the reading all summer long and thoroughly enjoyed reading up on Marie-Grace and Cecile, American Girl's historical figures from 1850's New Orleans.   Recently, we met up with fellow blogger and mom extraordinaire,  Miss Lori and her daughter, Jaedyn.   Our girls are the same age (and coincidentally the same ages as Marie-Grace and Cecile).   The girls became engrossed in the adventures of the best friends from the past, and had a blast climbing trees, jumping from rocks, and laughing together.

We adore Marie-Grace and Cecile--close friends and the first historical American Girl Dolls to be released as a duo.  New Orleans is steeped in colorful history and one of our favorite places to visit.   American Girl's attention to detail, research, accuracy and quality make their historical books come alive in a way parents can trust and girls can't put down.   The duo were released in fall of 2011.  In their six-book series set the new characters—one African American and one Caucasian—show the power of friendship and community as they reach across the boundaries of race and class to help their families, friends, and city during a time of great need. 

We're fortunate to be raising savvy, urban kids in a major city, so multiculturalism and an appreciation for diversity comes naturally.  Our children are growing up color blind, where friends are friends, and skin color is as irrelevant as different colors of eyes or hair.  Still, it's fascinating and vital for our girls to read about the past history, the deep south and the costs and rewards of friendship between two other young girls from our country's past.   These stories are compelling, compassionate, and girl centered.  Much of this history is being skipped in schools and the personal twist the characters bring, makes learning about the past fun.

We've read both Marie-Grace and Cecile's introduction books and their mysteries this summer, which we could NOT put down.  I was thrilled that my reluctant reader got super excited and engaged with the books and has been carrying them with her everywhere and devouring them.   American Girl is committed to not only entertaining but educating girls and helping them grow intellectually, physically, and emotionally. 

Here's a sampler of our favorite recent American Girl releases and where you can buy them, too. 

  •  ADVICE:  A Smart Girl's Guide to Liking Herself-even on the bad days
  • CONTEMPORARY FICTION:  Innerstar University Series--"a book staring YOU with more than 20 endings" and an on line play component. 
  • MYSTERIES:   We thoroughly enjoyed and highly recommend The Cameo Necklace, A Cecile Mystery, and The Hidden Gold, A Marie-Grace Mystery 

Read-a-palooza provides girls with fun activities and incentives to inspire them to keep their reading skills sharp and encourage engagement in a variety of different literacy activities! In addition, Read-a-palooza will be contributing to Save the Children through a book purchase donation. Starting May 1 through September 3, $1 from every book purchased from American Girl will benefit Save's U.S. Literacy Program.

For more than 25 years, American Girl’s award-winning books have helped millions of girls discover the joy of reading and have earned the trust of parents and educators. This summer, to celebrate books and encourage girls to keep their reading skills sharp while school is out, American Girl is introducing Read-a-palooza, a summer reading program created for girls ages 8 to 12. Packed with fun activities and incentives that encourage literacy, Read-a-palooza will run from May 1 to September 3, 2012, and also will include a charitable partnership with Save the Children’s U.S. literacy program.

If you still haven't done so yet, click here to participate in Read-a-palooza before it's too late!  Girls can download colorful bookmarks and free book-related content, such as tips and materials for starting a book club. They’ll also be able to do reading challenges and take fun, interactive quizzes. Starting in June, girls can participate in Read-a-palooza by visiting an American Girl retail store, where free reading events will be offered all summer long. 

To further emphasize the importance of reading and to help a great cause during its Read-a-palooza campaign, American Girl is partnering with Save the Children’s U.S. literacy program. From May 1 through September 3, 2012, $1 of every book purchased through American Girl (up to a maximum of $100,000) will support Save the Children’s efforts to raise literacy rates in impoverished communities by providing basic education and equipping schools and teachers with reading materials. In addition, American Girl will make its third donation of books to Save the Children this fall, bringing the value of the company’s total book donation to nearly $1.5 million.

Remember to Check back in with ChiIL Mama like we vote in Chi, IL...early and often.   We'll be running photo filled American Girl features on An American Girl Cafe Birthday Party, Caroline from 1812-the newest historical character, due for release in September 2012, and more!    We'll also have more American Girl book reviews, and exclusive author interviews coming soon.

When girls love to read...everyone wins!

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