18:09 h / 2021/06/15
New book, written by diversity and inclusion expert Deanna Singh, is latest addition to the brand’s best-selling advice series
Today, American Girl, a cornerstone in the Mattel portfolio of purposeful brands, released an important new advice book, A Smart Girl’s Guide: Race & Inclusion, to help readers 10 and up understand race, racism, and anti-racism. Written by Deanna Singh, a highly respected thought leader and diversity and inclusion expert, the new book equips young people with tools and techniques to gain racial fluency, normalize the conversation around race, question biases, and take positive action individually, as well as collectively.
“We’re proud to add Race & Inclusion to our popular Smart Girl’s Guide series, which has served as a trusted resource for our readers and their families for nearly three decades,” said Jamie Cygielman, General Manager of American Girl. “It’s our hope that the age-appropriate information and real-life guidance found in the book will be an important step for all those seeking to create a more compassionate world where everyone is treated fairly and with respect.”
“As a life-long champion of social justice, I’m thrilled to be working with American Girl to bring this new book to young people who are curious, brave, and eager to make a difference,” said Singh, founder and Chief Change Agent of Flying Elephant, a holding company for multiple social ventures designed to shift power to marginalized communities. “In writing the new Smart Girl’s Guide, my goal was to help readers challenge racism by learning more about themselves and others, becoming better listeners, asking more questions, and practicing techniques that can break down barriers and improve our world. The potential for ripple effects gives me chills!”
To further support the book’s development, American Girl recruited the following expert advisors to review manuscripts and illustrations: Traci Baxley, Ed.D., a professor of multicultural education and curriculum and instruction at Florida Atlantic University; and Deborah Rivas-Drake, Ph.D., a professor of education and psychology at the University of Michigan, who works to disrupt racism and xenophobia.
A Smart Girl’s Guide: Race & Inclusion is available today at americangirl.com and is more than 100 pages, featuring full-color illustrations and covering topics ranging from “what is race and systemic racism?” to practicing compassion and being an ally. Tips, quizzes, questions, and challenges provide practical ways for readers to learn and implement the concepts right away. The book retails for $12.99 and a free excerpt is available.
The new book is also part of American Girl’s ongoing commitment to engage more diverse voices and create new content to help advance racial equality. In addition, American Girl continues to make its stories written by Black women and featuring Black heroines available to download on its free online library and has donated more than $500,000 in these and other titles to the following organizations dedicated to supporting U.S. schools and public libraries: Reader to Reader, Kids Need to Read, and Little Free Library Read in Color Initiative. And to help amplify more diverse voices, the brand has launched a new Conversations for Change series that highlights amazing young women of various backgrounds and experiences who are making a difference in their communities and the world around them.
American Girl was built on a foundation of diversity and inclusion, and, for more than three decades, has offered fans a diverse range of dolls from its various product lines, including Truly Me, which features 18-inch dolls with a variety of skin tones, eye colors, hair styles and textures, plus an array of inclusive accessories such as a wheelchair, hearing aids, and a diabetes kit. And American Girl’s Create Your Own experience lets fans design a fully customizable doll from more than a million combinations. Other lines, such as the brand’s character dolls, Bitty Baby, and WellieWishers, also offer numerous diverse options.