And she’s from a place you’ll all want to visit.
If you hear the happy screams of little girls all over the country today, it could be because they got to skip school to watch the eclipse—or they may just be really excited about Nanea, the newest BeForever American Girl, who is making her debut today.
That’s right, the historical dolls Julie, Kit, Melody, and Kaya are going to have to make room in the corner of your daughter’s bedroom for their newest friend. Brown-haired, hazel-eyed Nanea Mitchell is a 9-year-old Hawaiian girl growing up in Oahu in 1941. This puts her in the same World War II era as the beloved retired doll Molly McIntire, but unlike Molly, who made sacrifices on the home front, Nanea is in the thick of the action. Her story takes place in the weeks leading up to and right after the bombing of Pearl Harbor, and focuses on courage, patriotism, and the “aloha spirit” of the Hawaiian people.
In the books released today with the doll, readers learn that Nanea’s father works at the U.S. Naval base that’s bombed on December 7, 1941, and learn what it’s like to live with martial law and frequent air-raid drills. There’s also plenty to smile about—including Nanea’s passion for hula dancing and her love for her dog Mele.
“We hope Nanea’s powerful story of resilience, responsibility to others, and contributing for the common good—or kokua, as it’s known in Hawaii—will resonate with girls and show them they have the power within to face the obstacles that come their way,” says Katy Dickson, president of American Girl.
To honor the military families at the heart of the Pearl Harbor story, American Girl is teaming up with the American Red Cross to give thousands of dolls to children in crisis, and is collecting donations from now through the end of the year for the Red Cross’s Service to the Armed Forces (SAF) program, which provides help to the members of the military, veterans, and their families. (Any donations made at AmericanGirl.com or at a store will be matched up to a maximum total of $75,000).
And don’t worry, there’s something to make Mom and Dad happy, too, while you’re shelling out the big bucks for Nanea and her adorable wardrobe of vintage Hawaiian clothes: Enter the Nanea Island Inspiration Sweepstakes, and you could win a family trip to Oahu, including round-trip airfare and a four-night stay at the Royal Hawaiian Hotel. We say Aloha to that!