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Lift Your Voice with Melody from American Girl - #LiftYourVoice



A few weeks ago I had a very ill pre-schooler on my hands. Madison wasn't her best but luckily she had some very good doctors who made her all better. Having her at home when she's not feeling well can be a bummer, because she's whiney and clingy and everything you'd expect from a sick child. However, early one morning my doorbell rang and I'm going to be honest, if I'm not expecting you, I'm not going to answer my door. Later that afternoon on my way to the mailbox, I saw a package laying outside my door addressed to Madison. Now who could have sent Madison a package, because there was no scheduled UPS or FedEx shipment. On the inside of that box however was a beautiful note from her friends at American Girl, saying "Sending get well wishes and Melody to keep you company. - Your friends at American Girl".  How sweet and how exciting! Now this isn't a sponsored post and I'm disclosing that right now. Melody wasn't sent as a review item and there is no need for me to write about her, but I want to and I'm going to tell you why.


You might remember I mentioned way back in January, that American Girl was introducing Melody Ellison to their BeForever line-up. Here's my post refresher on Melody. Now Madison owns quite a few American Girl dolls and started her collection before she was even a year old, by receiving her first Bitty Baby which is perfect for toddlers. Since then she's gotten another Bitty Baby and last Christmas got her very first BeForever doll, Addy. We've also added two Wellie Wishers this year, which is by far her favorite line, but I digress. Let's get back to Melody.


Being an African-American family, there are a few things that I've always taught my kids. 1. You can do anything you want to, legally of course, and 2. You can be anything, even the president of the United States of America, as long as you work hard towards it. Why? Because of the civil rights movement that allowed you to do so. Melody grew up in the 1960's the era of the civil rights movement. The days when "negroes" weren't allowed the privileges that they're allowed now. Racial segregation was rampant and the inequality could be seen first hand. Maybe some of your parents know about it, depending on the year they were born and some of you reading might have even experienced it. My kids now grow up in a world where some of their best friends are caucasian. My kids don't see color all because of the civil rights movement, and I'm happy to see that American Girl has introduced someone from that era. It's a great way to teach Madison a bit about her history without getting too political.


Now here's a bit about Melody Ellison.  Melody is a 9 year old growing up in Detroit, Michigan during the civil rights movement of the 1960's, and like most African American family, she loved going to church and sing. If you're African American, you can totally relate. I remember that every week I had to go to church with my mother, whether I liked it or not. Singing in church was something that we did and if you go to an African American church, you'd probably hear some of those very songs that were sung back in the days, maybe with a more livelier beat, but you'd hear them nonetheless. Melody loves to sing and blend her voice with others in harmony, and after seeing her sister face discrimination after applying for a job at a bank, that didn't hire her because she was a "negro", and after experiencing discrimination herself, Melody decides to add her voice to those speaking up about inequality.


What you can expect when you purchase the Melody doll is a beautiful 18-inch Melody doll which has dark brown eyes and black hair. Melody comes in a bright blue-and-green houndstooth dress, a blue ribbon headband, and shiny blue patent shoes. Also included is No Ordinary Sound, the first volume in Melody’s classic series, by Denise Lewis Patrick. Volume 2, Never Stop Singing is also currently available.  With the struggle for equality and justice still prevalent today, Melody bridges the past and present for girls and shows them how ordinary people can do extraordinary things when they come together to make a meaningful difference.


Madison and I have read the books quite a number of times and each time we read the books, I am in awe of what American Girl did with Melody. They not only set out to create another "black doll", but they created a doll that was from an era that most of us can relate to. They had an advisory panel of knowledgeable experts, who made sure that her appearance, from her hair and skin color, clothing and accessories, were accurate and reflective of the 1960's. Even her hometown of Detroit showcases one of the country’s most vibrant and thriving black communities of the era, with more independent black- owned businesses, like Motown Records, than any other location in the country, as well as home to one of the largest chapters of the NAACP.  Detroit laid claim to significant local civil rights activities, such as the 1963 Walk to Freedom march, featuring the precursor of Dr. King’s now-famous “I Have a Dream” speech. The Detroit location also helps young readers understand that the struggle for civil rights was not just an issue in the South and that African Americans throughout the United States faced racial inequality and discrimination.


While I've loved everything American Girl had to offer in the past, I have to admit that Melody Ellison is my absolute favorite, and I have been recommending her to everyone I know. Way to go American Girl, I can't wait to see what you come up with next.

American Girl has launched the Lift Your Voice with Melody campaign. You can watch the Lift Your Voice with Melody video and then share your own inspiring videos and photos on how you make a difference, using #LiftYourVoice.


Let's discuss: What are your thoughts of the American Girl brand and Melody? 


To learn more about Melody Ellison and American Girl visit:

To request an American Girl catalogue, call 1-800-845-0005.


Annmarie John
88 Comments
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88 comments:

  1. Awesome that American Girl has this doll and that they sent her to Madison - especially on a day that she wasn't feeling well! It sounds like they put a lot of thought in to Melody.

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    1. That really was sweet of them and they did put a lot of thought into Melody and I have to admit "I love her more than Addy". :)

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  2. The thing I love so much about American Girls is that they don't just throw out a doll without any thought. They really think about these dolls and make them a bit of a learning experience for the girls.

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    1. They sure do, as is evidenced in all of the dolls they've introduced over the years. :)

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  3. There's nothing like a doll to make a little girl feel better. My favorite dolls are American Girl, and they have been for years. I love that every doll has a back story and a feel of real, true history to them.

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    1. That's what I love about them myself. When I was younger I couldn't afford the doll but I got to read the books and I loved them.

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  4. She's such a cute doll! I love how American Girls give your children a way to learn about their history.

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    1. Yes they sure do. I love how every doll has their own history and their own era that they grew up in.

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  5. oh-my-gosh this story makes my heart happy! I love this and how sweet American Girl is to young ladies! What a fabulous experience...

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    1. Thank you Karen, they are one amazing company for sure!

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  6. OMG I just LOVE Melody. I remember seeing your post about her and thinking that she was adorable. I actually prefer her over Addy as well, but Addy was from another era altogether. I can totally relate to Melody a whole lot more because we grew up in those days. I will be getting Melody as a Christmas gift this year. BTW I'm happy to hear that Madison is feeling a lot better.

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    1. I don't think you can love Melody as much as I do. I'm sure the recipient of Melody will be very happy.

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  7. Aww that was so very sweet of American Girl to send that to Madison!! The new girl looks adorable.

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  8. Thank you for such a well written and interesting post about something that most people would not think twice about, a Doll... Your post makes me feel that this Doll is more of an educational tool... Than a child's play thing... :)

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    1. She sure is and you're right, she could very well be an educational tool. I've used it to show Madison the hairstyle of the 60's the clothing which is different and the book itself teaches a bit of her history.

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  9. What an impressive way for American Girl to send greetings to Madison. I'm glad she's feeling better and has a new friend in her doll collection.

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    1. Thank you Lori, Madison was very excited indeed and couldn't wait to get Melody out of her box. Now Melody sits right next to Addy in her room.

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  10. That was so nice of them to send Madison a doll when she wasn't feeling good. I have always heard great things about American Girl. I remember reading about Melody and the Be Forever series - I think it's a great idea to connect play with education!

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    1. They are an amazing company and we just love their dolls. It is an awesome idea and what a lot of people don't realize is that you can learn quite a lot through play.

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  11. I can not tell you how much I not only love Melody, but feel her presence is extremely needed in our society. What a great addition to the American Girl collection!

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  12. Melody is such a cool doll. I love that she uses her voice to stand up for herself and others. We really like American Girl dolls!

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    1. Oh I love them too, glad to hear that you're also a fan.

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  13. I love American Girl Doll. I think it's such a great brand that helps young women feel connected to society. Melody is a cute doll!

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    1. It is an amazing brand and love American Girl just as much as you I would say. Thanks for stopping by.

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  14. I love American Girl and the Melody doll. I feel this is a great inspiration for young girls. Love the stories and how it teaches young girls to love themselves no matter how they look or where they're from. To celebrate our uniqueness.

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    1. That is truly one thing American Girl does teach, to love yourself and your uniqueness. LOVE THEM!

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  15. Oh my gosh what a sweet doll!! I love her story and that she uses her voice for good!

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    1. She does use her voice for good, to stand up for those being discriminated against. Gotta love Melody Ellison.

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  16. AH my girls love their AG dolls and how special to receive the doll just when she needed it. I might have to look for these books for my older little girl as she loves reading and this would be some I think would enjoy.

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  17. What a sweet doll! I have so many American Girl memories from my childhood and I've made my mom hold onto all the books for any future daughters I might have!

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    1. What a great idea. I hope my own daughter would hold onto the books for her own daughter and her dolls too. That would be nice.

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  18. I was a HUGE american girl doll kid! I have 10 of them! I am saving them for my future littles!

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    1. That's a great idea. I'm sure your own kids would appreciate that.

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  19. Isn't she darling? We just got her too! Not only is she so adorable, but I just love her story! My daughter can't get enough of her!

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    1. Melody is great! I just love her story as well because I can truly relate to her.

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  20. Sounds like an amazing doll. I really like her story! I used to LOVE American Girl Dolls but it's been a while since I've looked into them.

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    1. I was scared that you were going to say that you used to love them but don't anymore. Whew! :)

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  21. I LOVE this, the doll looks amazing and I love the thoughtfulness of the company too, how kind of them to send one to cheer her up!

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    1. Oh she's more than amazing and American Girl is awesome!

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  22. We are huge American Girl fans in our home. I just love this new addition and think it will be one of my daughters Christmas gifts this year.

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    1. I have a few friends who are planning the same thing for their daughters for Christmas. I'm sure your own would love her.

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  23. This is the very best post I have read on the history of civil rights and how this beautiful doll fits in. I am thrilled your little got this gift. Too cool.

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    1. Thank you Terri, being African-American, it truly resonated with me which is why I love Melody and her story so much.

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  24. All the American Girl Dolls are well thought of. Melody is such an adorable doll.

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    1. They truly are all well thought of and Melody is just too adorable.

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  25. I love American Girls and that each doll comes with a story to help teach our children to respect everyone's differences. My daughter is nearing 20 and still has her Bitty Baby.

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    1. Awwww, Madison still sleeps with her Bitty Baby as well. She just loves all her dolls but her Bitty was her very first and I think it's even more special.

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  26. I remember you saying something about this - the timing with sick Madison. Perfection! Scarlet already got her first fever, but somehow her virus ran overnight and she hasn't missed school. Yet. That said, all she wants for Christmas is her first American Girl doll. Lucky Madison. She deserves it!

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    1. Awww so sorry to hear about Scarlet but happy to hear that she got over it quickly. There's nothing worse than having a sick kid on your hands. She sure was lucky, Melody was on our Christmas wish list so Christmas came a little early for her.

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  27. How sweet of them to do that! I have always loved this company and all they do for little girls. They're a source of confidence.

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    1. American Girl is awesome and we're not just saying that because they sent her the doll. They truly are an amazing company and they do quite a lot for girls as well.

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  28. My little girl loves her american doll girl and we are always happy to keep her stuff updated for her. It gives her confidence!

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  29. I was OBSESSED with American Girl when I was little! Every month they had a full color catalog and the insides opened up and were big pictures of the dolls. I would rip them up and hang them all over my room. My FAVORITE was Samantha. She is retired now. :( I never received a doll but I did have the book 'Meet Samantha' and I loved it. American Girl has this fantastic way of teaching young girls about history - not with facts, dates, names, and places but by inviting you into that era on a personal level.

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    1. They sure do and like you Rachel I did the same thing. I never owned one of the dolls growing up but I did read the books. We couldn't afford the dolls back then so I had the pictures on my wall too. They sure do bring that era to life with their stories. I just love them.

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  30. We went to the American Girl store a few weeks ago and it was the highlight of the summer for my little girl. She loves AG and so do I. I love that the dolls have a story and we can teach our girls the history of the world.

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    1. That's what I love about all their dolls. Every doll comes with a little book, even the Bitty Baby has a little story to go along with them.

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  31. I am so in love with this doll. I wish I have a baby girl, I will buy her lots of those!

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  32. I love this doll, Melody looks so beautiful! I want to buy some for my niece and hope I had a baby girl too.

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    1. Melody is just the sweetest ever and if you read her story you'll see why. I think your niece would love her.

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  33. Melody looks fantastic and as always your photography is excellent. Glad to hear that Madison is feeling a bit better as well.

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    1. Thank you Ana, yes she's feeling a whole lot better now.

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  34. This is a very cute Melody doll! Love that American Girl is sending gifts like this! Awesome!

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    1. Melody is great but American Girl doesn't really just send out gifts, but we were grateful that they did. You've got to read Melody's story though. ;)

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  35. This is a beautiful doll. I love how American Girl really gives the backstory for each girl so you can attempt to understand what it was like for them to live.

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    1. That's one thing I just LOVE about American Girl dolls, they each have a story and you get to know their story and what it was like back in their time.

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  36. I like Melody. I hope my granddaughter likes the American Girl line. I would love to spoil her a bit from time to time with items from them. I love the dolls.

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    1. I'm pretty sure she would Rosey. I have yet to meet any child who doesn't. :)

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  37. This story makes me so happy! Growing up I had an American Doll and it was so special to me. I am happy to see that your daughter now has a doll that is special to her!

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    1. Yes she does but she says they're all special.

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  38. We are American girl obsessed! I love the stories each of the dolls teaches our kiddos! Melody sounds like a great addition to the collection!

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    1. Oh Melody would certainly make a great addition to your little one's collection as well.

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  39. I've haven't really paid much attention to American Girl since I was a child. I remember that being the huge thing! I love how all of the dolls have a great story to go along with them!

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    1. When you grow up your interests change. I used to love them as a kid then when I grew up, I started having other interests but once I had my own daughters, I got back into it for them. Everything for the kids.

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  40. My girls love the American Girl Dolls. This is such an adorable doll and addition to their collection.

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    1. And I think you should totally add Melody. I just love Melody's story.

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  41. When I was a kid, I had a lot of dolls and probably a few of them from the AG collection (I'm not really sure because I live in another country) but surely a doll can ease a day for an unwell kid. What a great background story Melody has, she's not remained as a doll only, but carries the story worth to share for the children.

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    1. Oh it surely could make a bad day better. There are so many ways you can play with dolls, but a doll with a backstory is even better, and that's what American Girl is famous for.

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  42. They seem to put great care and attention into the designing of their dolls. My daughter is still too young for them but I am sure in a couple of years they will be on her list!

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    1. Well it all depends on the age of your little one. If she's a toddler, she can try their Bitty Baby which will be perfect.

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  43. What a great addition to the American Girl line. They're a favorite for so many girls.

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    1. Yes they are and they're a favorite for me too.

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  44. Very cute, I know so many girls who adore these dolls! Xo

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    1. We are one of those who adore American Girl dolls.

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  45. My daughter has Julie. I just love the books that go with the dolls too They make the doll seem more lifelike. Amber N

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    1. We love the books too and even if you don't own the dolls, I would say still get the books. They're awesome!

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[name=AnnMarie John] [img=https://3.bp.blogspot.com/-X9gUeVik-ZY/WJjwNTOobII/AAAAAAABTJ4/qEhU0n62_AIo-j6-6LA2OFOr44lKCHASwCLcB/s100/AnnMarie%2BJohn%2BHeadshot.JPG] [description=AnnMarie John is a lifestyle blogger, mom of 4, retired army veteran and a huge Disney lover. Formerly from the beautiful island of St. Vincent and the Grenadines in the Caribbean and now living in colorful Colorado, she loves sharing her opinions on everything, crafting and food.] (facebook=http://www.facebook.com/theannmariejohn) (instagram=http://www.instagram.com/theannmariejohn) (twitter=http://www.twitter.com/theannmariejohn) (pinterest=http://www.pinterest.com/theannmariejohn) (email=mailto:annmarie@annmariejohn.com)

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