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Meet the American Girl of the Year 2017 - Gabriela McBride



Are you excited as I am for the new American Girl Doll of the year for 2017? I know we are! Madison and I recently headed to the NYC flagship store on 5th Avenue and picked up Lea Clarke before she disappeared for 2016. I've always been disappointed that the American Girl of the Year Dolls seemed to just disappear as soon as the year is over. Well I have some good news for you. First I want to introduce you to Gabriela McBride who is the new Girl of the Year Doll for 2017. I am also happy to announce that, unlike past Girl of the Year characters, Gabriela will be available throughout 2017 and beyond. Woohooo! No need to rush into the American Girl store on December 31st because you forgot to get her all year, only to find out that she's out of stock and you won't be able to get her any longer. No more disappointed little girls, thank you American Girl!


So who is this American Girl Doll of the Year 2017, Gabriela McBride? 

Gabriela is a true creative talent who uses the power of poetry to help her break down barriers and overcome a personal challenge with stuttering. Gabriela comes to life for girls via a beautiful 18-inch Gabriela™ doll featuring curly dark-brown hair and warm brown eyes, an exclusive outfit that reflects her creative side, and a book chronicling her story. Gabriela also comes with several performance-inspired outfits and accessories, including a dance barre, rehearsal and dance outfits, plus pretend headphones and a microphone. Additional Gabriela products and books will be available starting in spring 2017.


Gabriela’s story will be told in a series of three books published by Scholastic and written by Teresa E. Harris. The first book Gabriela, hits shelves in January and tells the story of a quiet and creative girl growing up in a family of artists. Gabriela inherited a love of the arts from her parents, especially her mother, but spoken word poetry is becoming her own passion. Although Gabriela often finds herself in a battle with her own words because of her stuttering, she discovers that her poetry, filled with wit and honesty, helps her speech flow more easily and gives her the confidence to find her voice to help save her beloved community arts center from being torn down.


To connect both boys and girls with Gabby’s inspiring message, American Girl is partnering with Scholastic, the world’s largest publisher and distributor of children’s books and leader in comprehensive educational materials, to create and distribute Express Yourself, a custom curriculum program that teaches 3rd-5th grade students how to use poetry as a tool for self-expression. The free materials will be available on www.scholastic.com starting March 1, 2017, and include teacher lessons and corresponding classroom activities, a poetry poster, plus parent tips and learning ideas to do at home. In addition, to celebrate National Poetry Month, the program also features a poetry contest for students that will run throughout the month of April. The Express Yourself program will encourage all students to find their creative voices and share their own personal stories, while building confidence along the way.



Other Gabby-related initiatives being held throughout the year include the following:

Gabriela Online Play: Girls can visit the Gabby-dedicated site at americangirl.com/girloftheyear for free book excerpts, videos, activities, wallpaper and e-cards, and much more.

Gabriela Retail Events: On January 1, American Girl stores are hosting Gabriela’s Debut Event, where girls will get a first look at her full product collection, plus enjoy in-store activities, colorful crafts, giveaways, and a fun photo opportunity. For more details on the in-store events, visit americangirl.com/stores.


The Gabriela collection is available on January 1, 2017, through American Girl’s catalogue; at americangirl.com; at all American Girl retail locations nationwide; at American Girl specialty boutiques at select Indigo™ and Chapters™ in Canada and El Palacio de Hierro locations in Mexico City; and at Toys “R” Us stores starting in March.  The Gabriela books can also be purchased through retail and online booksellers.

To learn more about Gabriela and the Girl of the Year™ line visit:


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

Annmarie John
76 Comments
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76 comments:

  1. What a beautiful doll Gabriela is! I never owned one, but I remember the American Girl dolls growing up and always loved how each doll has such a cool story and personality.

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    1. I'm like you Amanda. I could only dream of owning one, but I did own the books. Now I think I live vicariously through my daughter who now owns more than a little girl should. :)

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  2. I absolutely love this. In my opinions, dolls have been to singular in their ethnicity for too long. There are all kinds of girls out there playing with dolls. They should have dolls that reflect their story, too!

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    1. I agree Stacie but American Girl is now getting a bit more diverse. This however, is the very first African American Girl of the Year doll and for that I'm grateful.

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  3. I love to hear about the American Girl dolls! My oldest loves the books, we don't have any of the dolls, but I am sure she will want this one as much as the others :-)

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    1. I'm sure a birthday is coming up, you can always surprise her with her very first. I never owned any as a child and would have loved to have gotten one.

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  4. She's gorgeous! My daughter received her first AG doll this year for her birthday. I love the poetic and creative side to Gabriela and I can't wait to see what else is added to her line!

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    1. I'm sure she was excited to receive her doll. Madison got her very first at 11 months of age so the excitement has worn off a little, but she still loves getting a new doll.

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  5. She is so adorable! Are these photos yours or from the company? They all look so nice. We just got Wellie Wishers and Melody, so we don't have any plans to purchase another one quite yet!

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    1. Oh these are American Girls' photos that they sent to me. I'm not quite this professional. We got Wellie Wishers and Melody last year as well and then for Christmas we got Lea before she disappeared for the year.

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  6. Love these dolls! The American Girl vibe is such a positive one and I love all the variety of dolls they offer! And little girls just adore this store, so thats a win too!

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    1. Yes it's a win for everyone and I love the variety as well. I have to say that the Wellie Wishers are my favorite though. Just the right size especially for travel.

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  7. My daughter loves these dolls! I hope she is able to go see this doll she would adore her!

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    1. I hope you're able to get it for her this year as well. That would be amazing!

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  8. Gabriela is a beautiful doll and one my granddaughter would absolutely love. She is a big American Girl doll fan, and is also into dance and the arts, so I think she would very much connect with Gabriela. I really love the back story for Gabriela too!

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    1. I love all their back stories. That's one of the thing I love about American Girl dolls. They have such character and since your granddaughter is into the arts, she would definitely love Gabriela.

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  9. What cute outfits for Gabriela! It's great to hear that Scholastic is joining forces with American Girl to create a curriculum. Learning through play is the best way, in my opinion!

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    1. I've always said that. Learning through play is one of the best ways to learn and I love when kids don't realize they're actually learning because they're having so much fun playing.

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  10. She is adorable! I love American Girl dolls and I'm so happy to see that they are still creating new dolls each year. I'll never forget when they first came out, I saved and saved as a little girl to buy one!!!

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    1. You must have really appreciated your first doll. I know that when I save for something, I love and cherish it more because I got it for myself.

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  11. This looks interesting, I heard that American girl make responsible toys for kids that are great influences rather than some other unrealistic dolls which make them a great gift.

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    1. They surely do make great gifts and I just love the story that they each tell.

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  12. Gabriela is lovely! I just saw a friend's post on Instagram next to a poster of that girl above and it looked so real, I thought it was a person! Scarlet just got her first American Girl doll for Christmas. Rebecca.

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    1. Woohooo for Scarlet. I'm pretty sure that she'll love her to pieces. We don't own Rebecca and I'd love to learn about her story. They're all just lovely.

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  13. We love American Girl dolls and their stories. They have great stories and wonderful life lessons for young girls.

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    1. They sure do and that's one of the reasons why we love them.

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  14. I love these Girl of the Year dolls that American Doll puts together. There are girls every where that they can appeal to!

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    1. That is correct! There's a doll to appeal to anyone no matter who you are.

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  15. Oh this doll sounds so awesome. I had no idea American Girl was so big, I grew up on Scholastic catalogues and stories, this would totally make me want to get the matching doll to my book!

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    1. I'm trying to understand what you mean, but Scholastic doesn't have books to match American Girl dolls. Each American Girl doll however comes with a book that tells her story.

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  16. Gabriela is so pretty! I love her name as well. I don't have children, but I think it is awesome how the American Girl dolls are also used as a teaching tool, much more than other dolls. If I did have a daughter I would definitely support the brand!

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    1. Well I can think of giving it to a girl that you have in your life who would enjoy it, maybe a niece?

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  17. My god daughters are obsessed with American Girl Dolls. This one is beautiful and I can see why she's the "girl of the year"!

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    1. They're all beautiful but I especially love her because she's African-American, the very first African-American girl of the year doll ever.

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  18. Super cute! I really wish my girls were into American Girl dolls as I think they are really great, and they'd really get a lot of fun with them. This girl is beautiful! - jeanine

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    1. Awww I'm so sorry that your girls aren't into them. Maybe your new baby girl might but in the meantime you can continue to love them until you do.

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  19. Ugh I love this American Doll. I've been dying to go to the store in NYC it's been awhile. Her background story is amazing too.

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    1. They're all beautiful and so are their background stories. The store in NYC is amazing and we had quite a bit of fun in there. I can't wait to go back.

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  20. How cute is this American Doll! My nieces would love this doll, and i love that it comes with a scholastic book. The accessories are super cute!

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    1. The book tells all about her stories. All American Girl - Girl of the Year dolls do come with a book that tells their background story.

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  21. Gabriela rocks! It's awesome that we'll be able to find her all year long. Her story sounds super interesting.

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    1. That's one of the thing that I just love about it this time. I love that she'll be around all year round unlike all the others in the past.

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  22. What a beautiful doll, I'm sure my daughter would love it. It's such a pretty gift idea.

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    1. I think so myself so maybe you can do this for her birthday that I'm sure is coming up. Give her an amazing surprise.

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  23. My niece LOVES American Girl dolls... and I drooled over the original ones when I was her age. I love seeing how they've progressed and changed with the times!

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    1. They have changed with the times. There's a lot more diversity now which I absolutely love!

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  24. I really just love the Girl of the Year dolls. Each one is so special and I love that they appeal to little girls who need a friend just like them!

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    1. The Girl of the Year dolls sure are special and little girls and adults just love them.

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  25. I've never had an American girl doll ( not being American) and although I've heard of them I never really knew what they were (besides dolls). It's really cool that they have unique and relateable stories.

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    1. Oh yes, they are quite the rage here in America and while I'm not sure if they ship internationally, they do make great gifts.

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  26. What a beautiful doll! I love that Gabriella inspires little girls to use their talent and be different. So amazing!

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    1. She is exceptionally beautiful if I do say so myself.

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  27. She is gorgeous. My niece would love a doll like this. I'm off to see if I can get American Girl in the UK. xx

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    1. She IS gorgeous and I'm sure your niece would love her. Not sure if they ship internationally but if they do, your niece would surely appreciate the gift.

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  28. What I like about American girl is how they promote positive body image, the child looks healthy which shows kids they can be beautiful in any shape.

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    1. They are a very positive brand and the diversity is amazing. We love them in our household!

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  29. Oh, I love American Girl dolls and accessories and everything else that goes with them! Gabriela is awesome! I'd love to read her story. Thank you for sharing this!

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    1. You're very welcome Jennifer and I can't wait to get her and read her story as well. She's as exceptional as the others.

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  30. What a cute American Girl Doll! I had Josephina growing up and I loved her! Such a cute outfit too!

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    1. Isn't she darling? Everything about American Girl dolls is amazing and we can't get enough of them here in our household.

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  31. What a cute American Girl doll. With the workout gear she reminds me of Jennifer Beale's character in Flashdance.

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    1. I didn't think of that, but you're right. After all she is into the arts.

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  32. My daughter loves her American Girl doll. This doll looks fantastic. It will be a great gift idea.

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    1. American Girl dolls always make great gifts. I gifted my daughter a bitty baby when she was just 11 months old and started the obsession. Now she just loves getting and playing with them.

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  33. That's such a cute doll! I don't have kids but I think my boyfriends niece will really love this one!

    Also I wish I had toys like that when I was a kid! I grew up in Russia and we had VERY limited options when it comes to toys.

    http://stylesprinter.com/

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    1. So sorry to hear that. I grew up originally in the Caribbean and we didn't have a lot of options there either but now kids do. I was introduced to the books and that was as much American Girl as I got. Now we get them both, the book and the dolls.

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  34. I had never heard of these dolls till I moved to the UK. I guess we had barbie and Sindy, but no American Girl dolls. I really like the idea of the doll each year being different.

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    1. Barbie I'm sure is worldwide and while I like her, I'm not a fan of the body image she portrays. The Girl of the Year dolls weren't always like that but it's good to have a new doll each year. Makes for a great Christmas gift yearly.

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  35. Oh I love seeing the new American Girl doll so much! The next one I'm hoping and dying to see is an East Indian doll. My kids are always looking for them and they're not very common.

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    1. That would be great! You're right, they're not every common and it would be good to see that one being next. This is actually the first African-American doll from American Girl that's been Girl of the Year.

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  36. There is nothing lie the bond between a little girl and her favorite doll. I still remember my favorite doll

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    1. I remember mine as well. It's been years but I remember her like it was yesterday. I actually learned how to braid using her.

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  37. What an awesome doll! Love that she's s creative type with artist parents. That pic with the matching outfits is amazing!

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    1. She is amazing and we can't wait to get her.

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  38. This is so cool. My little girl is not in 3rd grade yet, but as an amateur poet myself, I'd love to groom her with poetry for self-expression. Love this phenomenal work!

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    1. Awww that is so nice. This would be the perfect doll for you!

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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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