American Girl's 2020 Girl of The Year doll is a young athlete with hearing loss named Joss Kendrick.
Joss Kendrick, American Girl's 2020 Girl of the Year, is the first American Girl Doll with hearing loss. "Fly high, defy limits, and discover the new you" is the motto that Joss lives by, according to American Girl.
The team came together with real-life role models in the world of surfing, cheerleading, and hearing loss in order to accurately depict the challenges that Joss's character faces. Some of the people that American Girl worked with to create Joss's story most accurately are Crystal DaSilva—women’s shortboard champion at the 2009 biannual World Deaf Surfing Championships, and swimsuit and athletic wear designer—and Sharon Pajka, a professor of English at Gallaudet University, which is a private university for the deaf, who specializes in representing deaf characters in adolescent literature.
Courtesy of American Girl (Facebook)
"Just as with previous Girl of the Year™ characters, we chose to bring Joss’s world to life because her themes connect with girls growing up today. To ensure we accurately depict Joss’s storylines and the challenges she faces—from competing on the waves and in the gym to the partial deafness Joss was born with—we consulted with experts in these areas."
Joss Kendrick has two books that follow her adventures in surfing and cheerleading, the latter of which she is reluctant to try, but encouraged to by her brother. The hope is that the themes of "free thinking, dedication, respect and teamwork" shine through the adventures and challenges that face Joss's character, as well as many young girls today.
American Girl is also donating $25,000 to the Hearing Loss Association of America, and they are accepting donations in their stores or online.
The Girl of the Year is available to purchase both in stores and online. To learn more about Joss Kendrick, be sure to explore her page on the American Girl website.
Will you be purchasing this year's American Girl Doll Girl of the Year? What are your thoughts? Let us know in the comments!