Thursday, July 3, 2008
Along with Jess the American Girl doll and the dog Coconut (in photo), we attended the American Girl Kit Kittredge movie on Wednesday (its national opening and the first day playing in our region.) The theater (Red Hook Lyceum) was FULL of other moms and daughters (and the occasional dad and brother.) And I'd say about two-thirds of the girls had brought along their American Girl Dolls.
I've written before about my appreciation for American Girl (with which I have a very slight connection, in that its founder and I share an alma mater.) I have to say that I've become a fan of the brand -- even though it's somewhat pricey, it does offer up thoughtful and high-quality entertainment for girls to counter the Miley, Bratz and Jamie Lynn-mania.
And finally, with Kit there is a movie this summer that is appropriate for a 9YO girl AND entertaining at the same time! We need more girl characters in entertainment like this, who can be strong and true to their beliefs without having to be written into the plot as eccentric or social outcasts. And I loved that the plot revolved around 10-year-old Kit's desire to not only work towards her dream of being a journalist but also to use her writing/reporting talent for social good.
The plot centers on how Kit's suddenly-no-longer-upper-middle-class family and her neighbors struggle to make ends meet during the Depression and about how easy it is to scapegoat one group of people when times are tough. Homes are being foreclosed on and fathers are losing their jobs.
There are elements in the story that can be used to talk to your kids about our Hudson Valley history as well as past (and current) events -- Kit admires Eleanor Roosevelt (and has her photo in her clubhouse). There's discussion about FDR's New Deal and the Civilian Conservation Corps. And one of the characters is from Poughkeepsie!