It seems that one of the American Girl dolls has been creating quite a stir lately. Meet Gwen Thompson one of the side characters to Chrissa, the girl of the year 2009.
The Chrissa character was released with a special focus on "bullying" In the books Chrissa and her friends are constantly the objects of bullying by the other girls at school. But Chrissa manages to persevere and, much like the title of her book, stand strong.
It seems however that Gwen has fallen on hard times and is forced to live with her mother out of a car. Some seem to think the story is too real for children. Others think that the cost of the doll is too outrageous in itself.
I think that the American Girls Collection does the best it can to expose some facets of real life, in an age appropriate manner for its customers. It's true that the dolls have always been expensive. It's also true that if taken care of, these dolls will last for years to come. As a child who was lucky enough to get: Samantha, Molly and Kirsten, it would be impossible for me to put a value on the countless hours of play and adventuring that came with them.
Introducing a "homeless" character in the form of Gwen will introduce the idea of homelessness to young children in a much more understanding light. Especially with Chrissa's focus on anti bullying it's interesting to see that one of her friends would be in such a compromising situation. A situation that has no effect on the status of Chrissa's friendship with Gwen, it seems like in the American Girl world friends are there for you, no matter what. Wait, isn't that how it's supposed to be?