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In August 2015, Maryellen Larkin was added to the family of historical American Girls. As such, she is the newest member. Maryellen is growing up in the 1950’s in Daytona Beach, Florida. She has a huge family – 2 brothers, 3 sisters and a dog, Scooter. She loves TV and often pretends that she is in her favorite show, The Lone Ranger. Maryellen is full of imagination and bright ideas, but her parents treat her like a kid and never take her ideas seriously. She longs to get the respect her two older sisters get, instead of being lumped with her 3 younger siblings. She especially wants to forge her own unique “one-and-only Maryellen Larkin” path and get out of the shadow of her two older sisters.
Being your own person is not always easy, however. For instance, a new girl Angela needs her help learning English, but her best friends shun Angela because she is Italian. Italians were an enemy of the United States in the war, after all. Nevertheless, Maryellen discovers that Angela is a really nice girl and she enjoys learning Italian words in return for teaching Angela English. Besides, Angela had nothing to do with the war. She wasn’t even born yet! Then, the Fourth Grade teachers announce the start of a new Science Club where each team will invent their own flying machine. Maryellen has always wanted to invent a flying machine. But, once again, her best friends don’t want her to join. And when she does join, the sixth-grade boys bully her and ignore all of her ideas and suggestions. Despite some growing pains along the way, Maryellen realizes that being herself is the only way to go and in the end, her friends respect her for it.
Melody Ellison – 1964
Melody Ellison is scheduled to be released late summer or early fall, 2016. She is an African American girl growing up in Detroit, Michigan during the 1960’s. She has been chosen to sing a solo for the Youth Day at her church, but she doesn’t know what song to sing. It is the inspiring words of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. that help her to make that choice. Unspeakable tragedies and grave injustices occur all over the South in the 1960’s, at the same time that Melody meets with discrimination and injustice in her own life.
I can’t wait to meet Melody and read her inspiring story.
More to follow…