Disclaimer: I received this American Girl Doll in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own.
Being someone who has always been fascinated by the history of Hawaiian culture and the incredible shaken times of Pearl Harbor, I was thrilled to hear that American Girl released a new BeForever doll that is inspired by this time period. Nanea Mitchell, is a Hawaiian girl growing up on the island of Oahu in 1941. As a young girl, I remember reading all of the American Girl books about girls from the past. The BeForever collection is a perfect way to incorporate the learning of American history in young children by instilling the courage, strength and character building that each of these characters have to find. I want to share with you more about Nanea, why we enjoy her and also give you a chance to bring her home with an American Girl Doll Giveaway.
Nanea’s story explores what life was like for islanders in the weeks leading up to and the aftermath of the attack on Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941, and the U.S.’s entry into World War Two. In bringing this significant period in history to life for girls today, Nanea’s story illuminates how the courage, patriotism, and aloha spirit of the Hawaiian people inspired a nation at war and shows how one girl can make a meaningful difference in the face of big change.
“At its heart, our BeForever line is about building a bridge of understanding, helping girls today see the interconnectedness—the feelings, experiences, hopes, and dreams—that exists between themselves and girls from long ago,” says Katy Dickson, president of American Girl. “We hope Nanea’s powerful story of resilience, responsibility to others, and contributing for the common good—or kokua, as it’s known in Hawaii—will resonate with girls and show them they have the power within to face the obstacles that come their way.”
Written by Newbery Honor Award-winning author Kirby Larson, the Nanea series introduces readers to 9-year- old Nanea Mitchell. Nanea loves her close-knit extended family, dancing the hula, fishing with her father, and playing with her dog, Mele. Nanea is also eager to “dip her paddle in” to be useful at home and at her grandparents’ store. When Pearl Harbor—the naval base where her father works—is attacked by Japan, the peaceful existence the Mitchells and their neighbors enjoy is replaced with martial law, and rumors of additional attacks and frequent air-raid drills have everyone on edge. Amid the chaos and uncertainty, Nanea embraces her spirit of aloha and deeply held belief in kokua—doing good deeds and giving selflessly—to do her part for the war effort and help restore peace to her beloved Hawaiian home.
I visited the Pearl Harbor memorial as a child. Even at a young age, I was touched by the loss and devastation that was endured by the people of Oahu. I could not even imagine what it would be like to be a young girl during this time. Reading about Nanea’s family puts perspective in what it might have been like. Reading it together with my daughter gives her inspiration. During difficult times that we cannot control, we can control one thing. We can be kind and make a difference in people and places that surround us.
Interested in American Girl’s other dolls? Check out more about American Girl’s First Boy Doll.
To help ensure the historical accuracy and cultural authenticity of Nanea’s story and products, American Girl worked closely with a five-member advisory board who provided their expertise in Hawaiian culture, language, and history to inform all aspects of Nanea’s development—including the
doll, books, outfits, and accessories.
Nanea is a gorgeous doll. My daughter enjoys the details of her 1940’s period outfit. My daughter also loves the single flower in Nanea’s hair. I taught her about how this can signify if someone is in a relationship or not by placing the flower on either the left or right ear. She thought that was pretty neat. Be sure to keep reading to learn how to enter to WIN an American Girl Doll Giveaway of Nanea. Perfect for the upcoming holiday season!
What is really cool about the release of Nanea is the impact that American Girl is making to continue the spirit of of the message:
To support Nanea’s inspiring message, from August 21 until the end of 2017, American Girl will be collecting donations for the American Red Cross Service to the Armed Forces (SAF) program to help provide comfort and care to the members of the military, veterans, and their families. American Girl will match every dollar donation made at americangirl.com or at any American Girl store in the U.S. up to a maximum total donation of $75,000. American Girl is also giving $575,000 worth of its signature 18-inch dolls to the American Red Cross to provide a bit of cheer to children in times of crisis.
And, to engage girls in Nanea’s world and her inspirational message, American Girl is also introducing the following activities and events:
- Nanea Island Inspiration Sweepstakes: American Girl has partnered with Visit Oahu on a sweepstakes for the chance to win a fun-filled family getaway for four to Oahu, which
includes round-trip travel on Hawaiian Airlines, a four-night stay at The Royal Hawaiian, tickets for four to the Aha Aina Luau Show, a visit to two attractions at Pearl Harbor, and a Nanea doll.
- Nanea Videos and Online Play: Behind-the- scenes videos on Nanea’s story and development, along with fun Hawaiian-themed craft and activity videos, are available on American Girl’s YouTube channel at YouTube.com/americangirl. Girls can also visit the Nanea-dedicated site at americangirl.com/PlayNanea for book excerpts, games and quizzes, wallpaper, and much more.
- Nanea Learning Materials: A free, downloadable teacher’s guide, which explores themes and issues covered in the Nanea book series, is available at americangirl.com/corporate/parents-and- teachers.