The American Girl empire, domain of traditional mostly-conservative families who can afford a high price tag to appease daughters, will see its ranks opened up to untraditional boys, according to a surprising and welcome new project from the company's most cherished writer.
Valerie Tripp, stalwart writer for such American Girl tomes as Molly, Felicity, Josefina, Kitt and Samantha, will pen a similar series espousing childhood Americana focused on boys who don't identify with gender stereotypes. The series, currently titled Boys Camp, came about with the help of two D.C. moms and will convey the trio's message that "it's as okay for boys to be into design or dance."
From the Washington Post:
The series will be called “Boys Camp.” It will recount the adventures of six fictional kids who meet at a summer camp, overcome obstacles and share their stories with grade-school readers in clean, middle-grade prose. Tripp and her partners in revolution hope that the books will help unbookish boys discover a love of reading and help even the bookish ones broaden their concepts of masculinity.
She [Tripp] has been drafted to this cause by Ann Jenkins and Peggy Thomas, two moms who are the first to admit they know nothing about publishing. What they know is the agony and the ecstasy of the bedtime book ritual.
Lifelong friends, Thomas and Jenkins both raised their American daughters on American Girls. “There were all of these different types of girls to choose from, and all of these different ways to be,” says Thomas. “My daughter was always a Molly girl.” When her son, Andrew, now 12, reached a reading age, Thomas went looking for the equivalent male reading experience — something wholesome and entertaining and funny — but came up short. “We found the Hardy Boys.” She makes a face. “But they’re, like, 50 years old.”
“No interest or passion is the sole property of any one person or gender," added Valerie.
Bravo! I can't wait to see what comes of Boys Camp!
(Source: WaPo; Image source: Jezebel)