Everyone Has a Story to Tell: Introducing American Girl Gabriela McBride

We are incredibly excited to partner with American Girl and Mattel to review the 2017 Girl of the Year Doll: Gabriela McBride. 

The premise that everyone has a story to tell is the most fascinating quality about American Girl dolls. The dolls are beautifully made and the accessories are stunning, but what I am simply attracted to as a parent is the idea that these quality products reinforce to young girls that each of them has a story to tell just like their dolls.

Established in 1986, American Girl has quickly become the premier location to get the doll for your child. For some families, it has become a cultural rite of passage when they gift them an American Girl doll. The company has been well-known for their historical dolls from different eras and various backgrounds which later expanded to include dolls from modern times. Accompanying these dolls is their own unique stories expressed over several books. With American Girl, children are encouraged to imagine a world that is different from their own and at the same time promoting a love of reading.

America Girl of the Year Gabriela McBride

Image Source: American Girl

Each year American Girl releases a Girl of the Year (GOTY) that has a unique look, accessories and a compelling story to tell. In 2017, the GOTY is Gabriela McBride who is a young artistic soul that dances and writes poetry. While her expressive endeavors do not sound unique, for Gabriela it has helped her overcome a personal obstacle. Art helps her tackle her stuttering. This story reflects a parallel that we are addressing with my daughter. Painting, acting, and dancing has promoted my daughter’s speech as well as her confidence.

American Girl of the Year

When we introduced Gabriela to my daughter all she kept repeating is that “she is an artist.” While my daughter is still young, she has struggled to speak clearly. Employing some strategies that worked with my son, we found that she naturally gravitates towards the arts. To hear that another girl struggles with her speech and found her strength through similar activities is inspirational.

The 18” Gabriela has brown skin, warm brown eyes, and curly brown hair. In addition to her casual dance outfit, she also arrives with a pink double headband, 10 hair bands, and the Gabriela paperback book by Teresa E. Harris. The extensive collection is available at americangirl.com, at all American Girl retail locations as well as Toys R’ Us in March. The Gabriela books can also be purchased through retail and online bookstores.

American Girl is launching some unique changes. For example, GOTY are only available for the year they are released; however, Gabriela will be available past this year. In spring, additional accessories will be released.

Gabriela’s inspiring message will be promoted with a partnership with the largest publisher and distributor of children’s books, Scholastic. Starting March 1, 2017, Scholastic will launch Express Yourself, a curriculum program that teaches children in grades 3-5 how poetry can be used for self-expression. The free material includes teacher lessons, classroom activities, poetry poster, parent tips and activities for home. It will be available on www.scholastic.com.

American Girl of the Year Gabriela McBride

Image Source: American Girl

At Mommy University, we look forward to reading Gabriela’s story to my daughter to learn about how this determined character confronts and overcomes her personal obstacle to find her voice. During the month of March, we will celebrate National Poetry Month as we explore some of the activities that Scholastic recommends in their Express Yourself program. Until then, my daughter will be playing with Gabriela as they enjoy expressing themselves through the arts.


  1. Elaine

    I think the stories of the American Girls are great inspiration for young girls as they are diverse and gives all girls the chance to identify with an AG.

  2. Randi Adamitis

    Gabriela is a huge role model for young girls. Her story of overcoming a stutter and using art and poetry as an outlet for her creativity shows girls positive outcomes and strength.

  3. Christine Seery

    I think it is so important for young girls to learn how to believe in themselves and love who they are. Even though my daughter, Gabriella, is only five it’s so important to start young. I love the story that comes with this American Girl Doll.

  4. Diane Sullivan

    Emm loves American Girl. Each one has such a special story. Thank you for the chance. I love to play dolls with my little sidekick.

  5. LORI

    Kids are able to recognize real issues through play sometimes. The American Girl Dolls tackle subjects through their dolls that some people rarely speak of

  6. I love her story. Overcoming through art is a valuable lesson. And as a Black woman with a little brown daughter I’m so happy to see this kind of representation in dolls.

  7. I love that Gabriela inspires girls to never give up despite challenges they may face! I love all that the American Girl company offers tonour young girls. Such bright, positive affirmations!

  8. Jessica

    I think that she is an inspiration to girls because a lot of kids can relate to having or knowing someone with a speech impediment like Gabriela. The fact that she finds other ways to express herself like dancing is awesome.

  9. Tee Anderson

    I love the fact that Gabriela has overcome her speech problem. I know some girls can relate and not only that these young girls can see Gabriela is a role model. I am glad American Girl is thinking outside the box. No one is perfect.

  10. JEFF

    She is a good role model. She shows how overcoming obstacles in life is a challenge. Don’t run from the challenges, embrace them

  11. Stephanie Phelps

    I love the inspiration in all these dolls and overcoming obstacles to be their very best and to do anything they want! My granddaughter loves to dance and I know she will love to here her story as well!

  12. Marci W.

    Gabrielle is an inspiration to young girls because everyone has something they struggle with, such as her stuttering, and something they are proud of and enjoy doing. Girls can dance or write like Gabrielle or do math and science and be proud of their accomplishments.

  13. Gabriela would be such an inspiration for my daughters! I love how she expresses herself creatively through poetry, dancing and art! My daughters would love her! Thanks for the chance!

  14. Jeanna

    The American Girl dolls all have valuable lessons to share with young girls! I believe it inspires them to never give up on their dreams! They are achievable.

  15. Laurajj

    Oh their are so many children with speech difficulties…she would be such an inspiration to them and our little one included!!! So important to build our children up!

  16. Julie Lundstrom

    I like that she has a speech troubles and that she find creative ways to speak. This is a role model to those who have a special need. I would love this for my niece.

  17. Nidhi Chauhan

    Gabriela is an inspiration for all girls with her love for arts and dancing. she is very expressive. Love her!

  18. Audrey Torres

    Gabriela is an inspiration as she has found a way to overcome what some would perceive as a disability, and found a way to blossom through art.

  19. Nona C

    Gabriela is an inspiration to girls everywhere. She especially gives hope to those girls who have speech concerns. My eldest daughter stuttered for most of her elementary years. Because of her speech delays and stutters she was drawn to writing and poetry too. Gabriela shows girls that we all have strengths. And We may have some weaknesses. Those things together make us who we are. I hope all girls get to have a Gabriela or hear her story. She is today’s girl! My daughter would love her!

  20. Colleen P

    Every girl is going to face obstacles in life and think that she is alone in her struggles. It’s great to have role models like Gabriela to inspire girls to pursue their dreams.

  21. charla graepel

    Gabriela is an inspiration to young girls as she struggles like all kids do yet still finds a way to be her own person and succeed.

  22. Brandi Dawn

    I think that teaching children about expression in a positive way such as using art is a wonderful thing. I love how American Girl has captured that in Gabriela.

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