American Girl has unveiled a new doll, Caroline Abbott. The historical character doll is based on the charter that “will inspire today’s girls with stories of courage and kindness as she becomes a true hero by giving of herself without expecting anything in return. Caroline is a 9-year-old girl growing up near Lake Ontario (Sackets Harbor) during the War of 1812.” The new American Girl Caroline doll (costing $105), six-book series and accessories will be available on September 4, 2012, through American Girl’s catalogue, at americangirl.com, and at American Girl retail locations.
The six Caroline Abbott books from American Girl were written by author Kathleen Ernst, who researched what life was like during the War of 1812, and personally visited several historic locations to further inspire her stories. The Caroline Abbott books include:
Meet Caroline: Caroline Abbott is doing what she loves most—sailing on Lake Ontario with Papa—when her world turns upside down. A British officer boards their sloop, announces that Britain and America are at war, and takes her father prisoner. As Papa is led away, Caroline promises him that she will stay strong and steady until he returns. She tries hard to keep her promise by helping Mama run the family’s shipyard. Then the British attack her village and it looks as if the American side is in trouble. Can Caroline stay steady enough to help win the day?
Caroline’s Secret Message: Caroline and Mama make a dangerous trip across Lake Ontario to the British fort where Papa is a prisoner. When Mama isn’t allowed to see Papa, it’s up to Caroline to pass a secret message to him—right under the nose of a British guard. Caroline hopes desperately that Papa will be able to use the information to escape. But can she get the message to him? And even if she does, will Papa understand it? When Caroline and Mama return home, all they can do is wait and hope. On Caroline’s birthday, an unexpected gift lifts her heart. Includes an illustrated “Looking Back” essay about Wartime in 1812.
A Surprise for Caroline: Caroline Abbott imagined it would be great fun to have two girls staying at her house for the winter. But her friend Rhonda Hathaway and cousin Lydia are both twelve, and sometimes they seem to be better friends with each other than with Caroline. Worse, they’d rather stay inside styling hair than go skating and sledding. Nothing Caroline tries seems to change things, not even the special Christmas gift she gives to Rhonda. Finally, hurt feelings lead Caroline to make a rash decision—one that puts all three girls on very thin ice. Includes an illustrated “Looking Back” essay about Growing Up in 1812.
Caroline Takes a Chance: Caroline, like everyone else in Sackets Harbor, is waiting anxiously for the first supply boats of the year to arrive. Without supplies, the shipyards can’t build boats to fight the British. When Caroline and her friends Rhonda and Seth go out fishing in Papa’s skiff, they’re excited to catch sight of a supply boat—until they realize that it’s being chased by a British warship. Desperate to save the supply boat, Caroline comes up with a daring idea. Will her plan work? Or is it a dangerous and foolish risk? Caroline has no time to think—she can only plunge ahead. Includes an illustrated “Looking Back” essay about Getting Around in 1812.
Caroline’s Battle: Caroline’s Papa has barely returned before frightening news arrives—British warships are headed for Sackets Harbor, ready to attack. Every able-bodied man, including Papa, must go and fight. Mama and Caroline are left alone to guard Abbott’s Shipyard from the enemy. Caroline tells herself she would do anything to keep Papa’s shipyard safe. But when the battle seems to be lost, Mama gives her a terrible order. They must burn the shipyard to the ground to keep it from the enemy. It’s the one thing Caroline isn’t sure she can do. Includes an illustrated “Looking Back” essay about America in 1812.
Changes for Caroline: Caroline receives a letter asking her to come and help on Uncle Aaron’s new farm. Although she hates to leave her family, Caroline is pleased to see her cousin Lydia—and to meet Lydia’s pretty cow and sweet baby calf. Determined to help out in any way she can, Caroline keeps watch when a thief starts sneaking around the farm. Then she makes an unexpected discovery—and learns that some things are not as simple as they seem. When Caroline returns home at last for an Independence Day celebration, she is treated to a wonderful surprise. Includes an illustrated “Looking Back” essay about Changes for America in 1812.
Caroline Abbott is the thirteenth historical character American Girl doll, from the company that was founded by Pleasant Rowland, twenty-five years ago. In 1998, Pleasant sold the Pleasant Company (now American Girl) to Mattel. Below, watch Pleasant reflect back on the creation of the Pleasant Company: