What could be a better way for your child to learn that the homeless are just like real people than to buy her a “less fortunate” playmate for her other American Girl doll(s)?
How about spending some time with — and money for — someone who is actually homeless?
The latest addition to the American Girl line of how-do-you-justify-it-ly expensive dolls is Gwen Thompson. Ms. Thompson
and her mother Janine fell on hard times when her father lost his job; they later lost the house as they were unable to keep up payments. Soon after, Gwen’s father left them and they became homeless the fall before the start of the book’s events. Initially, Gwen’s mother has them live in their car until the winter comes; she then takes them to Sunrise House, a place for homeless women and children. Sunrise House helps them get on their feet and eventually get a new apartment.
Despite this happy ending Ms. Thompson does have a touch of Voltaire’s Candide about her:
Gwen likes to swim. However, she is not a strong swimmer and is sent to work with the 8-9 year olds. She becomes the swim coach’s assistant on the swim team in the second book so that she can participate and learn to swim better. In [the book] Chrissa Stands Strong this makes her the object of cyberbullying.
Poor Gwen should just be grateful she wasn’t made the token cripple as well. Just think how much American Girl could charge for a wheel chair?
Even ironistas must do their research. The answer to the above question is $30. Heather, who brought this to my attention and rocks big time, adds “A set of crutches (with a leg cast and other accessories) is only $26. You don’t have a daughter….you don’t know!”
Well she was an American girl
Raised on promises
She couldn’t help thinking that there
Was a little more to life