This strawberry blonde is headed straight for the sock hop

By Diana Pearl
Updated August 20, 2015 05:00 PM
Credit: Courtesy American Girl

Get ready to rock around the clock: a new American Girl doll is here. And this time, she’s from the 1950s.

Maryellen Larkin is the latest addition to American Girl’s stable of historical dolls (better known as their BeForever line), which includes characters from the Civil War and World War II years, colonial times, the Great Depression, the 1970s and beyond.

Larkin, whose story is set in 1954, is a strawberry blonde who loves to draw – and yes, she comes with plenty of era-appropriate outfits, including a poodle skirt.

Like with all American Girls, she also comes with three books, which have the 9-year-old navigating the post-war world of the ’50s. The books are written by Valerie Tripp, who’s penned the majority of the American Girl titles.

Since the company’s inception in 1986, fans have been asking for a doll from the ’50s. Because of the strong interest, Tripp says that in her books she hopes to capture the essence of the era, including the “pressure to conform” that the decade eventually became known for.

“At first glance, Maryellen’s circumstances appear determinedly normal,” Tripp says. “I did this deliberately, so that I could show that the extraordinary exists with the extra-ordinary, and it is Maryellen’s own sparky pizzazz that makes the difference.”

Maryellen’s story won’t end with the books: American Girl is currently holding a casting call for girls 8 to 14 to submit an audition tape to play either Maryellen or Julie Albright, the ’70s doll, in a short Web film.

Even if age prevents you from participating in the contest, Maryellen is still the perfect excuse to revisit your childhood.