Corinne Tan lives in Aspen, Colorado, where she spends most of her time skiing, training her puppy to be a search-and-rescue dog, and trying to set a good example for her little sister, Gwynn. She’s American Girl’s 2022 "Girl of the Year" doll—and the first-ever Chinese American addition to that line.
She’s only the second Chinese American doll ever created by American Girl. When the company released Julie Albright—a flower-power-inspired preteen growing up in San Francisco during the 1970s—as part of its historical collection in 2007, her Chinese American best friend, Ivy Ling, hit the market, too. Julie is still available, but Ivy was discontinued in 2014.
As a modern-day character, Corinne faces modern-day challenges, from adjusting to life with a new stepdad to combating COVID-related anti-Asian racism. “We knew it was important for Corinne’s story to show the unfortunate rise in anti-Asian sentiment across the U.S. since the pandemic,” an American Girl spokeswoman said, per The New York Times. The company is also donating $25,000 to AAPI Youth Rising, a nonprofit organization led mostly by middle-school students working to raise awareness about xenophobia and encourage educators to add AAPI history to their curricula.
To write Corinne’s story, American Girl enlisted Wendy Wan-Long Shang, a middle-grade author whose previous works include The Great Wall of Lucy Wu and The Way Home Looks Now, among others.
“What I really hope is that there is some part of Corinne’s story that makes readers feel seen, whether it’s because they are Asian American, or they love skiing, or because they’re part of a blended family,” she said in an interview for American Girl.
You can explore the Corinne Tan collection here.
[h/t The New York Times]