American Girl 2020 Girl of the Year
American Girl unveiled its 2020 Girl of the Year: Joss Kendrick — a fierce athlete born with hearing loss and a passion for surfing and competitive cheering.

In developing the doll and its story, American Girl worked closely with a team of experts specializing in surfing, competitive cheerleading, and hearing loss. Kendrick’s launch is accompanied by a collaboration with 17-year-old surfing prodigy Caroline Marks, who is making history as a member of the first-ever U.S. Women’s Olympic surfing team.

Joss is an 18-inch doll with long brown hair and brown eyes. She arrives wearing a swimsuit, a hoodie, and shorts, plus a removable hearing aid in her right ear.

Additional accessories and products in the line include a surfboard and swim gear, cheer outfits and equipment — including a cheer backpack, slides, and competition shoes in partnership with Nfinity — and her English bulldog, Murph the Surf Dog.

American Girl 2020 Girl of the Year

This spring will see the release of her Volkswagen Surf Bus, which features multiple play features and accessories in addition to working headlights, turn signals, windshield wipers, and radio, plus sounds for the horn and ignition.

American Girl 2020 Book Series

A two-book series from author Erin Falligant will explore Kendrick’s story as she grows up in Huntington Beach, California, also known as “Surf City U.S.A.”

“When the surf’s up, Joss loves to catch the waves any chance she can get. When she accepts her brother’s dare to try out for the competitive cheer team, Joss figures it’ll be easy. But instead of pom-poms and chants, Joss is surprised to see daring pyramids, flips, and jumps, and realizes the first rule of surfing — give respect to get respect — applies in the gym as well. By going all in with cheer, Joss reaches new heights and discovers a whole new side of herself.”

The doll, books, and related accessories go on sale on Jan. 1 exclusively at American Girl retail locations in the U.S., along with American Girl specialty boutiques in select Indigo and Chapters locations in Canada.

To coincide with the doll launch, American Girl contributed a $25,000 donation to the Hearing Loss Association of America (HLAA) in support of the organization’s education and awareness programs. Additionally, American Girl is supporting HLAA’s 2020 Walk4Hearing and will collect donations for HLAA at and at American Girl stores nationwide throughout 2020.