The 2016 American Girl of the Year Lives in Lafayette Square



No, you're not hallucinating: That is the Forest Park Jewel Box on the cover of the latest book about this year's American Girl of the Year. And the book is set here, too.

As it turns out, Lea Clark, the Wisconsin-based doll company's 2016 Girl of the Year, is actually a resident of Lafayette Square. Her mom is restoring a home in Old North (the RFT's pick for "Best Place to Live" in our most recent Best of St. Louis issue). Her dad is a prof at Wash. U. She eats at Ted Drewes and roots for the Cards.

Yeah, she's a fictional character, but still: She's one of us!

The latest book, Lea and Camila, is actually third in a series. But American Girl tells us that it's the first of the three books featuring Lea Clark to be set in her hometown — in the first two, the plot focuses on Lea's travels in Brazil. 

  • Courtesy of American Girl

And in this latest story, the Clarks aren't just St. Louis proud. They're more St. Louis than a guy in a Cardinals shirt rocking out to Sammy Hagar.

According to American Girl,

In the story, Lea welcomes her Brazilian friend Camila for a visit to her hometown during spring break. During Camila’s stay, the two take a photography class at the Center of Creative Arts and they visit several landmarks and exciting places to photograph, including the City Museum, the Missouri History Museum, the Gateway Arch, the Soulard Market, and the Jewel Box in Forest Park. They also enjoy Ted Drewes frozen custard and Camila goes to a Cardinals game with Lea’s friend, Abby.

Incidentally, American Girl didn't just Google "St. Louis highlights" and then plop Lea into the mix. Co-author Lisa Yee visited the city back in 2014 with her little mascot Peepy (kids' book authors, man) and positively raved about her visit.

Yee's blog post details her visit to the downtown St. Louis library, the City Museum and the Loop. She even made it to Levine Hat Manufacturing Co. — and, yep, had a Ted Drewes. Art imitates life!

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