Learn about believing in
yourself, encouraging others,
and respecting differences
among people through the
stories of McKenna Brooks,
Girl of the Year 2012.
Copyright © 2012 by American Girl. All rights reserved. All American Girl marks and McKenna™ are trademarks of American Girl.
McKenna: Girl of the Year 2012
American Girl is pleased to introduce you and your students to McKenna, the 2012 Girl of the Year. McKenna
Brooks is an energetic girl living in Seattle, Washington. McKenna has always excelled at school and in gymnastics,
but now that she’s entering fourth grade, school suddenly feels difficult to her. When her teacher suggests she get
a reading tutor, McKenna is horrified—until she gets to know her tutor, Josie, who is super confident and who also
happens to be in a wheelchair. Josie helps McKenna realize that what might seem like a giant roadblock is really
just a series of small obstacles that can be overcome one by one, day by day.
Many of the techniques McKenna learned to improve her reading comprehension can be applied to
facing any kind of challenge. The activities in this learning guide teach the following language arts skills:
The learning guide has also been designed to support the themes introduced in McKenna’s stories:
Focusing on strengths rather than weaknesses
Believing in yourself and your potential
Encouraging others to believe in themselves
Respecting and appreciating differences in people
Through the following activities, students have an opportunity to discuss these themes in class discussions and
small groups. In addition, students can personally reflect on the themes through independent work and journaling.
Even though the learning guide has been developed with the hope that each student in your class will read
McKenna’s stories, it also includes relevant excerpts from the books in...