American Girls

American Girls
The series you loved, book by book. Join Allison Horrocks and Mary Mahoney as they explore the wild world of American Girl fandom. In each episode, Allison and Mary will dive into an American Girl book from their (and perhaps your) childhood. Using their knowledge as professional historians and finely tuned instincts as amateur pop culture critics, they’ll take you back to a very different time—the 1990s.

She’s on a Boat: Meet Kirsten
Oct 14 • 66 min
In this episode, we talk about the misadventures of not one, but three American girls who have found themselves in the Big Apple. After briefly recounting their experience at the American Girl Store in New York, NY, Mary and Allison launch into Kirsten’s…
Josefina’s Journeys II: The Care & Keeping of Grief
Sep 30 • 60 min
On this very special episode, Allison and Mary talk with Allison Marek, a psychotherapist specializing in working with people with eating disorders, depression, anxiety, and trauma. After we Meet Allison, she teaches us about the enneagram and shares her…
Josefina Journeys Part 1
Sep 16 • 65 min
In this episode, the hosts examine fan fiction about Josefina Montoya. After quickly realizing that there was a comparative dearth of material about Josefina and the Montoyas, Allison and Mary got to work and commissioned their listeners. As we are now…
Winter of their Discontent: (Nothing) Changes for Josefina
Sep 2 • 73 min
In the last book in the Josefina canon, we find that it is not just comedies that end in weddings—sometimes tragedies do too. To bring the Montoyas’ story to a close, author Valerie Tripp arranges a marriage between Papa and Tia Dolores, who will now take…
Do You Know the Way to Santa Fe?
Aug 19 • 72 min
In Josefina Saves the Day, the Americans have arrived and things get (el Camino) Real for the Montoyas and everyone’s favorite interloper, Tia Dolores. For this summer story, the family visits grandpa’s compound just outside of Santa Fe for a big trade…
Aug 5 • 56 min
Why do fools fall in love? Why is the earth round? What is the meaning of life? Does Mary have a seltzer preference? We answer some of these questions, and many more, in this very special episode. During this brief detour from Josefina’s summertime…
Cake, Rattle (snake), and Roll - Happy Birthday, Josefina!
Jul 22 • 68 min
Josefina: you know her, you love her, and at this point, you wish she could just catch a break. In book four, we find Josefina learning healing practices, both losing and then gaining a goat, and getting shortchanged on her first double -digit birthday.…
Christmas in July & Other Surprises for Josefina
Jul 8 • 66 min
Surprise! We are three books into the Josefina series and everyone in the Montoya household is still super sad. As Mary and Allison continue their exploration of Josefina’s colonial world, they find her Christmas story to be both deeply moving and riddled…
Josefina Learns a Lesson …or Did She?
Jun 24 • 67 min
In Episode 10, we explore Josefina Learns a Lesson, the second book in the Josefina series. One lesson we learn right away is never to judge a book by its (beautifully illustrated) cover. Though this book promises a school story, what it delivers is a…
Meet Josefina, Mourn for Selena
Jun 10 • 69 min
In episode nine, we turn our gaze to the American Southwest & the youthful, plucky Josefina Montoya. Our analysis of Josefina’s books begins with two powerful questions—first, given the place and time, is this the story of a colonial girl? Second, just…
Felicity Futures Part II- The Film
May 27 • 61 min
If we’ve said it once, we’ve said it at least a dozen times: if Felicity was good enough to launch Shailene Woodley’s career, it is more than enough for this podcast. In episode eight, we consider Woodley’s turn as a spunky colonial frenemy in Felicity:…
Felicity Futures Part I - Fan Fiction
May 13 • 50 min
Upon completing the six canon Felicity books, Mary and Allison turn to fan fiction. In addition to reading some fans’ stories that fall within the Valerie Tripp timeline, they investigate alternative narratives, including a Men in Black II crossover.…
You Say You Want a Revolution-Changes for Felicity
Apr 29 • 67 min
If times are a changin, why does so little happen in this book? During this final Felicity saga, friendships are tested, grandfathers and town frenemies fall ill, and a foal is born. While reflecting on this journey we’ve taken with Williamsburg’s fave…
Looking for a Hero: Felicity Saves the Day
Apr 15 • 61 min
In book five, it’s the summer of 1775 but the spirit of 1776 is heating up along with the temperatures in colonial Virginia. Mrs. Merriman is pregnant, Mr. Merriman is having financial troubles, and Felicity is her usual spirited self - so the family of…
Felicity, Sweet Birthday Babyyy
Mar 31 • 65 min
Typically the magazines we talk about are Us Weekly and People but in this episode, Mary and Allison get into the Williamsburg gunpowder plot of 1775. Book four features Felicity’s birthday and the knowledge that as she enters her double digit years,…
A Surprise Party in the (Not Yet) U.S.A.
Mar 17 • 64 min
There’s a governor’s ball and Felicity WILL dance (and cry along the way) if she wants to in Felicity’s Surprise. In unpacking this third installment, Mary and Allison discuss the extent to which the title character’s surprise is not just a new dress or…
Felicity Learns a Lesson—Will We?
Feb 28 • 61 min
Loose lips may sink ships, and in Felicity Learns a Lesson, we learn how loose tea and teeth can bring down an empire…or just a bratty imperialist. In this episode, Mary and Allison question Felicity’s bonafides as a friend, whether Ben Franklin was an…
Meet Felicity, Meet Us
Feb 28 • 54 min
In their very first episode, Mary and Allison talk about their origin story, attending American Girl Live! as thirty-somethings, and Valerie Tripp’s masterwork Meet Felicity. While exploring the world set out in the Felicity books (1770s colonial…
Feb 23 • 1 min
Join historians and friends Allison Horrocks and Mary Mahoney as they relive the American Girls series one book at a time. New episodes every other week. Debuts March 1st.