When I was in college one of the families that I babysat for asked me to go along with them to babysit the baby while they went to the huge annual American Girl sale with their two daughters. I looked at a catalog then. They ended up not being able to go so I didn't go.
Since I have boys I haven't paid any attention to American Girl dolls since then. Yesterday we received a catalog-I don't know why we were on that mailing list. I noticed they are discontinuing Felicity (1774) and they have a new doll called Julie (1974). I have a problem with Julie for several reasons. A doll that is younger than ME is not a historical doll. Julie is from San Francisco. Her parents' divorce and a move to a new school change her life. She discovers the best way to cope with change is to make a few changes of your own. I wouldn't want my daughter to read a set of books set in the 1970's when she could be reading books set in other historical time periods. Just looking at her "moral" in the catalog makes me want to discourage my daughter from reading books about Julie.
I have always liked Molly (1944) and at least they aren't discontinuing her yet. Molly is set in WWII where families supported the war effort by growing victory gardens. Her dad goes off to war. She discovers doing your part isn't always easy but it's the right thing to do. I would much rather have my daughter read a set of books about Molly or Felicity or Rebecca (1914) or Kit (1934) and learn some history while reading instead of read the history of the 1970s. Molly's "moral" in the catalog is much better than Julie's moral.
I don't have any girls so I don't have to deal with this. If we ever have a girl I wouldn't be surprised if they discontinued Molly by that time and have a doll from the 1980's.