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‘An American Girl Story: Summer Camp, Friends For Life’ Is The Latest Installment Of This Special Franchise

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An American Girl Story: Summer Camp Friends For Life

My kid and I watched the latest American Girl movie, An American Girl Story: Summer Camp, Friends For Life (streaming now on Amazon) the night before she left home for robot camp. Perfect timing. Summer Camp, Friends for Life is about girls spending a week in the woods tinkering with STEAM (science, engineering, technology, art, math). Z and Paz, best friends who arrive at camp expecting a tech paradise, are shocked and dismayed when the camp director confiscates their electronics and encourages them to explore the great outdoors. Then they meet a girl named Jordan who claims to be a counselor, and their summer gets a lot more interesting…

In terms of character development and dialogue, this doesn’t quite match Melody 1963: Love Has to Win or Ivy & Julie 1976: A Happy Balance, and the themes explored here are a bit lighter. But there’s still the same commitment to diversity and girl power that makes this franchise special. With Jordan’s help, Z and Paz learn that there’s more to engineering and technology than utilizing digital devices. They also learn to recognize when another girl, Drew, is looking for a friend. This is a celebration of creativity and kindness that manages to get its message across gently and with humor.

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I asked my daughter, who is ten, what she thought of Summer Camp, Friends for Life, and then I made her repeat herself so that I could write down exactly what she had to say: “I liked it, because usually shows and movies about girls are about social problems, like girls being mean to each other, or girls having crushes who don’t like them back. But this wasn’t about any of that. It was about girls working together to solve a mystery, and it shows that girls like tech, too.”

Viewers who, like my daughter, enjoy the emphasis on STEAM might also want to check out Annedroids, and both Just Add Magic and The Kicks offer girl-centric entertainment that focuses on friendship and teamwork.

Jessica Jernigan is a writer, editor, and mom-about-town in a mid-sized Midwestern city. You can find her professional website here, but Instagram is where the cat photos are.

Watch An American Girl Story: Summer Camp, Friends For Life on Amazon Prime Video

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