Petition update

We're publishing a book, and need YOUR help!

Melissa & Eva Shang
Paoli, PA, PA, United States

Jan 18, 2015 — Hello to all supporters,

Thank you so much for signing our petition for American Girl to release a Girl of the Year with a disability. Despite almost 150,000 signatures and news coverage from Oprah Magazine to Buzzfeed to the International Business Times, and pressure from major disability organizations like the Muscular Dystrophy Association, American Girl has yet to promise a Girl of the Year with a disability.

But the stories of girls with disabilities cannot wait to be told.

Instead, with my sister, I will be writing my own book, based on my own experiences at school navigating middle school, popular girls, Abercrombie jeans, and a sometimes-grumpy-mostly-cool older sister.

Centering around a sixth-grader named Mia Lee, with muscular dystrophy, the book will explore Mia's plan to befriend the popular girls in school, and the resulting drama with her aide, her best friend, and even her older sister. Can Mia survive middle school with a wheelchair, and find a way to be cool?

We’ve started a Kickstarter in the hopes of self-publishing, but if we receive funding beyond what we need or if the book gets published by a real publishing company, we’ve promised to donate the proceeds to MDA summer camps. The Kickstarter can be found here:

For once, I wanted the girl with a disability to not be the sibling or the tutor or the best friend, but the main character. I wanted to show that girls with disabilities have the same hopes and dreams as other girls. And with your support, my sister and I will be able to write and publish the book ourselves.

Thank you for your support of our petition, and for the dreams of girls with disabilities. We'll keep you all updated on our progress.

Melissa Shang

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