Girl of the Year 2020: Joss Review (American Girl)

Girl of the Year 2020: Joss
What It Is

Surf's up for the American Girl 2020 Girl of the Year Joss Kendrick. Joss is a California surfer girl who also likes cheerleading. Oh yeah, and she's the first American Girl doll with hearing loss. Joss was born deaf in one ear but can hear a little with her right ear when she wears her hearing aid. Kids can immerse themselves in Joss's world through a doll, books, and lots of accessories.

The 18-inch Joss doll wears the right side of her brown hair pulled back in a little twist, all the better to see the hearing aid accessory, which is removable. The doll actually comes with two hearing aids (in case Joss loses one), a case for both, and a brush to clean out the sand. The doll wears a pink swimsuit with geometric print underneath denim shorts and a zip-up hoodie with working zipper and foil-print waves on the front and sleeves. On her feet, she wears pink sandals. The doll also comes with a spare change of underwear. Read all about Joss in the paperback book Joss, which comes with the doll.

The second book in the series, Joss: Touch the Sky, is also available to purchase separately.

Bring Joss's world to life with accessory packs, including Joss's Surf Board Set. The brightly colored surfboard features an ankle leash and foot straps. And the surfboard has the signature of Tina Hart, Joss's surfing icon, written on it. The accessory set includes a pretend action camera that can be attached to the front of the surfboard, and there is pretend roll-on sunscreen and a bar of surf wax. Joss can dry off with the wave-patterned beach towel.

To make a day on the surf complete, Joss can wear her Surf & Swim Set, complete with a two-piece swimsuit, wetsuit jacket, and sandals. And to go along for the surf ride, there's Joss's Bulldog with Life Vest. The cute plush has brown-and-white fur and wears a removable life jacket.

For Joss's other hobby, cheerleading, the doll can wear Joss's Cheer Competition Outfit, which includes a pink-and-white cheer dress and cheer shorts, a pink hair bow, and white competition shoes with the Nfinity logo on the side. Joss will be ready for any "cheer"-mergency by keeping her things in the Nfinity Cheer Backpack Set. The sparkly pink backpack features the Nfinity logo and comes with a pretend makeup kit, a blue cheer bow, a pair of socks, a comb, a set of hairbands, a set of bobby pins, and a pretend hairstyling tool with attachments.

And when Joss has some downtime from her busy surfing and cheering schedule, the Joss's Accessories set has everything she needs to just hang out with friends: a pair of sunglasses, three pretend dollar bills, an ID card, a pretend cell phone with phone case, a notebook, a key and chain, a woven bracelet, and a beaded bracelet. It all fits in the striped woven purse.

Is It Fun?

We think it's great that this Girl of the Year doll helps to promote education and advocacy of people with hearing loss. One in five teens experiences some degree of hearing loss, and three in 1,000 children in the United States are born with a detectable level of hearing loss. Seeing a doll with a hearing aid who is also an athlete is really empowering for young girls with hearing loss, giving them a doll that looks like them and shows them that, with hard work and passion, they can pursue their dreams. The variety of accessory sets for the doll are, as always with American Girl, so cool and really great for inspiring imaginative play with the doll.

Who It’s For

The Girl of the Year doll and accessories are for ages 8 and up.

What To Be Aware Of

Do not place the doll in water.

Additional accessories are sold separately.

Shop Joss 2020 Girl of the Year Now at!

  • Fun

  • Repeat Play

  • Assembly & Instructions

    None or Very Easy