Lift your voice in the fight for fairness and freedom: Melody’s story
Standing up for justice
When No Ordinary Sound starts, Melody discovers her sister can’t even interview for a bank job because of her skin color. That sets Melody on a path toward seeking justice—from closing her savings account at the bank in protest to joining a march for freedom. But it’s only after a tragedy that Melody finds the voice to really sing out.
Working in unison
Never Stop Singing picks up with Melody rising to a challenge by making a difference in her own neighborhood. After she helps lift her community’s spirits, she lifts her voice once again, stepping into the spotlight as a backup singer in her brother’s band.
Guidance for girls today
With all the bravery in her heart, Melody confronts the challenges in her life and teaches girls to do the same, as both a leader and a partner:
Courage in the face of conflict. After a church bombing in Alabama, Melody must summon all her strength to perform a tribute in front of her own congregation.
Building harmony. Melody realizes that uniting voices is important for more than just singing, so she marches with others to demand equality and justice throughout the country.
Growing community. When her pastor asks how everyone can do more, Melody leads the charge to fix up a neighborhood playground and plant a garden.
“I commend American Girl for telling the very American story of Melody. The richness of her story truly depicts the complexity of the time. This story will help all young people better understand what occurred as well as provide a window into the culture of African Americans. It will also encourage young people to recognize they are never too young to get involved and make a difference.”
— Terri Lee Freeman, President, National Civil Rights Museum
Authentic from the start
To bring a story as robust as Melody’s to the page, we convened a distinguished advisory board of activists, scholars, and historians, including the late Julian Bond, a key leader in the civil rights movement.
Plus, special access to the Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History in Detroit offered insights into Melody’s time and place like nowhere else could. As the world’s largest institution dedicated to the African American experience, the museum houses more than 35,000 artifacts and archival material!
Working closely with the board and culling through reams of research, author Denise Lewis Patrick, who grew up during the 1960s, ensured Melody’s narrative was accurate both historically and culturally. The combination of professional knowledge and personal stories gives Melody’s world the detail and emotion to create an unforgettable character every girl can empathize with and understand.
Putting it all into play
Explore more of Melody’s world
Meet more historical characters