Children's book author accused of encouraging use of puberty blockers

‘This book helps kids learn to love themselves’: Author of ‘disgusting’ American Girl Doll book that encourages puberty blockers made astonishing claim, boasted of educating kids about ‘climate crisis’ and turning them into ‘activists’

  • Toy brand American Girl Dolls is still under fire after the publication of a book encouraging children to use puberty blockers without their parents’ knowledge
  • The book, A Smart Girl’s Guide: Body Image, was penned by the company’s resident writer, Mel Hammond
  • Previously, Hammond wrote about book for kids about climate change that she said was designed to turn children into ‘activists’ 
  • Hammond has described her latest opus as being designed to ‘help kids to love themselves’

The author of a book that teaches pre-teen girls to use puberty blockers without their parents knowledge described her work as helping ‘kids to learn to love themselves.’ 

The controversial book, A Smart Girl’s Guide: Body Image, was penned by Wisconsin-based writer Mel Hammond, who is a staffed employee of the self-help guide’s publisher, American Girl Dolls. 

The book contains advice about how to change gender – without their parents’ blessing and attempts to teach pre-teen girls ‘to live comfortably in their own skin.’

A passage in the book – marketed to girls aged between three and 12 advises: ‘If you haven’t gone through puberty yet, the doctor might offer medicine to delay your body’s changes, giving you more time to think about your gender identity.’

It also provides a list of resources for organizations the children can turn to ‘if you don’t have an adult you trust’.

Mel Hammond, pictured here promoting her previous work, is the author of the controversial new book published by the American Girl Doll brand, Body Image

Prior to releasing this book, her previous work for American Girl was an activist book Love the Earth. That work was described as being ‘for girls who care about the earth to help them understand climate change, speak up for solutions, and live an earth-friendly life.’  

According to her LinkedIn page, Hammond has worked for American Girl since 2019. During that time, she has written five advice and activity books for children for the brand including Pets and Love the Earth. 

Hammond, a Kansas State University graduate, also pens articles for the American Girl website. Since 2017, Hammond has been a volunteer with the Big Brothers and Big Sisters of America. 

Her controversial opus was released on November 1. Hammond wrote of the book on Instagram saying: ‘This book helps kids learn to love themselves, appreciate the amazing things their bodies can do, and treat all types of bodies with respect.’

She went on: ‘It’s a book I would’ve loved to read as a kid!’

According to her LinkedIn page, Hammond has worked for American Girl since 2019. During that time, she has written five advice and activity books for children for the brand including Pets and Love the Earth

Hammond joked that the book was released while she was getting married to HIV research scientist Edward Evans, pictured here. On her Instagram profile, Hammond lists her favorite color as the rainbow pride symbol

The book’s publication was first announced in February this year. Mattel did not promote the book on its official Instagram page

Hammond joked that the book was released while she was getting married to HIV research scientist Edward Evans. On her Instagram profile, Hammond lists her favorite color as the rainbow pride symbol. 

While over on her official website, Hammond writes: ‘My favorite things are trees, rainbows, and dairy-free ice cream.’

The writer describes working for American Girl as ‘pretty much the best job in the world.’ 

She adds: ‘Before working here, I had less-fun jobs, like writing instructions for operating room software and selling sweet tea next to a carnival game that played “Love Shack” on repeat.’

Hammond says that her job now consists of reading, writing and editing children’s books.

She jokes: ‘Last year for my birthday, my coworkers bought me a two-pound tub of rainbow marshmallows, which I named Marsh. It doesn’t get much better than that.’ 

Speaking about American Doll in an interview with a fan site dedicated to the toys, Hammond said: ‘I never had an American Girl doll of my own, but I knew from a young age how special they were.’

Prior to the writing of Body Image, Hammond said that she would like her next book to be ‘about outdoor adventure, like camping and hiking. Or an ice cream recipe book…as long as I get to taste test!’ 

Hammond married her husband in August in Madison, Wisconsin. For wedding gifts, the couple was looking for guests to donate to their luxury getaway to the Greek islands or to chip in and help the couple to buy a Ninja Air Fryer worth nearly $200. 

One section of the book encourages pre-teen children to seek out puberty blockers without the knowledge of the parents 

A press release that promoted the book read in part: ‘Every girl needs to learn to live comfortably in her own skin, and this book will show the way!’

The book also provides a list of resources for organizations the children can turn to ‘if you don’t have an adult you trust’

Following the release of the book, American Girl Doll’s official Facebook page has now been beset with negative comments. One person wrote: ‘You book is disgusting. It is child abuse.’ The iconic doll brand and parent company, Mattel, have failed to respond to multiple requests for comment.

Another person wrote: ‘No longer a customer! American Girl is promoting this woke gender ideology!’

While another said: ‘Sounds like American Girl Doll company should focus less on trying to push the agenda of puberty blockers to 3-14 year olds!!!!’

One review on Amazon read: ‘A book that encourages children to take puberty blockers (known to cause infertility and increase risk of cancer) if they don’t feel right in their own skin. AND gives them resources to do so behind their parents back? Is not okay. These kids hear about It enough in this world, there’s no reason to put It in a children’s book.’

Another negative review read: ‘A doctor does not assign your sex at birth. That is created long before you exit the birth canal. And telling girls it’s okay to use puberty blockers and to give them resources if their parents don’t approve? SICK!! This book should teach girls to be happy in your own GIRL body and how to accept that and be proud to be a girl.’

There are currently overwhelmingly more negative reviews of the book on the American Girl’s website.

The only positive review, which reads: ‘I love how they included gender intersectionality and very diversity. Beautiful written,’ was published nine months before the book was released.

The book’s publication was first announced in February this year. Mattel did not promote the book on its official Instagram page.

A press release read: ‘Every girl needs to learn to live comfortably in her own skin, and this book will show the way!’

‘In these pages, a girl will find everything she needs to know about loving her unique self, staying confident through her body’s many changes, and appreciating her body for the life it lets her live,’ the statement continued.

It concluded: ‘Full of activities, tips, crafts, and real-girl stories, this book is a feel-good reminder that all bodies are worthy of love and respect.

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