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American Girls

August 8, 2010 | By Shari Roan, Los Angeles Times
Doctors and parents were stunned when research published more than a decade ago found American girls were beginning puberty at much younger ages, some as early as 7. A new study released Sunday suggests the average age at which puberty begins may still be falling for white and Latina girls. According to the paper, which appears in the journal Pediatrics, almost 25% of African American girls have reached a stage of breast development marking the onset of puberty by age 7, as had almost 15% of Latina girls and more than 10% of white girls.
May 22, 2010 | By Dennis McLellan, Los Angeles Times
Former New York Yankee first baseman Wally Pipp called Dorothy "Dottie" Kamenshek "the fanciest-fielding first baseman I've ever seen, man or woman." Spurred by the personal philosophy that "anything less than my best is failure," she was known to jump three or four feet in the air and to even do the splits to snag the ball at first base as a player for the All-American Girls Professional Baseball League. Kamenshek, who had dealt with various health issues since suffering a stroke nine years ago, died Monday at her home in Palm Desert, said Bridget Burden, a friend.
April 4, 2010 | By Susan Salter Reynolds
What Becomes Stories A.L. Kennedy Alfred A. Knopf: 208 pp., $24.95 Nothing shines light on the darkest corners of human existence like icy British irony. A man makes soup for his wife's dinner. He cuts himself and bleeds profusely. She comes home, hates him. He's an idiot. She throws a potted herb (thyme) at him. "Thyme was quite hardy," he thinks, "he thought it would weather the upset and come through fine in the end." Characters here bleed frequently, unaware that they are bleeding.
December 7, 2008
"Meet Kirsten: An American Girl" Janet Beeler Shaw A 9-year-old girl moves from Sweden to America on a boat with her family and friend. She has many adventures, both happy and sad, on her way to Minnesota. Kirsten gets lost and her friend Marta gets really sick. She learns a lot about family and staying together. Kirsten's Uncle Olav has a farm and the ground is really moist. Her family hopes to start a good life as farmers in the USA. Do they succeed?
August 29, 2008 | From Times Wire Reports
Police freed a 3-year-old U.S. girl kidnapped in Guatemala in a raid on the home where she was being held, killing three men and two women in a gun battle, authorities said. The girl was not harmed in the shootout, which police said occurred after they traced her abductors to the house on the outskirts of Guatemala City. The U.S. Embassy could not immediately confirm the girl's name or hometown. She was kidnapped Wednesday while she was being taken to child care, said Jorge Luis Donaldo, the country's organized crime prosecutor.
June 20, 2008 | Jason Chow, Special to The Times
TORONTO -- Inside a converted warehouse in a desolate area just east of downtown, Abigail Breslin sits patiently with her mother, waiting for the film cameras to set their positions for the next take. The young actress, like the rest of the cast, sticks out here because of her Depression-era costumes. In fact, with her chin-length hair and a 1930s-style blue dress, white socks and shoes, she is so carefully put together that she almost resembles an antique figurine.
June 20, 2008 | Michael Ordona, Special to The Times
Usually when a movie springs from a line of toys, it's bone-chilling news for the parents who'll be dragged along for an afternoon of brain death -- "Bratz," anyone? "Kit Kittredge: An American Girl," however, while sprouting from high-rent dolls and a popular book series under the American Girl banner, doesn't feel like a mere marketing ploy. It appeals to kids while evoking genuine emotion without excessive sentimentality.
May 4, 2008
The Babysitters A Midwestern honors student working as a babysitter becomes a high-school madam, arranging dates between her girlfriends and neighborhood family men. With John Leguizamo, Katherine Waterston, Cynthia Nixon. Written and directed by David Ross. Peace Arch Entertainment Before the Rains An English spice baron settles in South India during the waning years of the Raj. With Linus Roache, Jennifer Ehle. Directed by Santosh Sivan. Written by Cathy Rabin; based on the film "Red Roofs," by Dan Verete.
February 26, 2008 | Lynne Heffley
Live entertainment will end at American Girl Place stores this year, due to a slowing trend in ticket sales and a desire to "evolve and try something new," said Julie Parks, American Girl spokeswoman. The in-store theaters, featuring professionally staged musicals based on American Girl's history-themed books and dolls, will close April 13 in L.A.'s At the Grove location and Sept. 1 in Chicago and New York. New, interactive "experiential retail offerings" will replace the live shows, Parks said.
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