The Meet Book is a fandom term that refers to the initial book or books that come bundled with a character doll at purchase.
Meet books for Historical Characters were originally titled Meet [Name]: An American Girl. The book came with the doll at purchase and generally establish the setting, character, historical era for Historical Characters, and background of the character which is expanded on in later books. In the Looking Back section, the topic of discussion is always America at the time of the series, and details about the pressing details that will serve as a theme through the series--for example, Meet Kit discusses the lead up to the Great Depression, while Meet Caroline discusses the lead up to the War of 1812. This helps place historical context for the stories and characters. While Cécile Rey and Marie-Grace Gardner share a series, they are both given meet books; Cécile's discusses the lives of free blacks in New Orleans while Marie-Grace's discusses New Orleans specifically.
With Best Friend Characters, the books are still considered meet books although the titles are unique; their books serve to show a unique angle for the character not detailed in the main Historical Character's central series.
With the launch of BeForever, the Central Series were rebundled into two volumes and the current historical dolls come with Volume 1 of their Classic Series, which includes the full text of the original stand-alone book.
There were several sets that included all the released Historical Characters' meet books together; this was discontinued with Kaya's release.
In the early years of the American Girl of Today, dolls came with a six book set that mimicked the Central Series, and came with writing guides that were intended to prompt the purchaser to create a central series of their own. These were later discontinued.
With the Girls of the Year, the meet book is only titled with the character's name. The Meet book establishes the location and characterization in a modern location, as well as issues faced by the character and, if applicable, locations traveled to. Initially characters only had one book available to tell the entire story for a character. Starting with Nicki Fleming, characters had multiple books; the first book still establishes setting and character.
When a character is retired or archived, her books are generally left available for separate purchase for some time. Retired meet books include older Girls of the Year books and most historical character books prior to the BeForever relaunch.
Because the first books for the Historical Characters were titled Meet ____, this became the fandom term for several items. The initial outfit a character wears is labeled the meet outfit and the initial accessories are referred as meet accessories;the outfit shown on the cover matches what the character doll is (or was) dressed in at purchase. When Felicity's meet outfit was changed from the Rose Garden Gown to the Traveling Gown, her book covers were changed.
- Ruthie Smithens is wearing a coat over her meet outfit.
- Molly McIntire wore her meet outfit on the cover of the books until the 2004 cover revamp. The latest cover showed her Halloween Costume.
- Emily Bennett is wearing her recital outfit on the cover.
- Ivy Ling is wearing her New Year outfit.
- Kailey Hopkins is wearing her wetsuit.
List of Meet Books
- Kaya: Meet Kaya: An American Girl, The Journey Begins
- Felicity Merriman: Meet Felicity: An American Girl, Love and Loyalty
- Caroline Abbott: Meet Caroline: An American Girl, Captain of the Ship
- Josefina Montoya: Meet Josefina: An American Girl, Sunlight and Shadows
- Cécile Rey: Meet Cécile: An American Girl
- Marie-Grace Gardner: Meet Marie-Grace: An American Girl
- Kirsten Larson: Meet Kirsten: An American Girl
- Addy Walker: Meet Addy: An American Girl, Finding Freedom
- Samantha Parkington: Meet Samantha: An American Girl, Manners and Mischief
- Rebecca Rubin: Meet Rebecca: An American Girl, The Sound of Applause
- Kit Kittredge: Meet Kit: An American Girl, Read All About It!
- Molly McIntire: Meet Molly: An American Girl
- Maryellen Larkin: The One and Only
- Melody Ellison: No Ordinary Sound
- Julie Albright: Meet Julie: An American Girl, The Big Break
- Lindsey Bergman: Lindsey
- Kailey Hopkins: Kailey
- Marisol Luna: Marisol
- Jess McConnell: Jess
- Nicki Fleming: Nicki
- Mia St. Clair: Mia
- Chrissa Maxwell: Chrissa
- Lanie Holland: Lanie
- Kanani Akina: Aloha, Kanani
- McKenna Brooks: McKenna
- Saige Copeland: Saige
- Isabelle Palmer: Isabelle
- Grace Thomas: Grace
- Lea Clark: Lea Dives In
- Gabriela McBride: Gabriela