American Girl Wiki

"Kirsten" redirects here. For the doll, see Kirsten Larson (doll).

Kirsten Larson is one of the first three Historical Characters, representing the middle 1800s Western European immigration/pioneer era. Kirsten was released in 1986 at the launch of Pleasant Company along with Samantha Parkington and Molly McIntire.

American Girl started sending out letters in fall 2009 stating that they would archive Kirsten Larson's entire collection; the doll and her collection would no longer be available for purchase online, at stores, or through catalogs with the exception of books and the mini doll. Official archiving was on January 1, 2010. With the 2014 launch of BeForever Kirsten's mini doll was archived.[1] Her books are still available for purchase on a limited basis, and she is part of the 35th Anniversary Special Edition Rerelease.

Personality and Character

Kirsten and her family are immigrants to the United States from Sweden; she was born in Ryd, Sweden. Her family, having heard from her father's brother Olav about the rich land in Minnesota and his request to have more help on the farm, travel to make a new life in America leaving their old lives behind. Welcome to Kristen's World clarifies that the King of Sweden (Charles XV at the time) had reduced farmland, leading to difficulties in growing enough food for each family.

Kirsten is a brave, hardworking character, given her new life in Minnesota and the work needed on the frontier. Initially, Kirsten does not feel like she will ever belong in America but after some time she starts to feel like she is American and not just an immigrant. She often is brave without thinking and sometimes foolish, making mistakes that are not easily repaired; she also feels burdened at times having to help Mama so much as a daughter; even after Britta is born, Kirsten must take on even more work such as cooking and cleaning while Mama rests from the labor and delivery. Her father says she has a strong will.

She is quite sensitive towards animals and children and makes friends easily. She is occasionally prone to daydreaming, and if something is not easy for her she struggles with it. She is easily frightened by unfamiliar things and can be nervous around new people. She hates being trapped inside small spaces and is a very active child. When Kirsten wants something, she becomes a bad listener and tends to pester others until she has achieved what she wants; this stubborn streak often gets her in trouble. Kirsten is helpful, caring and thoughtful about her family. She is responsible--as living on a homestead means many hands have to do various daily chores to help out--and often been expected to take on more responsibility as the oldest daughter. Kirsten loves to explore, and she especially loves to tell and keep secrets. Kirsten's favorite color is pink.[2] Her ninth birthday went without celebration as the family was immigrating to America at the time.

Kirsten doesn't really like going to school, and initially finds it hard to get along and learn, but she likes to try new things. She took interest in quilting, an American custom that which Swedish women weren't used to. She admires her mother, and wants to be as strong and brave as her mother when she is older.

American Girl characterizes her as "brave" and "steadfast." American Girl featured videos characterizes her as having a "Pioneering Spirit".

Family and Friends


Friends and Other Minor Characters


See: List of Kirsten's Books


The Kirsten doll.

Main article: Kirsten Larson (doll)


See: Kirsten's Collection


The Larsons as represented in a daguerreotype group portrait in Kirsten's original Central Series incarnation.

  • Kirsten's Central Series originally illustrated her family and friends in daguerreotype group portraits, in contrast to individual portraits for major characters seen in Samantha and Molly's books and as later Historical Characters were released. The daguerreotype style was retained during the first revision of the Central Series; they were later illustrated into individual portraits when the Central Series underwent their second revision prior to the launch of BeForever.
  • Kirsten is portrayed with bangs/fringe and has been since release; however, at the time, bangs were not fashionable for most girls or women with the prevailing style being center parted hair pulled back. Other girls and women shown in her series do not have bangs. The theory is that rather than change the wig design dramatically for newly designed dolls, she was given the same type of hair style as Samantha Parkington and Molly McIntire.
  • In the depreciated website game Kit's Money Matters, Kit Kittredge has a neighbor named Mrs. Larson. This is most likely a coincidental reference that has nothing to do with Kirsten.

See also


  1. An updated doll was re-released in 2016.
  2. Happy Birthday, Kirsten!
American Girl Historical Characters



Felicity Merriman ♦ ★


Caroline Abbott ♦ ★


Josefina Montoya


Cécile Rey
and Marie-Grace Gardner


Kirsten Larson


Addy Walker


Samantha Parkington


Rebecca Rubin


Claudie Wells


Kit Kittredge


Nanea Mitchell


Molly McIntire


Maryellen Larkin


Melody Ellison


Julie Albright


Courtney Moore

Archived / ♦ Part of the BeForever Collection