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 remained available for purchase on a limited basis, and she was part of the 35th Anniversary Special Edition Rerelease. In 2024, the Kirsten doll was rereleased.

Personality and Character[]

Kirsten and her family are immigrants to the United States from Sweden; she was born in Ryd, Sweden, a village so small she knew everyone there. 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, immigrate to make a new life in America. Welcome to Kristen's World clarifies that the King of Sweden (Charles XV at the time) had reduced farmland by dividing lands in half, leading to difficulties in growing enough food for each family and raising the risks of a bad harvest leading to starvation. Initially, Kirsten does not feel like she will ever belong in America. As she becomes more skilled in English and established as a citizen along with her family, she feels more like she is truly American rather than a foreign immigrant and Swedish girl far from home.

She often acts without thinking about the consequences of her actions and can be foolish and make mistakes that are not easily repaired. Kirsten is extremely curious and likes to explore, often exploring places and wanting to see everything around her, including those where she should not be (such as hiding in the coiled rope aboard the Eagle and attempting to explore the upper decks aboard the Redwing); Mama asks how she is able to hide on such a small ship. It is this desire to explore and investigate that not only leads to her getting lost in New York, but also meeting Singing Bird.

Kirsten is a hardworking character, given her new life in Minnesota and the work needed on the frontier. She feels burdened having to help Mama so much as a daughter; she has various chores (as living on a farming homestead means many hands have to do various daily chores to help out) and often is expected to take on much of the domestic responsibility with her Mama as the oldest daughter. After her little sister Britta is born, Kirsten takes on even more work such as cooking and cleaning while Mama recovers from the labor and delivery. She is quite sensitive towards animals and children and makes friends easily. She is prone to daydreaming, and if a task 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 or indoors and is a very active child.

When Kirsten wants to do or have something she's set her mind to she becomes a bad listener, bothersome, and pesters others until she has achieved what she wants. Her stubborn streak often gets her in trouble, and her father says she has a strong will. Kirsten is helpful, caring and thoughtful about her family. Kirsten 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; they left in March and arrived in June after her birthday.

Kirsten doesn't initially enjoy attending school due to her language barrier and being indoors. However, she is very intelligent even before she attends school, able to think enough to communicate without English in New York with a drawing of the Eagle to show where she wants to go. She likes to try new things and later takes interest in quilting, an American custom which Swedish women weren't used to (as their blankets were instead woven). She admires her mother, and wants to be as strong and brave as her when she is older. She finds saying goodbye to people whom she loves the hardest thing in the world to do.

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


KirstenCS family

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 later Historical Characters. 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. The rereleased meet book with the 35th Anniversary doll has the original style daguerreotypes.
  • 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 and no blunt bangs or fringe on the forehead. Other girls and women shown in her series do not have bangs. The theory is that rather than change the wig design dramatically for new 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.
  • Kirsten is currently the only one of the historical characters who has not received a BeForever or post-BeForever change (other than Kaya and Caroline, who received no makeovers), as she was retired and has not been fully released since. She is also the only character not to be rereleased outside of the 35th Anniversary release.

American Girl Doll Pleasant Company Birthday Outfit Collection.

American Girl has brought back Kirsten Josefina and Addy’s outfits . Kirsten’s birthday outfit is just like the original and is pink she has brown boots and a flower crown graces her head.

Kirsten’s outfit.

See Also[]


  1. An updated doll was 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


Nicki Hoffman
and Isabel Hoffman

Archived / ♦ Part of the BeForever Collection