Finding balance with An American Girl Story – Ivy and Julie


This is a sponsored post by KidVuz for Amazon Studios. All opinions are my own.

Finding balance is hard for adults. So, just imagine how hard it is for kids. Not only do they have to figure out what is important for them and their family, but they also have to figure out how they can do all of the things they want to do. Choices are hard, especially when faced with deciding between things we both want and the ones we feel obligated to from our family.

american girl ivy and julie on amazon

A great way to help with starting a conversation with it with your kids is them seeing it through somebody else. We got to watch a sneak peak of Amazon Original Special An American Girl Story – Ivy & Julie 1976: A Happy Balance, which is set to launch on Prime Video on Friday, March 24. It allowed us to have a conversation about family and balance.

My daughter immediately recognized Nina Lu, from BUNK’d as Ivy Ling, a 10-year-old Chinese-American girl in 1976 San Francisco who struggles with finding a balance between her two cultural identities: Chinese and American. She is torn between her family’s wishes for her to study and learn about her Chinese culture, and her American lifestyle and friends from gymnastics and her neighborhood. When her gymnastics all-city tournament lands on the same day her parents are hosting a big Chinese New Year dinner, Ivy is torn between competing with her team and honoring her family obligations after not realizing they were on the same date.

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While Ivy is working through her own difficult choice (her parents ask her to decide which event she’d like to attend), she confides her struggle to her best friend, Julie Albright, who is dealing with her own emotional turmoil since her parents’ divorce (and taking it pretty well, I would say). Ivy’s family makes efforts to make Julie feel very welcome as well as her family in their day-to-day activities as well as their family holiday celebrations.

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Ultimately, a discussion Ivy has with her mom Julie helps her realize that her difficult choice will best be made by being true to herself just like her mother has in pursuing a law degree. In fact, as her parents leave her decision to up to her instead of telling her what to do, they are proud of what she picks.

As parents, we can also relate to Ivy’s mother’s struggles as she attempts (and sometimes fails) to have it all together while raising her children, being a wife and also getting her career back on track (which means, they eat a lot of take-out from their family’s Chinese restaurant!)

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In the end, she is able to make both things work and doesn’t let herself, her family or her gymnastics team down.

An American Girl Story – Ivy & Julie 1976: A Happy Balance also stars Gwendoline Yeo (American Crime) and Lance Lim (School of Rock) It will be available for Prime members to stream and enjoy using the Amazon Prime Video app for TVs, connected devices including Amazon Fire TV, and mobile devices, or online at Amazon Originals, at no additional cost to their membership. Customers who are not already a Prime member can sign up for a free trial at  


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  1. There was an Elena of Avalor episode that danced around these themes: obligation, promises, family! All important to pay attention to!

    1. I haven’t watched that show yet. We need to check it out. We can use all of the lessons on these topics.

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