Addy Walker is a proud, courageous girl growing up in 1864, during the midst of the Civil War. Addy's stories tell of her daring escape with her mother from slavery, and the challenges they face afterward as they try to reunite their family. But Addy's stories are about much more than hardship. They are full of the love and hope that help her get through the worst of times and keep her dreams alive!
Addy and her mother make a terrifying journey north, holding fast to their dream that the war will end and their family will one day be together again in freedom.
"Gr. 3-5. The first American Girls books with a heroine from a minority group, these feature Addy, a nine-year-old slave on a tobacco plantation in 1864. The plot of Meet Addy moves quickly. In the first chapter, readers are introduced to the plucky girl and her family and learn that her father is secretly planning to lead them north. By the next chapter, her brother and father have been sold and taken away. Soon Addy learns that her mother has planned their flight to freedom. They escape one night, outwit some soldiers, and make their way to a nearby station of the Underground Railroad. There Miss Caroline outfits Addy in a pretty pink dress and a straw bonnet (surely a relief to the costume designer for the upscale American Girls dolls), hides the runaways under some sacks in the back of her wagon, and starts driving them to the coast, where, she promises, a boat will take them to Philadelphia and freedom. The end. Addy's trip on the Underground Railroad seems awfully short and sweet; but life in Philadelphia, described in Lesson, has a greater sense of everyday reality. In this volume, Addy starts school and finds that some of her classmates look down on her. Meanwhile, she helps her hardworking mother learn to read and makes one good friend. As American Girls readers will expect, the last few pages in each book provide background information about American history and social conditions at the time of the stories and are illustrated with photographs and engravings. Distilling the history of slavery and the Civil War into a few easily digested paragraphs is no mean feat. Though the occasional broad generalization seems simplistic or misleading, the overall picture rings true. Illustrated with appealing color paintings ranging from dramatic full-page pictures to small vignettes, these books promise to be popular with the series' many fans. ~--Carolyn Phelan"
From Booklist, Copyright (c) American Library Association. Used with permission.
Publisher's Weekly Review:
"Addy Walker, the newest character in the American Girls Collection of dolls, accessories and books, stars in these bright historical novels. In the first, the nine-year-old girl, a slave on a North Carolina plantation during the Civil War, overhears her parents whispering about the possibility of running away. But after Addy's father and older brother are sold to another master, mother and daughter make the break alone. In a heart-rending scene, the two leave Addy's young sister, Esther, in the care of fellow slaves and begin their harrowing journey on foot to a ``safe house.'' From there they are transported by abolitionists to a ship that takes them to Philadelphia--and freedom. The second novel, lacking the dramatic tension of its predecessor but equally poignant, recounts Addy's adjustment to living free in an unfamiliar urban environment. Porter's easily flowing narrative follows Addy as she attends school for the first time and learns about the true meaning of friendship. As in the previous American Girls novels, these two neatly balance fiction and fact, the latter quality reinforced by the concise historical notes, entitled ``A Peek into the Past,'' which conclude each volume. Rosales's emotion-charged illustrations effectively convey Addy's affability and pluck. A third installment, Addy's Surprise , is also due in September. Ages 7-up. (Sept.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved"
(c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved