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Addy Walker's family is planning a dangerous escape from slavery in the summer of 1864. But before they can make the escape, the worst happens--Master Stevens decides to sell some of his slaves, including Poppa and Addy's brother, Sam. Addy and Momma take the terrible risk of escaping by themselves, hoping that the family eventually will be together again in Philadelphia. S Addy Walker's family is planning a dangerous escape from slavery in the summer of 1864. But before they can make the escape, the worst happens--Master Stevens decides to sell some of his slaves, including Poppa and Addy's brother, Sam. Addy and Momma take the terrible risk of escaping by themselves, hoping that the family eventually will be together again in Philadelphia. Set during America's own struggle over slavery, the Civil War, Addy's story is one of great courage and love--love of family and love of freedom.


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Addy Walker's family is planning a dangerous escape from slavery in the summer of 1864. But before they can make the escape, the worst happens--Master Stevens decides to sell some of his slaves, including Poppa and Addy's brother, Sam. Addy and Momma take the terrible risk of escaping by themselves, hoping that the family eventually will be together again in Philadelphia. S Addy Walker's family is planning a dangerous escape from slavery in the summer of 1864. But before they can make the escape, the worst happens--Master Stevens decides to sell some of his slaves, including Poppa and Addy's brother, Sam. Addy and Momma take the terrible risk of escaping by themselves, hoping that the family eventually will be together again in Philadelphia. Set during America's own struggle over slavery, the Civil War, Addy's story is one of great courage and love--love of family and love of freedom.

30 review for Meet Addy: An American Girl

  1. 5 out of 5

    Ciara

    holy shit. this book was so much more intense than i expected it to be. i thought i had read it like ten years ago, when i decided to read a bunch of the american girl books i missed when i was a kid, but i guess i hadn't because i am pretty sure i would have remembered this! addy was the fifth addition to the american girl historical characters, & the first girl of color. growing up during the civil war, she & her family are slaves on a north carolina plantation. the book opens with addy waking holy shit. this book was so much more intense than i expected it to be. i thought i had read it like ten years ago, when i decided to read a bunch of the american girl books i missed when i was a kid, but i guess i hadn't because i am pretty sure i would have remembered this! addy was the fifth addition to the american girl historical characters, & the first girl of color. growing up during the civil war, she & her family are slaves on a north carolina plantation. the book opens with addy waking up in the middle of the night & overhearing her parents making plans for the family to run away to freedom. they have learned about a safe house about ten miles away, occupied by a white woman who helps slaves escape to the north. addy's parents are concerned that their master might separate the family by selling some of them. they want to get to freedom before that happens. unfortunately, the master decides to sell addy's father & her older brother, sam, the very next day. addy is serving her master & another slaveowner some lunch & overhears their plans. there is an unbelievably creepy scene in which the new slaveowner pats addy on the head & asks her master if he might be willing to sell her too. if this was the author's attempt to include the reality that female slaves were often raped & sexually exploited by their masters, it was very well done. subtle enough to give kids the creeps without letting on anything explicit, just direct enough for an educated adult to pick up on it. addy runs to the fields to try to warn sam & her father, but it's too late. they're already shackled & being taken away. addy gets whipped when she tries to say goodbye to her father. the next day, she is understandably out of it while she's working in the fields & misses some worms on the tobacco crops. the overseer forces her to eat them as punishment. not long after, addy's mother presents her with a disguise of boy's clothes. she has decided that she & addy are going to make a run for the safe house. unfortunately, because it's just the two of them, they have to leave one-year-old esther behind. the book ends with addy & her mother successfully reaching the safe house without being detected by anyone who would have returned them to slavery. i guess i knew that addy's character was that of an escaped slave, but i wasn't really prepared to read actual depictions of slavery in a children's book. not that i think it's bad or wrong to tell kids the truth about that kind of thing. it was just a little more detailed than i expected. i always forget how good the american girl books are at addressing difficult issues in a way that kids can understand, but without sugarcoating anything. the "looking back" portion of the book, which addresses the history of the time the story is set in, doesn't even try to claim that the civil war was all about slavery, which is an over-simplification that was always spoonfed to me & my classmates in school. the only weird thing about all this is that, of course, an addy doll is available for sale, along with her collection of dresses, furniture, & various accessories. all of the american girl historical characters have corollary dolls, & i don't really have an issue with them (save for the price, & the sometimes unrealistic proposition of an escaped slave character, say, having like twenty dresses to choose from). but didn't american girl stop to consider that the idea of selling a doll based on a former slave was perhaps a bit tone-deaf? hello?

  2. 4 out of 5

    Lstirl

    An engaging and realistic look at a Ages 8-12 I had very low expectations for this series based book. Generally branded or series characters are shallow and the plots unimaginative. However, this is not the case with Addy. I found Addy to be a very rich character and the plot, while not awe-inducing, was suspenseful, adventurous and creative. I felt really close to the courageous and bright Addy Walker as she and her mother leave the plantation in search of her father and brother, who had been sol An engaging and realistic look at a Ages 8-12 I had very low expectations for this series based book. Generally branded or series characters are shallow and the plots unimaginative. However, this is not the case with Addy. I found Addy to be a very rich character and the plot, while not awe-inducing, was suspenseful, adventurous and creative. I felt really close to the courageous and bright Addy Walker as she and her mother leave the plantation in search of her father and brother, who had been sold. This book introduces the horrors of slavery in an age-appropriate manner, allowing readers a glimpse, without it being too scary. It also managed to find the balance of being sad and then heartwarming, without moving into the sappy realm. I highly recommend this book to those wishing to learn about history as well as to those that just love a good adventure. There are enough historical details for education to take place, but the authors manage to not make that the focus of the tale.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Chloe (aka Crystal)

    I thought this was an interesting book. I mean, most American Girl books I have read were never realistic, to be honest. But this one. It made me want to cry. I hate how people were treated in that time in history, and it was so painful to read scenes. Just know that it's something worth reading (it's better than Meet Molly anyhow, and that says quite a bit since Molly was always my favorite)<3 I thought this was an interesting book. I mean, most American Girl books I have read were never realistic, to be honest. But this one. It made me want to cry. I hate how people were treated in that time in history, and it was so painful to read scenes. Just know that it's something worth reading (it's better than Meet Molly anyhow, and that says quite a bit since Molly was always my favorite)<3

  4. 4 out of 5

    Renata

    I read these all as a kid but reading it as an adult I was so struck by how well this walks the tightrope of depicting the horrors of slavery without being too graphic for children. Also I cried like 3 times at it. Anyway here's a podcast about it http://www.frowl.org/worstbestsellers... I read these all as a kid but reading it as an adult I was so struck by how well this walks the tightrope of depicting the horrors of slavery without being too graphic for children. Also I cried like 3 times at it. Anyway here's a podcast about it http://www.frowl.org/worstbestsellers...

  5. 5 out of 5

    Savannah

    This book was one of the most beautiful books I have ever read. I loved the American Girl series, but none of the books grabbed me as much as Addy. Her story was so heartbreaking and beautiful. I can't remember every bit of the story, but what really stood out to me was one line. One line that I can quote word for word, even years later, because it was so meaningful. One that I think gives this book the right to five stars. The line came from somewhere in the first couple of chapters, right afte This book was one of the most beautiful books I have ever read. I loved the American Girl series, but none of the books grabbed me as much as Addy. Her story was so heartbreaking and beautiful. I can't remember every bit of the story, but what really stood out to me was one line. One line that I can quote word for word, even years later, because it was so meaningful. One that I think gives this book the right to five stars. The line came from somewhere in the first couple of chapters, right after the slave master sold Addy's brother and father without allowing her to say goodbye. Later, Addy rushed to her mother sobbing and shouting how much she hated all the people who were overseeing her, the slave master, and pretty much every white person in the world. After a moment of silence, her mother said: "If you fill your heart with hate, there'll be no room for love." I found this beautiful. So much wisdom, so much to think about! That's why I really loved Addy: she wasn't a quitter. Considering she had what was probably the hardest life of all the American Girls, she was also the bravest and the least whiny. The biggest worry on her mind is the whereabouts and well being of her family. This is modern literature. This 8-12 year old book has a better story than most books I've read. Please: even if you are a teenager or an adult, read the story again.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Liz

    I grew up in the 90s and the American Girl Dolls were all the rage. I remember the first catalog we ever had and how cool all of the dresses and furntiture was--how they fit into the narrative of the dolls' stories. I can remember the exact spot in the local library where all the books were. And read all of them. I can't remember if that first catalog had Addy. She was released in 1993 and I got my first doll, Kirsten, for Christmas 1995. It's been years since I read this book--I'd forgotten that I grew up in the 90s and the American Girl Dolls were all the rage. I remember the first catalog we ever had and how cool all of the dresses and furntiture was--how they fit into the narrative of the dolls' stories. I can remember the exact spot in the local library where all the books were. And read all of them. I can't remember if that first catalog had Addy. She was released in 1993 and I got my first doll, Kirsten, for Christmas 1995. It's been years since I read this book--I'd forgotten that I had it. I'm not sure when or where I picked up this copy, but it is the only American Girl book I have that doesn't belong to one of the dolls I own. And I went into it knowing the basics of the story. Addy and her mother make a run for freedom after her father and brother are unexpectedly sold. But I had forgotten a couple things. SPOILERS--they have to leave her baby sister, Esther, behind. So here I am, a grown woman, bawling my eyes out over a children's book. Because I have neices now and I can't imagine ever leaving one of them anywhere they aren't safe. And there's more. For a book meant for ten-year-olds, the American Girl stories don't pull any punches. Addy has seen her brother whipped bloody, is forced to eat bugs as a punishment, is whipped herself. In their escape, her mother almost drowns, and Addy accidentally wanders into a Confederate campsite. At the end of the story, there is a "Peek into the Past," an 8-page overview of slavery and what life might've been for a girl like Addy in 1864. All of the American Girl books have these historical appendixes to give context to the stories that are being told. I wish I had the complete set of Addy's books. I've decided to collect all of the original dolls' stories, because after investigating the current American Girl website, it looks as though only the first two of Addy's books are still sold. Which is HUGE shame. The best part about the American Girl collection was the connection between the dolls and history. Without all the books, you don't get that. I blame it on the sale of the original Pleasant Company to Mattel in the late 90s. Some changes are great--the historical collection now includes a Motown doll--but others not so much. Some of the classic dolls were retired or "updated" and so much of the history aspect (the books!) has been abridged. All-in-all, I give “Meet Addy” five stars. It's a powerful book about real American history--that doesn't gloss over the subject just because the audience is children. If you can get your hands on the original set of 6 books, I would recommend it to any little girl, of any color, as a way to introduce them to American history. And if you have the means to buy a doll, I would recommend that too.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Marisa

    This book is every bit as sweet and endearing as I remember it being when I read it for the first time as a kid!

  8. 4 out of 5

    Amanda Lasen

    I probably don't have to describe Addy's story, as she is a classic American Girl, but I will go ahead and talk about her amazing story for any newcomers to AG. So, Addy is a slave living on a plantation in North Carolina. Her master sells her father and brother to another plantation, right before the whole family is supposed to escape to freedom. Addy and her Momma bravely decide to continue their escape into freedom without the men in the family and also sadly, heart-breakingly must decide to I probably don't have to describe Addy's story, as she is a classic American Girl, but I will go ahead and talk about her amazing story for any newcomers to AG. So, Addy is a slave living on a plantation in North Carolina. Her master sells her father and brother to another plantation, right before the whole family is supposed to escape to freedom. Addy and her Momma bravely decide to continue their escape into freedom without the men in the family and also sadly, heart-breakingly must decide to leave behind Addy's baby sister Esther. Sigh. That part is so sad, but Esther is left in the good hands of family relations on the plantation. This book... it just makes you feel so lucky. I couldn't imagine living during these times. How? How do these people even make it through the day? This is one of those special books that will definitely make the little girl in your life realize how lucky she is. People had it so hard. What we think of as hard is not even what Addy and her family would have considered hard. A bad day for Addy isn't her iPad being taken away from her for the day, a bad day for Addy is the slave master making her eat the tobacco worms she missed picking and/or her family being torn apart in all different directions. Addy and her family have no control of their lives. They literally have to steal that control away from the master. I highly recommend Meet Addy to anyone with a little girl in their life. My sister is seven and really enjoyed this one. She loved reading this one even more than the AG books about more pampered girls like Samantha. This book, like a lot of the AG books, really has heart. It's amazing. I truly enjoyed reading this one to my little sister. Chloe (my little sister)Says: "I think it's very fun. But the book... it was sad because they had to leave the baby. But, it was kind of happy because they made it to freedom. Please read the book! I think it was sad again, because she had to leave her father and brother, they had to go to this different place. But, at the end of slavery they'll see their own family again."

  9. 4 out of 5

    L-Crystal Wlodek

    This series chapter book is intended for girls who are 9-12 years old. This book is the first book in the Addy American Girl series and introduces the subjects of slavery, the underground railroad, and the Civil War. Addy, a nine-year-old girl and slave on a North Carolina plantation hears her parents who are also slaves talking about possibly running away in order to gain freedom. That possibility becomes reality after Addy's father and older brother are sold to another master. It is then that This series chapter book is intended for girls who are 9-12 years old. This book is the first book in the Addy American Girl series and introduces the subjects of slavery, the underground railroad, and the Civil War. Addy, a nine-year-old girl and slave on a North Carolina plantation hears her parents who are also slaves talking about possibly running away in order to gain freedom. That possibility becomes reality after Addy's father and older brother are sold to another master. It is then that Addy and her mother begin their journey to a “safe house” and from there are transported to a ship that takes them to Philadelphia and to freedom. This book is a realistic, engaging, and emotional book about slavery, the underground railroad, and the Civil War. Many young girls will be able to relate and empathizes with the strong characters and personalities throughout this book. This book is heart-wrenching as many of the characters are treated like animals and some are even forced to leave behind family in search of freedom. The illustrations, which are done in watercolor and the accompanying captions add to the book, as does the family tree and looking into the past sections of the book. As a classroom teacher, I may use this as a read aloud book and one of many resources when teaching about slavery and the Civil War.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Mitzi Moore

    I read this to my daughter when she was little, and today I read it to my niece, who "hates to read." By the end of the series, I hope to change her mind. I started with this one because I knew it would elicit lots of emotion. I read this to my daughter when she was little, and today I read it to my niece, who "hates to read." By the end of the series, I hope to change her mind. I started with this one because I knew it would elicit lots of emotion.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Natalie

    I was surprised at how crazy-intense this story actually was. Addy and her family are slaves. Addy overhears her parents talking one night about how they should run away, but before this plan can be enacted Addy's father and brother are sold. That's already emotionally heart wrenching, but they add into that a horrible whipping. Not to mention what the overseer does to Addy while she's checking for worms. That was so awful. I read all these books as a child but I'd mostly forgotten them by now. I was surprised at how crazy-intense this story actually was. Addy and her family are slaves. Addy overhears her parents talking one night about how they should run away, but before this plan can be enacted Addy's father and brother are sold. That's already emotionally heart wrenching, but they add into that a horrible whipping. Not to mention what the overseer does to Addy while she's checking for worms. That was so awful. I read all these books as a child but I'd mostly forgotten them by now. I loved how the author wrote this one, she captured the horror of slavery but she kept it appropriate for the audience. I felt wretched at the end. It broke my heart when (view spoiler)[ Addy and her mom ran away but had to leave baby Esther behind. I just kept picturing what it would feel like to leave my sweet niece and nephew that I love to pieces, and I couldn't bear it. (hide spoiler)] Slavery is so horrific. I have these American Girl books because a student donated a small stack and I wanted to revisit my childhood. Sadly this is the only Addy book I have. So far, it's been the very best. Way more engaging than the first Felicity book I just read.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Katie

    When I read this in 1993, age 8, I'm sure I got that this was serious, painful stuff. It may have been my first introduction to what life on a plantation looked like for enslaved people. Reading it now, as a mother, it hits me in a different way. My daughter is the same age as Addy's baby sister Esther. Do you remember the decision Addy's mother has to make? I did, but I am positive I didn't cry over it at age 8. One thing that really surprised me about this one is how little time we spend on the When I read this in 1993, age 8, I'm sure I got that this was serious, painful stuff. It may have been my first introduction to what life on a plantation looked like for enslaved people. Reading it now, as a mother, it hits me in a different way. My daughter is the same age as Addy's baby sister Esther. Do you remember the decision Addy's mother has to make? I did, but I am positive I didn't cry over it at age 8. One thing that really surprised me about this one is how little time we spend on the harrowing escape. We really only see the first leg of the journey. I had it in my head that this book was mostly about their escape, but really the first two-thirds or so are spent showing us what life in slavery was like. Which, yes, that's important context. (And it is adorable that Addy thinks they've arrived after like two days of walking. I mean, of course she couldn't possibly have an understanding of the geography, but as a reader, you just go Oh. Oh, honey.)

  13. 4 out of 5

    Neeky

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. When reading the other American Girl's books they seemed quite white washed and I knew based on history some thing's were conveniently left out. However in Addy's story we got the real deal and I liked that. We got to see a bit of Addy's slave life on the plantation, how cruel slave masters could get (and have gotten), the tear jerking scenes when Addy's father and brother was separated from her and baby Esther who had to be left behind for fear of her making too much noise. In a few days I woul When reading the other American Girl's books they seemed quite white washed and I knew based on history some thing's were conveniently left out. However in Addy's story we got the real deal and I liked that. We got to see a bit of Addy's slave life on the plantation, how cruel slave masters could get (and have gotten), the tear jerking scenes when Addy's father and brother was separated from her and baby Esther who had to be left behind for fear of her making too much noise. In a few days I would like to read the rest of Addy's journey.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Jaonna Caldwell

    Meet Addy is about a enslaved girl who is trying her best to keep working hard.It gets even harder when papa and Sam get soled. Addy's mom then knows its time to escape.......But the only problem is that they can't take the baby Esther. Addy is so upset then she understands that not taking Esther is for her own good. Meet Addy is about a enslaved girl who is trying her best to keep working hard.It gets even harder when papa and Sam get soled. Addy's mom then knows its time to escape.......But the only problem is that they can't take the baby Esther. Addy is so upset then she understands that not taking Esther is for her own good.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Emma

    My aunt just gave me a bunch of old American Girl books, so of course I had to see how quickly I could read one. (28 minutes, btw) I love that I read these as a kid and hope to share these stories with some of my students soon.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Melissa

    I loved this series when I was a kid but Addy came out after I was into them. Still loved it as an adult. Very honest about the harsh unfairness, but great explanation and message.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Shasta Bos

    I’ve read a handful of American Girl books and they were fun but this one may be the best I have read. I knew the plot going in but was still shocked. Can’t wait to read the rest of Addy’s books!

  18. 4 out of 5

    Kate

    I think this was an important series for American Girl, but also the least original. You learn about the Civil War and Black History Month and the Underground Railroad in school--there's not much of a new perspective here. It might be more important to have a black American Girl in 1964 rather than 1864--oftentimes history classes don't get to the Civil Rights Movement until high school. It also might be important to show blacks at other times in history that aren't so pivotal to their status in I think this was an important series for American Girl, but also the least original. You learn about the Civil War and Black History Month and the Underground Railroad in school--there's not much of a new perspective here. It might be more important to have a black American Girl in 1964 rather than 1864--oftentimes history classes don't get to the Civil Rights Movement until high school. It also might be important to show blacks at other times in history that aren't so pivotal to their status in American history. I mean, were ten-year-old white girls important or pivotal at any other period of history? Why not make any of those other characters another race?

  19. 4 out of 5

    Relyn

    I was told that this was a perfect read aloud for second graders. That this book was exciting and compelling and loved by both boys and girls. So, I gave it a try and started my school year with Meet Addy. On Monday we begin the 5th Addy book with every student in my class - boys and girls - always voting to read the next one. It takes about a week to read one of these books and they are always fast-paced and compelling. Connie Rose Porter also makes history accessible by choosing to focus on ev I was told that this was a perfect read aloud for second graders. That this book was exciting and compelling and loved by both boys and girls. So, I gave it a try and started my school year with Meet Addy. On Monday we begin the 5th Addy book with every student in my class - boys and girls - always voting to read the next one. It takes about a week to read one of these books and they are always fast-paced and compelling. Connie Rose Porter also makes history accessible by choosing to focus on events that still resonate with children today. Seriously. Think about it... a class of 10 boys voting to read book after book. Book after AMERICAN GIRL book. YES!

  20. 4 out of 5

    M.M. Strawberry Library & Reviews

    Addy was the fifth of the American Girls, if I recall correctly. Other American Girls had to deal with harsh things like the death of a friend, abuse, poverty, and the like, albeit written at an age-appropriate level. Addy's story starts when she is still a slave, so it gives girls a sobering view of what being a slave was like when Addy is mistreated by the overseer, or missing her family. This character was a welcome addition to the American Girls collection. Addy was the fifth of the American Girls, if I recall correctly. Other American Girls had to deal with harsh things like the death of a friend, abuse, poverty, and the like, albeit written at an age-appropriate level. Addy's story starts when she is still a slave, so it gives girls a sobering view of what being a slave was like when Addy is mistreated by the overseer, or missing her family. This character was a welcome addition to the American Girls collection.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Meira (readingbooksinisrael)

    Wow. I know I read this once before but I didn't remember anything (which was also why I rated it so low-I didn't know how to not rate when I did it so I just rated things low). My only problem with it is that it ends a bit abruptly. Wow. I know I read this once before but I didn't remember anything (which was also why I rated it so low-I didn't know how to not rate when I did it so I just rated things low). My only problem with it is that it ends a bit abruptly.

  22. 5 out of 5

    Natalya Kahmann

    Better the second time around! I think I might reread the entire series.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Darkowaa

    Ahhh! I remember these books! I loved allll the books in this series when I was like 9 years old!

  24. 4 out of 5

    Marisa

    Review by my 8 year old: I liked the book Meet Addy. I liked that the character Addy had lots of hope even through hard times.

  25. 5 out of 5

    Traci

    This was really more brutal than I remember it being.

  26. 4 out of 5

    Altynay

    Addy’s entire central series is worth a read, particularly the older editions of the books with the illustrations. Addy was created by a board of Black Historians, and her books were written by a Black woman. The time and care put into her story shines through. She’s one of the most complex, detailed characters made by AG. The historians chose Addy as the first Black character because they felt like AG needed to discuss slavery before they could discuss any other time period in Black History, as Addy’s entire central series is worth a read, particularly the older editions of the books with the illustrations. Addy was created by a board of Black Historians, and her books were written by a Black woman. The time and care put into her story shines through. She’s one of the most complex, detailed characters made by AG. The historians chose Addy as the first Black character because they felt like AG needed to discuss slavery before they could discuss any other time period in Black History, as it plays an integral role in Black History that’s important to understand. Unlike most of the other characters, Addy’s books don’t have standalone plots, and in order to fully appreciate and get to know Addy, it’s important to read her entire central series (main six books, short stories, mystery novel). Addy is an intelligent, shy girl who loves to jump rope, wear pretty dresses, go to church and school, bake bread with her mother, and spend time with her family. As she adjusts to life in Philadelphia, she’s thankful for her freedom, but like many kids, is still upset by the change, especially since it means she has to spend less time with her mother. Connie Porter does a good job treating Addy like a child, and not like inspiration porn. As the books progress, we see Addy stumble through her first friendships, learn to read and write, reunite with her family, move to a bigger house shared with others (and eventually to a house of their own), and get accepted into the Institution for Coloured Youth to study to be a teacher (AG often alludes that Addy eventually becomes a lawyer, but it’s not technically cannon.). Addy’s series also has a hidden plot line that only adults can pick up on through subtle behaviors of Enslaver Stevens and small hints in the first edition illustrations. It is implied that Enslaver Stevens/his friends have/had an inappropriate relationship with some of the older members of Addy’s family, resulting in children. This is hinted through Enslaver Stevens and his friend’s rather creepy behavior towards Addy as she’s pouring them water in the first book, the fact that some members of Addy’s family are white passing, and Enslaver Steven’s affinity towards an elderly member of the family. Children will not be able to pick up on this, and was purposely put in the books to educate adults who may be reading to children. In addition to slavery, Addy’s books also heavily talk about colorism through well to do, school bully Harriet, who treats Addy poorly for having dark skin. Harriet has light skin and loose ringlets, and has never directly experienced being enslaved, like the majority of her classmates. She often brags and makes fun of Addy, and her best friend Sarah, for having been enslaved, not having a lot of money, and wearing the same clothes everyday. At first Addy is enamored by Harriet, and Harriet is everything she thought freedom would give her. She tries to be her friend, and often doesn’t pick up on Harriet’s bullying, or ignores it. However, when Harriet starts ordering her around and makes her carry her books home, Addy stands her ground, and learns that just because someone is Black like her, doesn’t mean that they’re nice. Towards the end of the series, Harriet opens up to Addy, and they have a competitive relationship with one another, and respect each other more or less. The original illustrations also depict colourism, however the original artist quit due to racism behind the scenes, and was replaced with a white artist who thinks all Black people have the same skin tone. Addy’s books also have great disability representation. Addy befriends an elderly blind woman, Addy’s older brother looses his arm in the Civil War, and Addy shows signs of PTSD throughout the series. All of these are written tactfully, especially considering this series came out in 1993. Addy’s books cover other topics such as the Civil War, poverty, searching for family members, learning to read, growing up, Union spies, white passing Black individuals living as white people, police brutality, family values, etc.. And give multiple perspectives on how slavery affected the Black community. Addy has a optimistic route, while Harriet’s perspective is that of a wealthy girl born free, and Sarah is forced to drop out of school and help her family’s laundry business. Other characters such as Bessie are later added, for even more perspectives that are often forgotten. This series does an amazing job discussing such a sensitive topic with tact and historical accuracy. The historians took their time making sure the book was accurate, but not to graphic for the young Black readers who relate to Addy. The use of racial slurs is omitted from this series for that reason.

  27. 4 out of 5

    Xyra

    This is a series I will not continue reading during my work lunches. I'm not good at hiding my feelings and this was ripping my heart to pieces. Slavery is a terrible thing (I say is because there are many forms of and many countries that still practice slavery) and this story is important because everyone should be aware of the horrors so they can stand against them. Ms. Porter has a wonderful style and created Addy's story well. Addy's life is terrible and we see that from the start and I know This is a series I will not continue reading during my work lunches. I'm not good at hiding my feelings and this was ripping my heart to pieces. Slavery is a terrible thing (I say is because there are many forms of and many countries that still practice slavery) and this story is important because everyone should be aware of the horrors so they can stand against them. Ms. Porter has a wonderful style and created Addy's story well. Addy's life is terrible and we see that from the start and I know it is softened for the audience, so that should tell you something. Pages one through 60 drew me along and elicited powerful emotional responses. Pages 61-69 provided more details into the life and times of 1864 and what lead up to that year with regards to African Americans. The details contained I learned when I was young and really hope children today learn these things too. I was pleased to see Phillis Wheatley mentioned. She is my favorite female poetess (I read her biography in fifth grade). In reading articles about the Addy controversy I found many of the concerns about the story line being entertaining. This story is NOT about being entertained. It is historical fiction that informs the reader of the horrors of slavery, the courage to seek freedom, and the importance of family. In some ways reminds me of a type of Roots: The Saga of An American Family in miniature (I confess I have only seen the mini series and it, too, left an impression on my heart and soul). Addy's story informed me it did not entertain me. It ripped at my heart and soul for a past I can not change. Addy's voice is one of courage and inspiration and strength to reach for change.

  28. 5 out of 5

    Rachael

    Historical Fiction Meet Addy is about a nine-year old girl surviving with her family through America's Civil War in 1864. Seeking freedom and planning to escape the plantation, and slavery, Addy grows up faster than the typical little girl, yet somehow keeps her childlike faith through the adversities that battle with her family. My tutoring buddy and I read this book together and seeing how it was a good fit for her, I would suggest it for a fourth grade class. Of course, I think about how wonde Historical Fiction Meet Addy is about a nine-year old girl surviving with her family through America's Civil War in 1864. Seeking freedom and planning to escape the plantation, and slavery, Addy grows up faster than the typical little girl, yet somehow keeps her childlike faith through the adversities that battle with her family. My tutoring buddy and I read this book together and seeing how it was a good fit for her, I would suggest it for a fourth grade class. Of course, I think about how wonderful it would be to use this book to provide background information about the Civil War during a history lesson...but I also think it's great as a read-aloud for any time just to teach students about our country's past and history for the sake of knowing the life of America so that they can continue to be informed. Meet Addy would also serve well as a choice in literacy circles where the students collaborate together in a student-centered atmosphere about the lives of different people during the Civil War. This was a WOW book for me because I got to experience it with my tutoring buddy! Watching her face explode with surprise or cringe with disgust was amazing because it allowed me to be on a journey with her as she discovered the hardships about the Civil War and made her own opinions about race and morality. It was beautiful to walk that path with her.

  29. 5 out of 5

    Jillian Johns

    This story is the beginning of a historical fiction series and winner of 1994 Book of the Year Award from Blackboard African American Best Sellers, Inc. Addy, a young slave girl lives on a North Carolina tobacco plantation with her parents, older brother, and baby sister during the time of the Civil War. After her father and brother are sold, she and her mother make the hardest decision a slave could make- to leave her baby sister with other slaves and her father and brother in parts unknown and This story is the beginning of a historical fiction series and winner of 1994 Book of the Year Award from Blackboard African American Best Sellers, Inc. Addy, a young slave girl lives on a North Carolina tobacco plantation with her parents, older brother, and baby sister during the time of the Civil War. After her father and brother are sold, she and her mother make the hardest decision a slave could make- to leave her baby sister with other slaves and her father and brother in parts unknown and run to freedom. Although written in simple language meant for children and edited heavily of the horrendous levels of violence experienced by slaves and people of color, this book offers a glimpse into what life was like for a young African American girl whose hopes and dreams could be considered dangerous if spoken aloud. The images in the book are realistic and are demonstrative of the trials and tribulations the enslaved peoples of the time went through. This book could serve as a gentle opener to how slavery transpired. Readers will be able to understand parts of how slaves passed along information and how the chance at freedom often depended on the will of those who promised to harbor and ferry them.

  30. 5 out of 5

    Elise

    Reading this as an adult is so different than when I was a child. When I was a child, I looked through Addy's eyes. As an adult and a mother, I look through Addy's mama's eyes. When they run to freedom, they have to leave baby Esther behind. She's 1 year old. I have a 1 year old. I cried my way through this book. I see why they had to do it, but it would be the hardest thing in the world for me as a mama to leave my baby. I read this book to my 5 year old. She did not know about our history of s Reading this as an adult is so different than when I was a child. When I was a child, I looked through Addy's eyes. As an adult and a mother, I look through Addy's mama's eyes. When they run to freedom, they have to leave baby Esther behind. She's 1 year old. I have a 1 year old. I cried my way through this book. I see why they had to do it, but it would be the hardest thing in the world for me as a mama to leave my baby. I read this book to my 5 year old. She did not know about our history of slavery in this country. I am glad this book has helped me describe the sad truth of our history so I can tell my daughter how wrong it was, how people should always be free, and how we are all the same. I especially loved the photos at the end where they describe the history and what really happened. My 5 year old was extremely indignant at the wrongness of slavery, and I couldn't agree more. I love how the book helped me tell my daughter about the sad truth without exposing her to the most frightening and dark sides of it. I will tell her that in time.

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