cover image Meet Addy: An American Girl

Meet Addy: An American Girl

Connie Rose Porter. American Girl Publishing Inc, $6.95 (69pp) ISBN 978-1-56247-075-3

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.)