Addy knows that Christmas will be hard without Poppa, Sam, and Esther. When Addy spots a beautiful red scarf in a secondhand shop, she's determined to save her money and buy it for Momma to brighten her holiday. But when Addy sees the plight of newly freed slaves, she's torn. Can she help them and still save money for Momma's scarf? In the end, Addy's Christmas surprise for Momma is different from what she had planned. And a surprise awaiting Addy is better than she even dared to hope for.
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Grade 3-6-Addy is a nine-year-old slave when the first story opens in 1864. The likable young heroine wakes up to hear her parents discussing whether they should try to escape or wait until the end of the war. Readers follow the girl into the tobacco fields where she worms the plants, feel her heartbreak as she sees her beloved father sold, and steal through the night with her as she and her mother make a run for the North. Their hunger, the loss of her baby sister, insect bites, and the fear of Confederate soldiers all ring true. While most of their hardships are resolved a bit too quickly, youngsters will empathize with and relate to the strong characters. The book ends as mother and daughter make their way to Philadelphia, but there's no indication that the family is reunited. Addy Learns a Lesson is a more self-contained story. Now in Philadelphia, the girl goes to school for the first time and makes a friend. She learns that there are haves and have-nots, the effects of jealousy, and the double-edged sword of freedom. Attractive, subtly shaded, realistic full-color paintings bring characters and scenes to life, dramatically conveying feelings and action. A "Peek into the Past" section of photographs and facts is appended to each title. These series entries will be popular additions to historical fiction collections.
Susannah Price, Boise Public Library, ID
Copyright 1994 Reed Business Information, Inc.
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.
Copyright 1993 Reed Business Information, Inc.
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