Meet Addy: An American Girl by Connie Porter with illustrations by Melodye Rosales is a story about an adolescent girl who is a slave. The American Civil War is coming to a close as the Union army is moving toward the South. At night Addy’s family begins to talk about an escape plan. Addy listens trying not to make a sound as she lies on her mat. She is learning a life lesson about not showing emotions and holding her tongue. When the foreman discovers that she missed a few worms on the tobacco plants and punishes her by forcing her to eat a few worms, her learning is put to the test. Addy must not complain or show emotions. If she does, she risks more punishment.

A few days later while Addy is serving Master Stevens and his guest, she discovers that her master is in financial trouble. He talks to the man about selling Addy’s brother and father to him. Addy excuses herself and runs to Aunt Lulu, a slave working in the kitchen, telling her what she has overheard. But it is too late. As Addy runs to the field, she sees her father and brother being put into a wagon. She runs to them and is held back. Her brother and father are punished because Addy acts out. Addy watches as her family is separated. She wonders if they will ever see one another again.

That night Addy learns about the plans she overheard a few nights ago. Addy’s mother tells her that they will make a run for it. The only problem is that Esther; Addy’s little sister, must stay behind with Aunt Lulu and Uncle Solomon.

On the night of the escape Addy and her mother put on pants, shirts and a hat and say good-bye to Esther and the others. Addy and her mother must travel as far as they can to prevent the master from a search. Uncle Solomon tells them about a house on the Underground Railroad. They must try to make it to Caroline’s house. She will help them get to the north.

Addy and her mother do as they are told and run through the woods. They face adventures of rivers, cold weather and southern soldiers who are in the woods. Will the family he united again and will they make it to Caroline’s house?

Meet Addy: An American Girl is a great book about the Civil War from the eyes of a child slave. Addy learns a valuable lesson about growing up. She learns when to speak out and when not. The novel has a brief history of American slavery and the Civil War. The book is suggested for ages 7 and up. However, I believe it is more appropriate for children ages 9 and up. Parents will want to discuss with their children the issues of slavery and racism the book brings up. The book will interest people of all cultures. This novel is the first book in a series of books about Addy.

Kristina O’Brien is a mother of twin girls, an avid reader, and credentialed teacher. She has taught both middle school and high school history. She is currently a stay-at-home mom and enjoys raising her two girls.

Advertisements