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30 review for Addy's Story Collection - Limited Edition

  1. 4 out of 5

    Kelley

    This is the story of me and American Girl (hereafter, AG): Me, sometime in early 2000s: "AG, a wholesome, quality, historically grounded alternative to Barbie? Sounds nice." AG: "And the dolls don't even cost $200." Me: "!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Thank goodness I don't have a daughter." Sometime before April 2010, AG finds out there is a girl baby *still inside me* and starts sending me catalogs. I am simultaneously charmed and sticker-shocked. (And a little freaked out about how they knew!) The catalogs keep This is the story of me and American Girl (hereafter, AG): Me, sometime in early 2000s: "AG, a wholesome, quality, historically grounded alternative to Barbie? Sounds nice." AG: "And the dolls don't even cost $200." Me: "!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Thank goodness I don't have a daughter." Sometime before April 2010, AG finds out there is a girl baby *still inside me* and starts sending me catalogs. I am simultaneously charmed and sticker-shocked. (And a little freaked out about how they knew!) The catalogs keep coming. My girl grows up looking at them. I tell her she'll never have one but we can sure enjoy looking at them. And then one day we find Kit's story on audiobook at the library. We bring it home, for the primary reason that Kit is one of my daughter's nicknames. I'm a little cynical about how well the history will be presented. I listen as I'm in and out of her room and ... it's not bad. I'm actually on the brink of charmed. Sorry. You're waiting for a book review. I'm almost there. Since sampling that first book (my daughter was too young at the time to be patient enough for the whole thing), we've watched a couple of the movies and we've dipped in and out of other books. But on a recent family road trip, we listened to all six of the main Addy stories. This was the first time I've gone straight through one girl's storyline. And I was impressed. My daughter's been asking for the book because Addy is her favorite doll. I knew Addy's backstory was slavery and I just couldn't figure out how a kids book/doll combo was going to do that any justice. The story was definitely presented for young readers. But that doesn't mean it was sugar-coated. Some of the ugliest parts of slavery were there, just told with care or presented in an outline that a child could absorb, without every detail filled in. My 6-year-old was rooting for freedom, asking about prejudice and discussing what matters about our friends - and what doesn't. Addy is engaging without being cloying. Her story ends well but not before leaving some deep scars, a satisfactory way to help the youngest listeners begin to understand a horrifying chapter of American history. And as we listened to the war ending and some people's opinions beginning to change, my 6-year-old celebrated and my 11-year-old jumped in to give his sister a little talk about the Civil Rights movement. I can't think of a better way to pass some hours in the car than an enjoyable story and meaningful conversation. I still don't know that we'll ever buy her one of those (I'm sorry, but ...) crazy expensive dolls. But this is a franchise that I'm glad to get to know better. On to Felicity and Molly.

  2. 4 out of 5

    LaNaria

    When I was about nine years old I found a copy of this book on the floor of my room. Me being not the type I assumed it was left behind by my sister in her rush to move out of the suffocating room we shared together. It seemed no longer than a picture book and the occasional illustrations made it seem slightly less antagonizing. So I read it... Often as I went along I found myself glimpsing back at the cover. On this was an African-American girl like myself. She wore a plaid dress, much like the When I was about nine years old I found a copy of this book on the floor of my room. Me being not the type I assumed it was left behind by my sister in her rush to move out of the suffocating room we shared together. It seemed no longer than a picture book and the occasional illustrations made it seem slightly less antagonizing. So I read it... Often as I went along I found myself glimpsing back at the cover. On this was an African-American girl like myself. She wore a plaid dress, much like the awful uniform dresses worn at my private school, but with her white smile the dress didn't look ugly. It was not easy for me to imagine this girl for the first time going to school and living with only her and her mother, wondering and worry about her father and brother. It was hard for me mostly because my own life seemed so different. I could not see myself missing my brother, helping my mom in the kitchen or anywhere for that matter, and I could not see my father running from slavery. I'd heard of it, I knew it was true. That didn't make it any simpler for me to imagine. This book opened me up to issues in our past and future and how in literature these can be enter twined.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Rachel

    Addy was the first American Girl who was introduced to the series in the midst of my obsession (or should I say, my first obsession? :P) Her stories were groundbreaking- they portrayed the first, non-White girl, and a very dark part of our nation's history. And though the books were watered down enough for child consumption, I could still feel Addy's family's degradation as slaves, the fear of trying something new (to imagine, freedom being new!) and the disappointment of it not living up to it' Addy was the first American Girl who was introduced to the series in the midst of my obsession (or should I say, my first obsession? :P) Her stories were groundbreaking- they portrayed the first, non-White girl, and a very dark part of our nation's history. And though the books were watered down enough for child consumption, I could still feel Addy's family's degradation as slaves, the fear of trying something new (to imagine, freedom being new!) and the disappointment of it not living up to it's lofty ideals, and the desperate and ultimately joyous search for the rest of her family after the Civil War. If there's one thing Addy taught me, it was to face the world with bravery, no matter what the challenge. Brava.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Shelby

    even though addys story is watered down for younger kids to read that does not mean it didn't show some of the uglier things that happened to blacks during this time period. addys story is heartwarming and heartbreaking simultaneously. i love the search for her family and the hope of freedom in addys heart. i will be thinking about addy and hopefully adding her doll to my collection some day even though addys story is watered down for younger kids to read that does not mean it didn't show some of the uglier things that happened to blacks during this time period. addys story is heartwarming and heartbreaking simultaneously. i love the search for her family and the hope of freedom in addys heart. i will be thinking about addy and hopefully adding her doll to my collection some day

  5. 4 out of 5

    Ella Jeanne

    ADDY!! I'm doing an American Girls reread and I was so excited to see that Addy was every bit as awesome as I remember her. Addy was my first experience with AG. My mom bought the box set at Costco because it had a young black girl on the cover. She thought that it was important that my sister and I see ourselves in media. All of the American Girl books I read after were great, but Addy was always my favorite. She was brave, determined and most importantly, she was always quick to point out inju ADDY!! I'm doing an American Girls reread and I was so excited to see that Addy was every bit as awesome as I remember her. Addy was my first experience with AG. My mom bought the box set at Costco because it had a young black girl on the cover. She thought that it was important that my sister and I see ourselves in media. All of the American Girl books I read after were great, but Addy was always my favorite. She was brave, determined and most importantly, she was always quick to point out injustices. The way Connie Porter balances the reality of what life would have been like, but still gave Addy space to be a girl who plays double dutch with her friend was beautifully done. Most importantly, I remembered the ways in which I tried to emulate Addy when I was little. I still have the cowrie shell necklace I made to be Just Like Addy. Certain parts of the story hit differently as an adult and I realized lot of beautiful lessons can still be taken from her now. Though looking back on American Girl, there are a lot of issues and pain when thinking of the books, the care and beauty of Connie Porter's writing is exceptional. Meeting Addy was like greeting an old friend. I'm glad I reopened this box set. Several points that I loved -The small historical points like Addy's family working in a garden to be able to buy back her family. This was a really dark concept, but it was a necessary detail. As a child, I didn't grasp the monumental horror of this reality. Porter does such -The spelling bee. Addy rooting for her friend, then deciding to lose so that Sarah wouldn't be embarrassed, then changing her mind and winning to one up the bully...I stan a Queen. -Harriet. Her introduction and growth as a character, in addition to what she represents. I remember it being the first time I'd seen colorism being addressed. In addition, Harriet's character brings in issues of class bias as well as the divide between people who were born free and those born enslaved. -"Freedom Ain't Free" - I can't even express how much I connected with this quote as a child, and I hadn't yet realized the depth of its truth. Addy's book series is layered and doesn't talk down to kids. It introduces them to deep historical issues and doesn't shy away from addressing them in a way that is accessible. All in all I encourage everyone to Meet Addy. You won't regret it.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Imani ♥ ☮

    I first got these books when I was about 10 years old maybe. My dad was trying to get me to stop reading so many...reference books. Things like atlases, almanacs, nonfiction books really. Especially about history. He wanted me to read some chapter books. Little did he know that these books turned out to be some of the best historical fiction books I have ever read. These books follow the life of Addy, a young African American girl who is a slave. She escapes with her mother after both her Addy's I first got these books when I was about 10 years old maybe. My dad was trying to get me to stop reading so many...reference books. Things like atlases, almanacs, nonfiction books really. Especially about history. He wanted me to read some chapter books. Little did he know that these books turned out to be some of the best historical fiction books I have ever read. These books follow the life of Addy, a young African American girl who is a slave. She escapes with her mother after both her Addy's brother and father are sold away and Addy's mother decides to leave Esther, the baby of the family behind. Addy and her mother eventually escape to the city of Philadelphia where Addy encounters many problems but it is eventually reunited with most of her family members. I really liked this book and I think that more people should read these books if they want to know the ill effects of slavery.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Christina

    The Addy series is a great way to introduce the idea of slavery from a realistic fiction point of view. Students can connect with the young girl, Addy, and her life as a slave. Addy faces many struggles as a young african american slave (the most visual is when she is forced to eat the cotton worms). There are many books about Addy, so students can continue reading about her life if they choose.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Olivia

    These are very sad books but very interesting because you learn so much about slavery. I love Addy's character! These are very sad books but very interesting because you learn so much about slavery. I love Addy's character!

  9. 5 out of 5

    Tori

    I read this book in the fourth grade when we were learning about slavery. I also had this American Girl Doll and it really made me understand that time period and what was going on in our country

  10. 5 out of 5

    Darkowaa

    Yup! The boxed set and my Addy doll are still upstairs. Connie Rose Porter is a lovely writer! I'll always love Addy- made amazing childhood memories :) Yup! The boxed set and my Addy doll are still upstairs. Connie Rose Porter is a lovely writer! I'll always love Addy- made amazing childhood memories :)

  11. 5 out of 5

    Laura

    I was born in 1986, so by the time I was old enough to read these books and responsible enough with toys to get an American Girl doll, Addy had just been released. I don't know what exactly it was that drew me to her, but she was the one I wanted as soon as I looked through the catalog. My mother had expected me to gravitate to Molly or Samantha since they looked the most like me. But I actually credit my mom with all of our trips to historical sites, museums, and cultural fairs, and I always wa I was born in 1986, so by the time I was old enough to read these books and responsible enough with toys to get an American Girl doll, Addy had just been released. I don't know what exactly it was that drew me to her, but she was the one I wanted as soon as I looked through the catalog. My mother had expected me to gravitate to Molly or Samantha since they looked the most like me. But I actually credit my mom with all of our trips to historical sites, museums, and cultural fairs, and I always wanted the non-blonde Barbies anyway, there was something about her story and description that I wanted to read her books first. Her stories gripped me as my mom and I read them together, and Addy (and Ida Bean) got hugged the whole time. We talked about each chapter seriously, and I put myself in her shoes and cried when she lost her older brother since I followed my older brother around everywhere. Her story got brought up with my Sunday school class when we talked about the Jewish slaves in Egypt and I brought up the slaves in America (I remember the teacher getting very nervous with the topic but she went with it, bless her.) During Black History Month, I lent my elementary school teacher the first book and she read it to the class. I had my first discussions with my parents of the "N" word, racial discrimination from housing and jobs, about how education gave people opportunities, all issues that are still plaguing our country. I loved Addy and her stories with a passion my friends could all attest to since I always wanted to play American girl dolls. For a 7 year old, the books combined with the doll made the story very real and my parents were able to build on that to teach me more about social justice and equality. I loved these stories! I know there were critiques that the first black American girl was a slave and how it perpetuated stereotypes, and I agree that black families deserve to have the whole breadth of black culture and history depicted not just slavery. But for how it handled the subject matter, and created a family that persevered under extraordinary circumstances, how it handled the continual racisim that didn't end once they were in the North and free, it opened the eyes and hearts of many little girls (and let's be honest many white girls) to a very difficult part of our history without flinching away from the harsh truths. It was the first experience with racism and slavery for many young children, and it helped parents have a way to talk about these ideas which is a great beginning.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Emily Schmader

    General: Currently reading through the American Girl series with my 5 year old daughter. Addy was our second series and we both really enjoyed this one. Addy is growing up during the Civil War (for some of the books) and reconstruction (by the end)...and initially, her family is enslaved by a southern plantation owner. After escaping, Addy and her mother (and family eventually) live and build new lives in Philadelphia. Content: There was quite a bit of content I had to abridge (at this point!) fo General: Currently reading through the American Girl series with my 5 year old daughter. Addy was our second series and we both really enjoyed this one. Addy is growing up during the Civil War (for some of the books) and reconstruction (by the end)...and initially, her family is enslaved by a southern plantation owner. After escaping, Addy and her mother (and family eventually) live and build new lives in Philadelphia. Content: There was quite a bit of content I had to abridge (at this point!) for a 5 year old. There are extremely difficult scenes of slave-abuse, references to war (& injury) as well as the difficulty of family separation. I could hardly bear the part about Addy’s mother having to leave her baby behind in order to escape. There’s also an introduction to post-war racism, as Addy’s father cannot find work because of his race. Even still, I found age-appropriate ways to introduce the realities of this horrifying time in history to my young daughter.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Rhonda

    This 6 book series follows 10 year old Addy, a slave in the south during the Civil War. When her family is separated, she and her mother set out for Philadelphia in the North. As they struggle to establish a new life, the nation continues to fight. Later books follow the reunification of different members of her family and the starkness of being black even in a world where slavery is abolished. This is a tough topic. Yes it didn't go into nitty-gritty details about slavery, but this is a series f This 6 book series follows 10 year old Addy, a slave in the south during the Civil War. When her family is separated, she and her mother set out for Philadelphia in the North. As they struggle to establish a new life, the nation continues to fight. Later books follow the reunification of different members of her family and the starkness of being black even in a world where slavery is abolished. This is a tough topic. Yes it didn't go into nitty-gritty details about slavery, but this is a series for young kids. My 10 and 7 year old listened and learned history. These books did a good job of presenting the info without making it overwhelming or preachy.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Leah

    I really enjoyed these books. The writing is quite good, and I felt it did a good job of introducing the concept and wrongness of slavery to children without complicating the issue. I particularly appreciated the theme of book 2, that freedom has a cost. It would have been easy to get them to Philadelphia, their goal, and leave them there having attained it. But in subsequent books, the author details the struggle of surviving and making ends meet, and the sorrow of not knowing where other famil I really enjoyed these books. The writing is quite good, and I felt it did a good job of introducing the concept and wrongness of slavery to children without complicating the issue. I particularly appreciated the theme of book 2, that freedom has a cost. It would have been easy to get them to Philadelphia, their goal, and leave them there having attained it. But in subsequent books, the author details the struggle of surviving and making ends meet, and the sorrow of not knowing where other family members are. It's as touching as it is heartbreaking, and I thought it was very well done.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Jennifer Luster

    Frequently being the only Black American in school throughout K-12, this series of books helped me understand some of the basics of this time, the struggles of slavery and reconstruction. This series is a considerably easy alternative to introduce the history of slavery; besides maybe in total 5 pages of black history a 200 page history text book.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Ruth Watkins

    I had a great time rereading Addy's stories that I would have originally read around age 9. Porter does a fantastic job of presenting the horrors of slavery and post-slavery racial tensions in a way that is understandable for children without being overwhelming. I think the first three stories are more interesting than the latter three, but all were well written and engaging. I had a great time rereading Addy's stories that I would have originally read around age 9. Porter does a fantastic job of presenting the horrors of slavery and post-slavery racial tensions in a way that is understandable for children without being overwhelming. I think the first three stories are more interesting than the latter three, but all were well written and engaging.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Nicole Hughes

    These were the first American Girl Doll books I have read. I was definitely not expecting them to be so well written and historically accurate. These are excellent historical fiction books for young kids.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Amy Roberts

    I loved this story collection about the life of Addy Walker. Set during the Civil War, it is about her family escaping slavery and the struggles they endured because of the color of their skin. It is also a story of hope and the beautiful power of love!

  19. 4 out of 5

    Grace

    Addy was my favorite American Girl

  20. 4 out of 5

    kema

    Great series dealing with a young girl's escape from slavery and her life afterwards. This series was part of my childhood and I'll always treasure it! Great series dealing with a young girl's escape from slavery and her life afterwards. This series was part of my childhood and I'll always treasure it!

  21. 4 out of 5

    Joy

    Read Aloud with Emily- Books 1-6

  22. 4 out of 5

    Laura Robinson

    Appropriately serious children's literature about slavery, escape, and post-war reunification of enslaved families, told through the eyes of a nine-year-old girl Appropriately serious children's literature about slavery, escape, and post-war reunification of enslaved families, told through the eyes of a nine-year-old girl

  23. 4 out of 5

    Hannah Engle

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. Grade level: 3-4 Lexile level: 780L

  24. 5 out of 5

    Kim

    I read American Girl books as a kid and when I found this, nostalgia hit me. Clearly, the books are for children, but I still enjoyed them as an adult.

  25. 5 out of 5

    kiers

    brb crying honestly i think this is the best one

  26. 4 out of 5

    Ashyana

    I am going to read books by Black authors this month for Black History Month!! Idk how to rate an American girl book

  27. 5 out of 5

    Samantha Bartley

    Everyone has a story, and the American Girl Company does a fantastic job of illustrating stories of individuals who are often ignored in history books. We learn about the founding fathers, soldiers, dictators, kings, and occasionally we even learn about women, but it is rare, if not unheard of to read about the children of history, specifically young girls. American Girl selects stories of fictitious individuals who represent real stories and real lives throughout America's past, and while they Everyone has a story, and the American Girl Company does a fantastic job of illustrating stories of individuals who are often ignored in history books. We learn about the founding fathers, soldiers, dictators, kings, and occasionally we even learn about women, but it is rare, if not unheard of to read about the children of history, specifically young girls. American Girl selects stories of fictitious individuals who represent real stories and real lives throughout America's past, and while they are all so important, I argue that Addy's story is one of the most heartbreaking, beautiful, and important stories in the American Girl Collection. Meet Addy There is so much heartbreak in her first story. While many of the others I have reread so far focus on some more serious topics including animal abuse (Felicity), gender equality (Julie), immigration (Kirsten), and even social status (Samantha), Addy's story shows a young slave girl dealing with not only the abuse of her master, but also dealing with the pain of watching her father and brother sold away to a new master, and then having to leave her baby sister behind when making the decision to escape. It is written very well, and the narration is fantastic. 5/5 Stars Addy Learns a Lesson This one was unique to the American Girl series because for most of the girls written about, their storyline follows someone who has never had the opportunity to go to school, led alone read or write. I wasn't a huge fan of the Sarah/Harriet storyline, as it seemed pretty unoriginal, but it was once again written really well, and is a good introduction to Addy's new friends. 4/5 Stars Addy's Surprise I tear up EVERY time I read this one. It is honestly the sweetest Christmas story ever. True, there are parts that are very predictable, but the ending made me SO HAPPY. 5/5 Stars Happy Birthday, Addy! This book shows the end of the Civil War and then introduces ideas of prejudice views. I liked the character of the older woman who Addy befriends, but I felt like they only introduced her for one book, as she never makes an appearance after this one. Also, the storyline with the caged bird seems to be drawing a lot of themes from the Maya Angelo poem. This isn't a problem, I just felt that the ideas weren't that original. But still a sweet read. 4/5 Stars Addy Saves the Day This could be the worst book in the series, and I would still give it five stars all because of this book's ending. So, so, emotional. It's perfect. I love it. But aside from that, this book is really good! I like the storyline with Harriet. It was a good way to conclude her character in this series. 5/5 Stars Changes for Addy Once again, this series is filled with so much emotion, and the love and sweetness in this book is like the sweetest icing on the already wonderful cake. This series is tragic, as it deals with themes that no girl should have ever dealt with, and it is clear at the end that this series that not everything will be perfect, but it shows that change has come, and is still coming. Such a beautiful theme, and one that is so timely today. 5/5 Stars Final Rating: 5/5 Stars Current Ranking: 1. Addy 2. Kirsten 3. Felicity 4. Kit 5. Samantha 6. Kaya 7. Julie Looking forward to adding more to this list!

  28. 5 out of 5

    Elizabeth

    Addy’s books are usually the ones that come to my mind when I think of tough topics dealt with in American Girl (Samantha’s are usually the second due to child labor in factories). In the first book alone, Addy witnesses whippings and is whipped, is forced to eat worms, and experiences a harrowing escape at night where she and her mother almost drown (oh, and her father and brother are taken away, and she and her mother have to leave her baby sister behind). And, even when she gets to Philadelph Addy’s books are usually the ones that come to my mind when I think of tough topics dealt with in American Girl (Samantha’s are usually the second due to child labor in factories). In the first book alone, Addy witnesses whippings and is whipped, is forced to eat worms, and experiences a harrowing escape at night where she and her mother almost drown (oh, and her father and brother are taken away, and she and her mother have to leave her baby sister behind). And, even when she gets to Philadelphia, there are multiple conversations that she, her mother, and her friends have about how even though they are free, they aren’t free and people still hate them. In fact, the latter is one of the unifying themes throughout the entire collection. However, because it’s a children’s book, Porter does pour on the good feelings and happy endings. Addy is a resourceful, cheerful, and persevering girl who never gives up hope, even as she wonders why the drug store clerk is mean to her, or why she can’t ride on certain streetcars. There are lots of great messages about friendship, family, and self-sacrifice, as Addy gives up multiple things she loves in order to help other slaves escape to freedom, and learns that the mean girl in school isn’t really all that different from herself. Porter does a good job of balancing the good, the bad, and the still-to-improve. The historical notes at the end are also quite good. Of all the American Girl books, I think Addy’s is probably the most powerful and the most relevant for today.

  29. 5 out of 5

    Taylor Parker

    I went home this week and was so excited to find this book! I thought this would be perfect for historical fiction. This book talks about Addy's life and where she grew up and all of the things her and her family were dealing with. This book is FULL of history. She is a nine year old girl that is a slave on the North Carolina Plantation during the Civil War. As a little girl I truly enjoyed reading these book. These books would be great for 5th grade students. If I were using this book in the cl I went home this week and was so excited to find this book! I thought this would be perfect for historical fiction. This book talks about Addy's life and where she grew up and all of the things her and her family were dealing with. This book is FULL of history. She is a nine year old girl that is a slave on the North Carolina Plantation during the Civil War. As a little girl I truly enjoyed reading these book. These books would be great for 5th grade students. If I were using this book in the classroom I would definitely use it as a tool to show the students what I was reading when I was their age. I think they would enjoy seeing a dose of what I used to read. This could be a way to integrate "show and tell" in the classroom.

  30. 5 out of 5

    Chelsea Gouin

    Oh Addy! Addy is an American Girl. She is a slave along with her mother, Poppa, older brother, and baby sister. When her brother and father are sold, her Mama tells her it's time they run North for Freedom...leaving behind the baby and their Aunt and Uncle. Showing often graphic portrayals of life on the plantation, the other hardships of colored families was glossed over. There was some scenes showing whites getting preferred treatment and a man getting thrown off of a street car, but it was mo Oh Addy! Addy is an American Girl. She is a slave along with her mother, Poppa, older brother, and baby sister. When her brother and father are sold, her Mama tells her it's time they run North for Freedom...leaving behind the baby and their Aunt and Uncle. Showing often graphic portrayals of life on the plantation, the other hardships of colored families was glossed over. There was some scenes showing whites getting preferred treatment and a man getting thrown off of a street car, but it was mostly tame as the stories instead focused on the Walkers search to reunite their family. Still a wonderful collection holding all those lovable qualities of American Girl! Some scenes may be too graphic for very young readers, however. Highly reccommend!

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