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Book Review

This historical fiction novel by Connie Porter is the first in the "Addy" series and is published by American Girl.

Meet Addy is written for children 8 and up. The age range reflects readability and not necessarily content appropriateness.

Positive Elements

Spiritual Content

Sexual Content

Violent Content

Crude or Profane Language

Drug and Alcohol Content

Other Negative Elements


Pro-social Content

Objectionable Content

Summary Advisory

Plot Summary

Addy, a 9-year-old slave on a North Carolina plantation, wakes one night in her family's hot cabin and overhears her parents whispering about freedom. Poppa is insistent that the family leave the plantation as soon as possible because nothing is certain in a slave's life. He also can't bear to see his daughter worked so hard anymore. Momma believes it is too dangerous. She thinks their master would not separate the family of hardworking slaves.

The next morning, Addy serves lunch to Master Stevens and a guest. She learns the master plans on selling Poppa and her brother. Addy tries to warn her family, but soon her father and brother are in shackles. Momma will not stay in the plantation with a broken family, and so plans to leave as soon as possible with Addy and head north to Pittsburgh. They must leave Esther, Addy's baby sister, in the care of an older slave, as she would be too difficult to care for on the run and could easily give them away with her crying.

Momma and Addy run through the woods by night and hide during the day, encountering obstacles such as wide rivers, thorny bushes and a camp of Confederate soldiers. During one of their rests, Momma presents Addy with a cowrie shell necklace that had belonged to Poppa's grandmother Aduke. She was stolen from Africa, and Addy was named after her. The cowrie shell reminds Addy to be brave for her family and love always.

After a few nights on the run, Addy and Momma make it to a safe house that they heard about. Miss Caroline, the elderly white woman who owns the house, gives the runaways a meal, a bath, new clothes and a bed for the night. She doesn't take the money that Addy offers her, saying that helping them find a new life is thanks enough.

Before dawn, Caroline hides Addy and her mother in a wagon and takes them to the coast. They are one step closer to freedom.

Christian Beliefs

Auntie Lulu shares a verbal prayer that God will be with Addy and her mother as they leave the plantation. The place where the railroad tracks and safe house meet form a silvery cross. When Addy struggles with hateful feelings toward white people, Momma insists that she love their enemies, because hating people can turn her into a hateful person.

Other Belief Systems


Authority Roles

Addy respects her parents; she understands that if they had wanted her to know about their discussion of freedom, they would have included her in their conversation. So she doesn't discuss what she's heard with her brother. As a slave, Addy must obey the overseer and the master. When she refuses to leave her father as he's being loaded on another owner's cart, she is whipped.

Addy follows her parents' example and learns how to keep her feelings inside so she will be safe from the slave owners and other pro-slavery white people. She doesn't scream when her mother almost drowns, even though she feels like doing so.


One of Addy's jobs is to pull the worms off the tobacco plants. When she accidentally leaves several worms on the plants, the overseer grabs Addy's wrists, shoves the worms in her mouth and forces her to eat them. She chokes and gags. The overseer shoves her away, and she falls to the ground.

Addy sees her father being chained and her brother already chained after they have been sold to a different white man. When she refuses to leave her father, she is whipped. Her back feels like it is being burned.



Discussion Topics

Get free discussion questions for this book and others, at ThrivingFamily.com/discuss-books.

Additional Comments/Notes

You can request a review of a title you can't find at reviewrequests@family.org.

For additional parenting resources, download a free issue of Thriving Family, a marriage and parenting magazine published by Focus on the Family, at ThrivingFamily.com/magazine.

Book reviews cover the content, themes and worldviews of fiction books, not their literary merit, and equip parents to decide whether a book is appropriate for their children. The inclusion of a book's review does not constitute an endorsement by Focus on the Family.

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