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Staff Pick

Title: Freedom for Addy

Author: American Girl

 
 
 

When I was in elementary school some of my favorite chapter books were from American Girl. I couldn’t get enough of these stories about girls throughout American history. Their surroundings and circumstances were often much different from that of my own in the late 20th century, but because the stories centered around girls close to my age, it was easy to put myself in their shoes. How would I have felt or reacted in their place? No matter how much our world changes, kids are still kids, and as a young reader I could easily identify with protagonists from vastly different places and times. And perhaps it is some unchanging quality among children that has allowed American Girl books to continue in popularity among a new generation of readers. In fact, at the risk of aging myself, today’s kids can read American Girl “historical” books about Courtney from 1986, a year in which I was five years-old. New characters like Courtney are finding a home among longstanding favorites. 

 

Even more exciting, is that American Girl now offers beginning reader level versions of classic stories from Addy, Molly, and Samantha. These condensed stories are perfect for newly independent readers who may not be ready to take on chapter books yet. They also provide simple, straightforward text to help young readers better understand even some of the darker times in our country’s history. In particular, Freedom for Addy, tells the story of a young enslaved girl seeking freedom with her mother after being separated from her father and brother. While a difficult topic for young readers, sharing stories of the past with our children can help inform them of the present and even help them shape the future. This beginning reader series from American Girl is a great way to introduce history to younger readers. 

 

-Miss Katie

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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