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Keep your love alive in the face of hate and fear: Addy’s story

Addy with her mother daring an escape

A dangerous escape

Enslaved on a plantation during the Civil War, Addy and her family are desperate to take their freedom. But when several relatives are sold away, only Addy and her mother can take the chance on a journey to the North. Will they make it on their own?

Addy and her family

Hoping for a reunion

Despite the dangers, Addy and her mother reach Philadelphia and find the freedom they crave. Addy gets to experience several firsts, like going to school and learning to read. But all her achievements feel empty without her whole family. Can she help bring everyone together?

Girl learning about Addy at American Girl retail store

Guidance for girls today

Even though Addy must struggle against people who think she’s not equal to them, she still keeps an open heart.

Expressing love and hope. From forgiving a difficult classmate to inspiring her father after he deals with discrimination, Addy always acts with generosity toward others.

Showing courage. Throughout her stories, Addy must reach within herself for strength, whether it’s seeking freedom or starting a new life in a strange city.

Standing up for fairness. Once in Philadelphia, Addy discovers there are still injustices to overcome, and she refuses to be silent in the face of them.

Watch why character matters

Creating a hero: Addy comes to life

“Addy is truly an American girl. Her experiences of moving from being an enslaved person to a free person really help incorporate what the promise of America is—that no matter what circumstances you start out in, that you are still a citizen of this country.”

—Connie Porter, author of the Addy series



Authentic from the start

Addy’s story is like that of no other American Girl character. To ensure everything was accurate, her development was the first to convene a formal advisory board featuring a renowned team of African American scholars and historians.

In addition to advising on Addy’s development, the board helped select the author: Connie Porter. With this noted writer on the team, they all determined the best era to explore Addy’s story would be during the end of slavery and the Civil War—a foundational time for everything that came after in our country.

Using the appropriate voice and language was important to Porter, so she worked with experts from Jacksonville State University to refine the dialect. Because an exact representation of the dialect would be too difficult for young readers, Porter struck a balance between what the actual speech would have sounded like and what children could understand.

With such extensive research and expertise to guide the development of Addy’s character, her stories bring a rich and realistic look at a true turning point in American history.

Putting it all into play


Addy has been on so many adventures with our family and opened up so many conversations concerning her history that we will cherish forever! The doll and American Girl in general are phenomenal and of great quality to have lasted so many years, and we are honored to be a part of the American Girl family!

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