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Esther Walker is the younger sister of Addy Walker.

Personality

Esther is a young child of only about one year old at the start of the series; thus she has very little personality seen by Addy, other than her being a baby. It is unsaid who watches her while the rest of the family is at labor, but given that Momma is a seamstress and thus does not do field work, it is possible that she is able to watch her. Addy remembers when Esther was born, and the way the family fussed over her.[1]

Given her young age, while she is enslaved, she does not work like the rest of her family. She spends nearly two years away from her parents and siblings after Ben and Sam are sold and Addy and Ruth run to freedom in the north, being left in the care of Solomon and Lula. She was given Addy's doll Janie to keep with her and remember her by.

She does not return to her family until Changes for Addy, though she is mentioned frequently. She is around two years old at the time and at first she does not know or remember her family well, though Lula and Solomon spoke of the Walkers often so she'd remember. She quickly warms up to them after her return, especially Addy.

She idolizes Addy and wants to be like her, quite often getting in Addy's way, tagging after her, and messing with her things without meaning to.

In The Books

Meet Addy: An American Girl

Esther is a young child of about one; she and Addy share a sleeping pallet. The plan was that she was going to be carried by Sam and Poppa to freedom, but when they are sold Addy and Momma must leave her behind because she can't be carried safely by the two of them and be able to keep quiet. They leave Esther to be cared for by Uncle Solomon and Auntie Lula. Momma and Addy are upset at leaving her behind, but Momma believes she'll be safe because Master Stevens can't make any money selling a baby. Addy leaves her doll Janie behind with Esther to remember her by.

Changes for Addy: A Winter Story

Since the end of the war, the family has been searching to locate Esther, Auntie Lula, and Uncle Solomon (Sam has returned as of Addy Saves the Day.) The letter Addy receives from Bertha Gilbert tells the Walkers that Lula, Solomon, and Esther were last seen in a freedman's camp outside of Raleigh, North Carolina. Esther had a bad cold and Lula cared for her until she was better, staying up with her all night even though she wasn't feeling well herself. As soon as Esther was better, they left--a week before Addy's letter arrived.

One evening a few days before Christmas--as Addy is headed home from a unplanned visit to City Hospital, she passes by First Baptist Church where she sees Esther and Lula making their way down the church steps. As soon as she realizes it's them she runs up to them and hugs them tight, finding them both small and thin. Lula promps Esther by saying this is Addy, her sister, and when asked what her sister's name is, she hides her face before saying "Her name Addy,"--the first time she speaks.

Due to the family being forced to leaving her at such a young age, Esther does not remember her family wholly; it hurts Momma when she reaches for Auntie Lula at first. She also asks Addy to get out Esther's doll that she can't sleep without--Janie. When Lula asks Esther who gave her the doll, Esther says her sister Addy.

When Addy is despondent on New Year's Eve (following the death of Auntie Lula and feeling that her family is not truly reunited in freedom) Esther tries to comfort her with Janie. Addy takes the doll and says that her family never saw her first steps or heard her first words, and lost time they'll never get back with her.

After Addy reads the Emancipation Proclamation and is looking for her family, Esther slips her hand in hers and when asked, says they're going home.

Addy's Wedding Quilt

Addy's Little Brother

High Hopes for Addy

Esther underfoot while Addy tries to work on the kite.

Esther gets underfoot while Addy is trying to make her kite, even plopping down to say she's ready to help when Poppa asks Addy if she's ready to put the frame together. Addy tries to move her out the way and she screams she wants to help. Sam tries to keep Esther occupied by drawing with her, and Addy says Esther's already knotted the string and glued her own fingers together. As Addy is trying to put the paper to the frame Esther gets up and trips over it, twisting the frame and damaging the paper. Addy yells at her and is consequently scolded by Momma to be kind to Esther. Addy says it's hard to do as Esther is constantly in her way, stating how Esther has damaged her school supplies often; Momma says this is because Esther wants to be just like Addy.

When Addy hides the recommendation letter from Miss Dunn out of shame at her family not being able to afford the fees, Esther fishes it out of Addy's bag and gives it to Momma. This is how the family learns Addy has been recommended for the I.C.Y.. When Addy finds this out, she hugs Esther (who was she's scribbling on her slate) and says she's glad Esther wants to be like her.

Addy's Summer Place

Esther accompanies Momma and Addy on their trip to Cape Island. She is wearing a new yellow dress on the train.

When Addy goes to fetch water for their campsite, Esther goes with her and picks flowers. They run into a pair of young white children. Esther holds out flowers for him to take in a kind gesture. The young boy tries to be kind in return to Esther (Addy helps by giving her name to him), but his older sister snatches him back and spanks him for being friendly with coloreds. Esther agrees with Addy that the older girl is mean.

On the beach, Esther is scared to go deep into the water and clings to Momma as Addy swims.

Shadows on Society Hill

After the family are threatened with eviction, Esther gets extremely sick with an illness implied to be pneumonia. In her lack of lucidity she cries out for Auntie Lula. Her life is saved by Elizabeth Cope, and in the aftermath the truth is revealed about Elizabeth's origins.

Addy: An American Girl Story

Esther remained a baby through the whole play rather than getting any older; she was more of a prop than a character, as her "role" was held by a doll wrapped in a blanket. She is left behind with Auntie Lula and returns with her at the end of the play.

References

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