Freedom for Addy is a Random House Books American Girl publication focused on Addy Walker. The book is a Step Into Reading - Step Three early reader retelling of Finding Freedom, which includes events from Meet Addy, Addy Learns a Lesson and Addy's Surprise.
- Addy Walker
- Ruth Walker
- Ben Walker
- Sam Walker
- Esther Walker
- Solomon Morgan
- Lula Morgan
- Master Stevens
- Miss Caroline
- Sarah Moore
- Mabel Moore
In 1864, Addy and her family are enslaved on a plantation in North Carolina, a harsh and difficult life. At bedtime, Addy, her brother Sam, and younger sister Esther are asleep together when Addy overhears her parents talking about escaping to freedom, and wonders what will happen as she knows that attempts to escape are punished.
The next day Addy hears the plantation owner discussing selling Sam and Poppa, separating her family. She rushes to warn them and spills water from the bucket she's holding, the owner yelling at her as she does so and heading to the field. Addy, her heart racing with fear, is too late--Sam and Poppa, bound up, are already in the back of the wagon. Addy drops the bucket and runs to them but is shoved back into her mother's arms; Addy's heart is breaking as the owner yells, and she and Momma are forced to go back to work.
That night the cabin feels empty without Poppa and Sam. Momma says to Addy they're not safe and must run away--but have to leave Esther behind as she can't walk yet and would give them away crying. Solomon and Lula help Addy and Momma dress as a boy and man, and Uncle Solomon gives Addy a dime saying that freedom's got a cost. Addy kisses Esther goodbye--she is staying with Solomon and Lula--and Addy and Momma leave.
The forest on the path north is dark and scary, and Addy and Momma make their way through the trees until they find a a cave to shelter in for the day. Momma gives Addy a cowrie shell, explaining that her great-grandmother brought from Africa. Addy knows she should be brave like her ancestor. Addy and Momma travel by night, and one night they encounter a large river to cross; Momma cannot swim. They get into the river, but Momma slips and sinks under; Addy pulls her up and to shore, and Momma says Addy saved her and she's a brave girl.
Addy and Momma, after many days travel, arrive at a small house and aren't sure it's safe, but knock and wait. The house is safe and a woman, Miss Caroline, invites them in and gives them food and new clothes; in the morning, Addy and her mother will get in a wagon to continue their freedom journey. The wagon takes them to a boat, which takes them to Philadelphia.
The city is large and full of strangers and wagons, and neither of them can read or know where to go; they can't trust strangers and must wait to be helped. New friends come soon--Sarah and her mother arrive and take Addy and Momma to the church for aid. Sarah's mother finds them a small place to live; Ruth gets a sewing job and will have to work hard, but will be paid. Addy soon gets good news that she'll start school and can learn to read. She's nervous about the first day of school, and worries if she'll make friends--but these worries are dismissed when Sarah, who helped her before, makes friends with her right away.
The holidays come and Ruth works all the time. Addy wants to get Momma a gift and considers buying a scarf with the dime Uncle Solomon gave her, but instead uses scrap fabric to make a scarf and donates the dime to help other enslaved people escape. Addy gives the scarf to Momma--who loves it--and she gives Addy a rag doll stuffed with beans that Addy names Ida Bean.
That night at church there's a surprise for Addy--Poppa, who's found them! Addy hopes to see her brother and sister again, and soon.
A small fold out poster of Addy, with the illustration from the Read poster, is after the last page.
Differences between Freedom for Addy and the mentioned Central Series books
- Addy alone is filling water inside, rather than serving dinner; Auntie Lula is not present to tell her how to warn Poppa and Sam, and is only seen in the image of Addy and Momma escaping.
- Addy in the field picking tobacco worms and being forced to eat those she has skipped is left out.
- Rather than a children's book explaining the value of a half dime, Solomon gives Addy a full dime; this is also what she eventually donates.
- The encounter Addy has with the Confederate soldiers is removed.
- Ruth's job for Mrs. Ford is mentioned, but Mrs. Ford herself is not named.
- Addy starts school with Sarah--it is presented that she and Sarah reunite and become friends at school--but none of the events or other people at school (such as Harriet Davis, Miss Dunn, or the spelling bee) are seen or mentioned. (Harriet is possibly seen in the illustration.)
- Addy doing deliveries with Sarah and learning her way around the city this way is removed.
- Ruth's work on the holiday dress and its later rejection are removed.
Collection Items Illustrated in Freedom for Addy
- Lula is not directly named, but is seen in illustration and called Addy's aunt.
- He is only called "the owner."