Jenny and Bridget O'Malley

Jenny O'Malley is the youngest sister of Nellie O'Malley and the adopted sister of Samantha Parkington.

Basic Facts



Jenny is the youngest O'Malley sister. She is six when she is first seen in Samantha Learns a Lesson. She is said to have a high, fluty voice. Jenny has a beloved doll named Louisa-Jane and greatly loves stories, especially fairy tales.

Unlike Nellie, she and Bridget are easily adjusting to their new well-to-do-life; this is most likely due to their age. However, she does miss her parents and cries in her sleep about them. She and Bridget have a private tutor after being adopted.

In the Books

Meet Samantha: An American Girl

Nellie tells Samantha about the day Jenny (not named) was born.

Samantha Learns a Lesson: A School Story

Jenny is first seen when Samantha walks Nellie, Bridget, and her to Mount Bedford Public School. Jenny and Bridget are in first grade and going to school for the very first time. Later on, Jenny is notably happy about her first day.

Changes for Samantha: A Winter Story

According to Nellie's letter to Samantha, Jenny was the only one who didn't get the flu (while in Mount Bedford). After the death of their parents, the O'Malley sisters are sent to live with their Uncle Mike in New York City. Two weeks later, the sisters are put in an orphanage called Coldrock House. Jenny and Bridget are separated from Nellie and put in the younger girls' dormitory. Then, Samantha helps the O'Malley sisters escape to prevent their separation (Nellie might be put on the orphan train). Jenny calls Cornelia and Gard "the finest lady and gentleman in New York City."

Nellie's Promise

Jenny is seen with Bridget being read to by Gardner, begging for more of the story while sitting in his chair. She has adjusted well to their new well-to-do life. When Nellie tells her and Bridget to go get ready for bed, they both protest and beg Gardner not to go. Cornelia is the one that reminds Nellie that she does not have to bathe the girls, as Gertrude can take them for their bath. She and Bridget hide their faces against Gardner when Gertrude comes to take them to bathe, but is persuaded with a story from Samantha.

Bridget and Jenny in the motorcar.

At the settlement house, Mrs. VanVorst says she misses Jenny and Bridget and their love of stories. After being disturbed by the conditions at the settlement house, Samantha is even more doting on her, placing her napkin back in her lap lovingly. That night, when a storm scares her and Bridget, they run into Samantha and Nellie's room and insist on sleeping in their bed that night.

When Gardner suggests a motorcar ride, Jenny is eager to go. When the car won't start, she and Bridget get restless and climb up front to pretend to drive, making a lot of noise. She and Bridget bounce so much the car rattles; they stop when Nellie tells them to, but start back up. When Bridget honks the horn by mistake she and Jenny start laughing. Nellie scolds them and Jenny says she's no fun. Samantha persuades the girls to go inside while Nellie and Gardner tinker with the car. Gardner calls them the "gleesome threesome" and Nellie feels left out. She continues to feel distant from her sisters for most of the remainder of the book.

Bridget, Jenny, and Nellie are all adopted by the Edwards.

The Curse of Ravenscourt

When the family is trying to leave, Jenny hides behind a chair, afraid that she will never come back. Samantha and Nellie cheer her up, and she goes to Uncle Gard's car and sits next to Bridget. Jenny, Bridget, and Nellie ride an elevator for the first time. Jenny and Bridget catch chicken pox. Jenny has trouble sleeping in the hotel and Nellie has to sing to her to get her to sleep.

The Stolen Sapphire

Jenny and Bridget are mentioned to be staying in New York with Uncle Gard and Aunt Cornelia.

The Cry of the Loon

Jenny, Bridget, Nellie, and Samantha arrive at Piney Point by the ferry.

In The Film

Bridget, Nellie, and Jenny are first seen heading into the Ryland home. They are all there to help with the housework. Later when their father dies, she and Bridget are sent to the Cold Rock Orphanage and separated from Nellie.

In the movie, Jenny is a selective mute who has refused to speak to anyone since her mother died, likely out of emotional trauma. Even when she must go and get Samantha to attend to a gravely ill Bridget, she only uses gestures. At the end of the movie, Jenny speaks for the first time after Gardner asks if she and her sisters want to be adopted, to which she says enthusiastically "Jenny says yes, sir!"

Jenny was played by Olivia Ballantyne.


  • In the original illustrations by Nancy Niles and Luann Roberts, both Bridget and Jenny were illustrated with blonde hair. Revised illustrations by Dan Andreasen gave Bridget blonde hair and Jenny dark brown hair.
  • Bridget and Jenny also appear as characters in Samantha's Mystery Party Game
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