American Girl Wiki

The Stolen Sapphire is a Historical Character Mystery that is part of Samantha's books.


From the Central Series[]


Chapter By Chapter Summary[]

Chapter One: A Strange Encounter[]

Samantha is waiting at Bertram's Book Shop for Nellie, where they meet up every day after school to walk home; many shoppers are walking past in the cold. While she is waiting the owner, Mr. Bertram, notices she's still there and steps out with a package that has just been delivered that Aunt Cornelia has ordered for Nellie and Samantha's trip to Europe with their grandparents that they are leaving on the next day. He then offers to have her wait inside as it's quite cold and Samantha considers but declines as Nellie is hardly ever late. Indeed, she sees Nellie shortly after and says goodbye.

Nellie apologizes for being late as she arrives and holds up her arithmetic book to explain that her teacher, Miss Frantzen, has given her several problems to do while away on the trip. Samantha assures her that they'll both have studies as her teacher, Miss Grise, wants her to write an essay in French about the trip and she can hardly write a sentence. Nellie mentions the French tutor coming with them to teach them French and that she may help with the essay. Samantha hopes she's not anything like Miss Grise or they'll have to find ways to get away from her.

As they head home Samantha discusses her joy at being out of class for a few weeks on the trip, visiting England and France; they will also dock in Queenstown and can see the coast of Ireland from the ship. Nellie says it'll be wonderful and that her mam used to say that she wished to take her home to Ireland and that it was the most beautiful place in the whole world; she is then quiet, and Samantha knows Nellie is remembering her mother. They walk in silence before Nellie says she'd always hoped to see Ireland and she will now, even if only from the ship--and they'll visit London and Paris as well. Samantha thinks about the changes that have been in both their lives over the past two years since meeting and how she's glad they're a family together.

A carriage passes by spraying slush, and as Samantha jumps back to avoid it she bumps into a tall, thin boy of about seventeen or eighteen in a worn coat, old tweed cap, and knitted blue scarf. She apologizes to him but he doesn't reply and walks off in the opposite direction. Samantha catches up with Nellie--who has already crossed--and they continue to talk about the trip, with Samantha joking that they can go ice skating on the waves if it gets cold enough and sliding across an ice-covered puddle; Nellie wonders if it snows in the middle of the ocean.

They turn down a quiet street and are halfway down the block when a boy steps out from between two houses a few feet ahead; Samantha recognizes him from earlier and wonders how he got there walking in another direction--then fears he's possibly following them. She looks for the policeman known to patrol the block but he's not present and everyone else is inside. She is about to pull Nellie to cross the street when Nellie states the boy's name--Jamie--and that she hardly recognized him. Jamie approaches her--hands in pockets--and says she looks different herself. He asks her if she's going across the sea, having overheard as such when she was shopping with Samantha and Cornelia a few days ago; he recognized her and figured she'd done all right for herself, which was confirmed when he was sent to their house to deliver the ordered package and asks if she lives in the fine house near the park. Nellie starts to protest and Jamie interrupts saying he's not asking for money and only wants to talk to her--then looks at Samantha and says he wants to do so alone. Samantha, remembering Aunt Cornelia's warnings about strangers, says they should go home. Nellie says it's all right and tells Jamie she can't leave her friend, and he tells Samantha to stay where she is and beckons Nellie to come with him; the two go a few feet away to a narrow side yard between houses.

Samantha stays where she is and looks; Nellie has her back to her, and Jaime has a hard determined expression. He then pulls a small package out of his coat and Nellie shakes her head. Samantha looks away, stomping her feet to stay warm, and is relieved to see the patrolling policeman coming towards them, walking on the other side. The policeman notices Samantha, Nellie, and Jamie and peers, then yells at Jamie, calling him "boy." Jamie says something to Nellie and then runs off though the side yard behind the houses. The policeman chases after him behind the houses but returns shortly with his face red and asks if that boy was bothering them. Samantha looks to Nellie, who says no and that he only asked for help. The policeman says not to trust him as boys like him would rather beg and steal than do honest work. He then says he's seen them before and asks if they live nearby; Samantha says that they live on the next block, and the policeman says to head on home and he'll make sure the boy doesn't bother them again. He watches, pacing, as they hurry down the street.

Samantha asks who the boy is once they're far enough away and Nellie explains how she knows Jamie and that it's been a long time since she saw him. She pauses and is about to say more but Gertrude calls out for them sharply, from the doorway of the brownstone. Samantha calls back they're coming. As she and Nellie climb the steps Gertrude scolds them for being late on today of all days and wants to know where they've been as she helps them take off their coats and scarves. Nellie looks at the floor and Samantha deduces they shouldn't bring up Jamie and distracts Gertrude by holding out the package that Cornelia ordered. Gertrude is distracted enough to not ask further and tells them to go upstairs to inspect their trunks. Gertrude is still chiding the girls when they get to their room, where two shiny black trunks are packed with their clothes for the trip, and Samantha stops thinking about her worries with Nellie and Jamie and is excited that tomorrow, they'll be at sea.

Chapter Two: All Aboard[]

Chapter Three: An Unlucky Star[]

Chapter Four: Stormy Weather[]

Chapter Five: The Search[]

Chapter Six: A Suspect[]

Chapter Seven: Monkey Business?[]

Chapter Eight: Hidden[]

Chapter Nine: Letters Home[]

Chapter Ten: A Question of Identity[]

Chapter Eleven: Lost and Found[]

Chapter Twelve: Danger At Sea[]

Chapter Thirteen: An Unexpected Package[]

Looking Back[]

Discusses ocean travel and archeology in the early twentieth century. Topics include:

  • How faster and more improved forms of cross-ocean travel including competition among shipping companies reduced ship travel time, encouraging Americans to visit other locations
  • How Europe was a popular destination and cities such as London, Paris, and Rome were considered the great cities of Europe to visit
  • The luxurious accommodations, amenities, and meals on many ships for first class passengers such as ballrooms, tropical garden rooms, and lavish dining rooms and cabins modeled from exotic locations
  • The lesser accommodations in second class and even lesser accommodations in steerage, with steerage heavily populated by immigrants on American-bound crossings and discouraged immigrants returning home on European-bound crossings
  • Queenstown, Ireland (now called Cobh) being a busy port for steamships picking up and dropping off Irish immigrants--but that Ireland itself was not seen as a popular destination at all due to Irish prejudice from WASP Americans
  • American fascination with even further locations and books about mysterious and "exotic" countries such as China, Japan, and Egypt, and the related interest in their much-older cultures and history
  • The rise of museums in America and Europe that displayed archeological finds and obtained items around the world, and the celebrity that rose around various archeologists
  • The Star of India, known to be the largest and most famous sapphire in its time, and its display in New York's museums from the early 1900s up to the current era.

Glossary of French Terms[]

A glossary of French words and the proper pronunciation of Nicole Étienne's name are given.

Book Covers[]

Other Book References[]

Along with Samantha's Central Series, events in Samantha's Ocean Liner Adventure and Samantha and the Missing Pearls are mentioned.


  • The book was nominated for the Edgar Allen Poe Award for Best Juvenile Mystery in 2007.
  • Older editions have a removable informational card about blood-red rubies, the Hope Diamond, and the Hooker Emerald, with the obverse listing other Historical Mystery books.
  • Due to the time of printing, Felicity's first mystery, Peril at King's Creek, may be listed by TBD: a Felicity Mystery.
  • The fictional Blue Star sapphire is based on the real Star of India, mentioned in the Looking Back section of the book.


  1. Pg. 15: Last spring, the Admiral and Grandmary had taken Samantha to London with them. This year, they invited both Samantha and Nellie to accompany them on their trip to England and France. Samantha's previous voyage was in April 1906 and is referenced. Both girls are eleven now as well.