Ciara's Reviews > Changes for Addy: A Winter Story

Changes for Addy by Connie Rose Porter
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Dec 13, 2011

it was ok
bookshelves: kids-books, read-in-2011

basically the changes happening in addy's life are that a) her best friend sarah's family is really strapped for cash & mrs. moore is making sarah stay home from school to help with the wash (mrs. moore is employed as a washerwoman). sarah is upset about this because she really wants to go to school & eventually be a teacher, & addy is upset because she wants sarah to be a teacher too. plus she misses seeing sarah at school. eventually addy offers to come by after school every day & bring sarah up tp speed on the lessons. & while i am sure this seems like a very generous gesture & a great solution from a child's perspective...it's not so great as an adult. obviously sarah isn't going to get as good of an education from addy in an hour after school as she could get by actually going to school & being able to immerse herself in school for hours every day, aided by adults. poor sarah.

b) addy's family is still looking for baby esther. they have been writing letters to various freddmen's camps throughout the south, asking if anyone fitting esther's description, accompanied by two elderly adults fitting the descriptions of the couple that offered to care for esther so ma walker could run away to freedom, have shown up anywhere. they are surprised one day to get a letter from a camp in maryland or somewhere. the coordinator basically writes, "dear walker family, not long ago, two old people & a toddler came into the camp. they were sick. they hung around until they weren't sick anymore & then they took off for philadelphia. we tried to get them to stay & build up their strength for the journey, but they said they had a little girl that needed to be reunited with her parents. they should be in philadelphia soon." that's it. which really begs the question: how did anyone ever get in touch with anyone back in ye olden times?

the walkers estimate that the old folks & esther should be in philadelphia by now (considering how long it took for the letter to show up). they decide to spread out & just start looking around philadelphia. having lived for a summer in philly, i can vouch for the fact that it's the kind of town where you can seriously just walk down the street & run into sixteen people you know in under half an hour, including people who don't even live there. i have had more random run-ins with acquaintances in philly than i have in all other cities put together. so i will suspend my disbelief & assume that esther will be reunited with the family in about five minutes.

sure enough, addy takes a spin by a church to see if esther & the old folks are there. she shows up just in time to see an old woman helping a little girl down the stairs. it's the old lady & esther! addy gathers them up & takes them home, where everyone's reaction is basically, "o hai." esther doesn't recognize her parents or siblings, although the old lady says she has been reminding esther about them every chance she gets. old dude died on the journey. & about five minutes after the big reunion, the old lady takes ill & explains to addy, "i made it to freedom & reunited you with your sister. my work here is done." *dies* it kind of bothered me that this is a woman who spent her entire life in slavery, & she only got like three months of freedom, which was spent ferrying a toddler to her "real" family up in philadelphia, & then she dies. it kind of reminds me of the infamous movie trope in which terrible things happen to female peripheral characters in order to develop a dramatic narrative arc for a dude character.

i am just not really loving addy's books as much as i wanted to love them. but i would be interested in someday reading them with a child & seeing what kinds of conversations they generate.
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Comments (showing 1-1 of 1) (1 new)

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message 1: by Letta (new) - added it

Letta Luvs-ya I wanna read this book.

I have all of the others n they aren't bad if you look at it from a child's point of view. Also what I love about the books are they are more realistic then most books. Every story do not have a happy ending. But that's life. Ijs


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