Meet Marie-Grace by Sarah Masters Buckey (Published by American Girl, August 30, 2011)
Nine-year-old Marie-Grace Gardner was born in New Orleans, where she lived with her father, an American doctor, and her mother, who came from a French family, until her mother and baby brother died in an epidemic. After her mother's death, Marie-Grace and her father moved north, where her father grew up. Now, in January 1853, Marie-Grace and her her father have finally moved back to New Orleans.
Marie-Grace is happy to be back in New Orleans and hopes she never has to move again, since she and her father moved many times in the past four years. She is excited to explore New Orleans, see her relatives from her mother's side of the family again, and go to school, where she can hopefully make friends. But the girls at school are unkind to her and she feels like an outsider. Her only friend is Cécile, a young girl her age who is a free person of color from a wealthy family in New Orleans. The two girls meet at the opera house where Marie-Grace hopes to take singing lessons, and quickly become friends.
I loved the American Girls series growing up and I credit it, along with the Little House and Dear America books, for helping me develop a love for historical fiction. Even though I am an adult now, I was very interested when I saw that the newest American Girl series would be from the perspectives of two girls from very different backgrounds growing up in New Orleans in 1853. The historical setting is very interesting since New Orleans was such a multicultural city and very different from the rest of the United States in the mid 19th century. I think young girls will enjoy this series while hopefully learning a bit about a very unique place and time from American history.
Disclosure: Review copy provided by publisher.