Meet Cécile by Denise Lewis Patrick (Published by American Girl, August 30, 2011)
This book is the second in the new American Girl series about Cécile and Marie-Grace, two nine-year-old girls from very different backgrounds who both live in New Orleans in 1853. This book takes place at the same time as Meet Marie-Grace, showing the same events from Cécile's perspective. Cécile comes from a wealthy and respected family from New Orleans' vibrant community of free people of color.
When the story begins, Cécile misses her older brother, who has gone to France to study, and can't wait for his return. At her singing lesson with Mademoiselle Océane, an opera singer from France, Cécile meets Marie-Grace, a girl who was born in New Orleans but lived with her American father in the north the past few years. Although the two girls come from very different backgrounds, they quickly become friends and share an exciting adventure at a children's costume ball during Mardi Gras.
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.