Meet Marie-Grace (American Girl) c.1

by Sarah M Buckey

Other authorsChristine Kornacki (Illustrator)
Paperback, 2011


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Call number

J AG MG 1853 c.1


Amer Girl (2011), 105 pages


When Marie-Grace arrives in New Orleans in 1853, she is not sure she fits in, until an unexpected invitation opens the door to friendship.

Local notes

France > History

User reviews

LibraryThing member krmajor
Marie-Grace, a 9-year-old girl originally from New Orleans, has just moved back to the city after living in Pennsylvania because of a cholera outbreak that killed her mother and little brother. Of course, Marie-Grace is leery of such a big move, but also enthusiastic about all the new adventures
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New Orleans surely holds. Maybe most exciting of all, Marie-Grace’s uncle Luc is friends with Mademoiselle Michel, a famous French opera singer who is willing to give Marie-Grace singing lessons. While at singing lessons, Marie-Grace meets Cécile; she and her family are gens de couleur libres, or free people of color, and after a bit of a rocky start, her and Cécile become fast friends.

At the end, there’s a section about what life in New Orleans would have been like during Marie-Grace’s life, which provides perfect context for readers that are unfamiliar with the time period and/or city. There’s also a small glossary at the end to help with French pronunciations, since Cécile and many others in New Orleans spoke French at the time. Additionally, if readers are excited to read more, Cécile has her own series, which also features Marie-Grace. Meet Marie-Grace, like many American Girl books, provides readers an opportunity to read about a time period and place that is rarely written about, and the unique story of Marie-Grace and Cécile will surely inspire readers to explore more historical fiction if they haven’t already. Recommended. Grades 2-5.
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LibraryThing member Daumari
Actually finished this last night/early this morning before going to sleep. An interesting premise, having two leads- I wonder if they got feedback from the Julie series about how Ivy could've been a co-lead? (see: all my Julie reviews where I gripe about how Ivy was functionally the protagonist of
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two books)

New Orleans has a unique history in the United States- much like Josefina's Santa Fe, it has its own identity and history prior to joining the union. Cecile and other characters express surprise that Marie-Grace "sounds American", who is in turn baffled that they call her that when technically, Louisiana's been part of US territory for the last 50 years.

It's nice to get in the head of a shy, reserved character! Julie acts on her thoughts and Nanea actively wanted to help with the war effort, but Marie-Grace is intimidated by being the new girl and not understanding French in a bilingual society. I also found it refreshing that she's from the middle class and Cecile, a free person of color, is the one from the wealthy family- more stories of all types for people of color instead of pigeonholing our historical roles into one kind of thing

Something felt a bit off in the illustrations- maybe the posing, or the way light reflected off of them? It felt less detailed and dynamic than previous series' work.
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Original language


Physical description

105 p.; 6.13 inches


1593696523 / 9781593696528



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