Like many enslaved children, Addy is forced to do hard labor in service to her enslavers; she works in the tobacco fields and serving in the big house as a house servant. Seeing how hard Addy is being made to work her breaks her father Ben's heart, seeing her stooping like an old woman and being beat down every day. Ben says that she's at the age where a child learns they are enslaved and the hope they had as a child is being broken by the daily burdens of being so.
At least once while enslaved, Addy is so despondent that she vows she would do anything for God if He would let the family escape slavery; she is warned by her uncle Solomon not to bargain with Him. She (rightfully) despises that she was ever enslaved and hated being so and the hard work she endured as an enslaved child. She is close to her family and despondent when they are separated: first when her enslaver sells her father and older brother Sam away and then--in escape--when she and her mother must leave her baby sister Esther behind with their fictive kin Auntie Lula and Uncle Solomon rather than risk being caught in the escape by taking a baby that could not be easily carried or quieted with them.
Addy aches for the majority of her series to have her entire family reunited in freedom and often thinks about them and where they could be as motivation in her day to day life. She does everything she is capable of to help them be reunited, a goal that is not fully realized for over a year after her and Ruth's escape and not all at once or as full as she had hoped, as Solomon dies before arriving to Philadelphia and Lula dies very soon after their reunion.
After the family is reunited, Addy remains tied closely to each member of her family (even when Esther sometimes bothers her or gets into her things). Her friends say she has strong family pride. Addy is a brave, loving, thoughtful, and kind child, who often risks her safety for the safety of others. When Addy first arrives in Philadelphia, she is scared of being alone in the city due to being unused to the large city crowds and fear of getting lost (in part because she cannot read) but she slowly becomes braver and more confident in moving around, in part with Sarah Moore's guidance.
She still remains shy at times, especially around people she has just met. Addy is a very intelligent child, something her father sees even while they are enslaved, and does very well in school; she learns to read and write well within a few months of starting school, catches up to the skill of Harriet Davis quickly, does well enough to win a spelling bee in her class shortly after her arrival, and later is invited to take further education and enrolls at The Institute for Colored Youth to work towards her goal of being a teacher as she grows up. She is also willing and able to teach others; she starts by teaching Ruth, using cooking dough to shape out letters into the names of their family and beans to help Ruth learn to read, write, and count. She later helps her father Ben and brother Sam learn simple reading and writing, and after Sarah is forced to drop out of school to help her family make ends meet Addy offers to teach her so that she can keep learning outside of school. By the time of Shadows on Society Hill, Addy is formally enrolled in I.
And is studying Latin among other subjects as part of her curriculum. Addy is very resourceful and helpful; when Ruth is upset that she can't read to deliver the packages that Mrs.
Ford has asked her to, Addy--who is not yet a great reader or skilled in traveling around the city--asks Sarah to help her deliver the packages as she can both read and knows her way around the city. Once Addy shows that she can assist in the shop by picking up and dropping off orders for Mrs. Ford and will not be a trouble underfoot, she is invited to spend time in the shop (helping tidy up) and is free to keep the tips she earns for her deliveries. Addy does not think it is fair or right that White people believe they are allowed to enslave and abuse Black people.
She often does not like White people--she even says she hates them--and even as she becomes less fearful of them she does find many of them and their actions oppressive and racist towards her and other Black people. She finds it grossly unfair that Whites and Blacks are expected to keep separate lives and thinks that they should live and work together. She is a proponent of fairness and does not like seeing other people or animals suffer. Addy questions the status quo many times in her series, especially why Black people's place in society is expected to be beneath that of Whites, and the answers of it just being "how things are" do not appease her. Addy has moments of fancy and hope--especially about what life in freedom will be like to start--but slowly becomes much more practical (although still given to moments of wishing and dreaming).
She still has many moments of idealism, some of which come to happy endings. Addy sometimes leaps before she looks, but also learns to think on her feet to keep herself and others out of danger.
She is curious and wants to surge ahead. She does feel she can trust people before she meets them more often than not, for good or bad. In her heart, she is an optimist and thinks good of people.
However she initially is easily influenced and upset by other people, especially her classmate Harriet. Addy can be very upset and sometimes ashamed of her poverty status--especially in comparison to Harriet, who has the kind of luxurious life Addy expected in freedom. Addy has a lot of personal pride and wishes her family did not have to work so hard to make a life for themselves in freedom, but is often told by her family there is no need to be ashamed of the fact her family works to get by; they are willing to sacrifice to help her meet her goals. One of her favorite treats is ice cream; she tastes it for the first time at a church social.Her favorite color is red. Addy can swim; she was taught to swim by her brother Sam back on the plantation. She likes the outdoors and wilderness but is squeamish about dead animals and seeing injuries. American Girl characterizes her as "courageous" and "strong". A featured video describes her as "resilient". Ben Walker: Addy's father, Poppa. Ruth Walker: Addy's mother, Momma. Sam Walker: Addy's older brother. Esther Walker: Addy's younger sister. Auntie Lula: A found family member and the cook on the plantation.
Uncle Solomon: A found family member and Auntie Lula's husband. Sarah Moore: Addy's best friend.
Harriet Davis: Addy's well-off classmate and rival. Master Stevens: Plantation owner and enslaver of the Walker family.
Miss Caroline: An elderly woman who assists Addy and Momma to freedom. Miss Dunn: Addy's teacher at Sixth Street School.Ford: The owner of the dress shop where Momma works. Reverend Drake: The minister at Trinity A.
Golden: The owners of the boarding house where the Walkers later live. M'dear: An elderly woman who befriends Addy.
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