Wednesday, March 15, 2017

Gunpowder and Tea Cakes

In February 2017, American Girl brought everyone's favorite spunky colonial girl, Felicity Merriman, out of the archives with the re-release of her her original stories now repackaged as part of the Beforever line.  I have been a fan of Felicity Merriman since I was nine years old.  While I have had a deep love for all of the historical American Girl's, Felicity has remained my favorite.  Needless to say I was thrilled when American Girl re-released Felicity's original stories along with a brand new book Gunpowder and Tea Cakes: My Journey with Felicity by Kathleen Ernst. 


Gunpowder and Tea Cakes is a choose your own adventure, allowing the reader to dictate the story line by making decisions at key plot points that affect the outcome.  The story follows an unnamed ten year old girl living in 21st-century Williamsburg, Virginia.  Our heroine is grieving the death of her mother and is struggling to follow her overprotective father's strict rules.  While dusting an 18th-century miniature in her grandmother's antique shop she is whisked back in time to 1775.  The city is tense after the royal governor Lord Dunmore's removal of the colonies supply of gunpowder.  In the midst of the political powder keg our heroine meets and befriends Felicity.  The stories then follow the narrator's adventures with Felicity.  Through her adventures in 1775 the narrator gains the strength to confront the challenges that she faces in the 21st-century.  

Kathleen Ernst expands Felicity's world to include a diverse cast of new characters.  Inspired by new scholarship into 18th-century Williamsburg, Ernst includes Native American voices that was lacking in the original stories.  Also included is more nuanced portrayal of the Patriot cause and the movements supporters.  The narrator is shocked that the Merriman's own slaves, which causes her to question if Felicity could still be a good person despite coming from a slave owning family. Gradually, the narrator realizes that she can still like Felicity, even if she does not like everything about the era and society that Felicity lives in.  

A delightful journey through Felicity's Williamsburg, Gunpowder and Tea Cakes is a welcome addition to the series.  

Purchase Gunpowder and Tea Cakes Amazon

Visit Kathleen Ernst's website.