Title: Caroline Takes a Chance
Author: Kathleen Ernst
Illustrators: Robert and Lisa Papp
Pages: 91 pages
Publisher/Date: American Girl Publishing, c2012
Publication Date: September 4, 2012
Caroline’s heart dropped as she followed his gaze. A sloop had just appeared, and she could see a British flag flying from its tallest mast.
“It’s an enemy ship,” she whispered.
Rhonda’s eyes were wide. “It’s making straight for us!”
“It’s not making straight for us,” Seth said grimly. “It’s making straight for the bateau.”
Her heart racing, Caroline eyed the sloop. Seth was right. Although the British sloop was zigzagging to make use of the wind, its captain was clearly heading toward the American supply boat. (21-22)
Caroline and her friends Seth and Rhonda go out to catch some fish, and spot the missing supply boat fleeing from a British ship. During the ensuing chase, Seth decides that he can’t stay out of the war and admits his desire to join the navy. His obligations as post walker prevent him from immediately enlisting, until Caroline volunteers to assume his duty. His route takes her close to an old fishing spot she used to visit with her father, and it’s there she finds more than just memories of happier times.
This book reads like two connected short stories, and it got me thinking that while that’s how most of the American Girl book series play out, with a overarcing problem tying all the books about one girl together, this one just seemed more bisected than most. Again, we see Caroline getting personally involved in the war effort, although with the next book being titled Caroline’s Battle I can imagine that this won’t be the last time. It’s in this book that I think Caroline’s resourcefulness is most apparent, and it makes it obvious how much everyone needed to rely on each other and nature during their times of need. What would the world be like today if we could depend on one another the way Seth depends on Caroline to finish his route? Not my favorite in the series because it seemed predictable in nature, but overall still a fun fast read.