American Girl Publishing

Cover of Caroline Abbott Traitor in the Shipyard American Girl mystery book by Kathleen Ernst.


Agatha Award Nominee
2013 Best Children's Mystery

Ranked in Top 1% of US Sales
out of 8 Million Printed Books
for a Running Total of 367 Days
— Nielsen BookScan



This is the seventh book and the first mystery in the award-winning Caroline Abbott series. It is also Kathleen's fifteenth historical book for American Girl, and her twenty-fifth published book. This story is written for readers age 9 and up who enjoy mysteries and historical fiction.

Story Description

When Caroline learns that British spies may be lurking in Sackets Harbor, she is worried. Then, a long lost friend of Papa's shows up. Papa is delighted to give him a job at Abbott's Shipyard, but soon, strange things start going wrong. Caroline is sure a spy is making trouble at the yard--but is it one of Abbott's trusted workers, whom she has known all her life, or could it be Papa's dear friend?

A richly illustrated "Looking Back" section discusses the role of spies in the War of 1812.

This story is available as a 192-page printed book in softcover and hardcover, and also in electronic versions for the Barnes & Noble Nook and the Amazon Kindle.

What Others Are Saying

Image of Barnes & Noble logo.  Prize Selection
2013 Summer Reading Program

Traitor In The Shipyard: A Caroline Mystery was chosen by Barnes & Noble as a prize for readers who completed their summer reading program.

About the Author

Bestselling author Kathleen Ernst writes award-winning mysteries and historical fiction for adults and young readers. Her work has earned numerous honors, including multiple Edgar and Agatha mystery award nominations, and an Emmy for children's educational programming.

To date, readers have purchased over one million printed, electronic, and audio copies of Kathleen's twenty-six books. more>>

Related Blog Posts

Enjoy the author's insights about the story, characters, and settings.

Traitor in the Shipyard! 

The 28-Gun American Warship USS General Pike - War of 1812. Writing the six-book Caroline Abbott series for American Girl gave me lots of opportunities to develop fascinating aspects of history into plots. Even so, the story of Sackets Harbor during the War of 1812 is so rich that I had to leave lots of things out...  more>>

Meet Caroline – And Her Home Town

kathleen ernst, author, sites and stories blog post, meet caroline - and her home town, sackets harbor new york, lake ontario, Are you ready to meet Caroline Abbott? At long last, the 1812 character I created for American Girl is launching into the world! All six books are now available. Caroline Abbott lives in Sackets Harbor, New York. The village is on the... more>>

Caroline Abbott and Me

Kathleen Ernst, American Girl, Caroline Abbott, 1812 A young reader named Breanna once asked me a wonderful question: “When you write one of the American Girl stories, do you try to remember what it was like when you were a kid?” I explained that... more>>

Author's Note

I’m excited about the 7th Caroline book, Traitor in the Shipyard. While researching and writing the first six Caroline books, I started a file of ideas for a mystery.

Caroline lives right on the border between the United States and British territory during the War of 1812, and people in her town worry about traitors causing trouble. Real incidents inspired this mystery, and I hope it keeps you guessing! 

Book Goodies

Cover of Caroline Abbott Traitor in the Shipyard American Girl mystery book by Kathleen Ernst. PREVIEW
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Partial image of the cover page of the "Caroline Abbott Learning Guide" created by American Girl and the Smithsonian Institution. LEARNING GUIDE
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Sackets Harbor, New York 

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Limestone bluffs along Lake Ontario near Sackets Harbor, New York