American Girl Publishing

kathleen ernst, caroline abbott,

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Caroline Abbott leaned over the rail and laughed with delight. "Isn't this wonderful?" she asked her cousin Lydia. Sailing on Lake Ontario was fun any time, but being permitted to come aboard the sloop White Gull on its very first voyage was an extra-special treat. 

Thus begins Captain Of The Ship, which includes the stories from Kathleen's first three Caroline American Girl books: Meet Caroline, Caroline's Secret Message, and A Surprise For Caroline.

These stories are written for readers age 8 and up who enjoy historical fiction, without sex, gore, or explicit violence.

Story Description

Caroline Abbott loves sailing on Lake Ontario with her father, a master shipbuilder. But when the War of 1812 breaks out, Caroline's father is taken prisoner, and everything changes.

When Sackets Harbor is under attack, Caroline makes an exceptional sacrifice to defend it. She's determined to make her father proud by staying steady and helpful at home.

Then Caroline goes on a risky voyage with her mother to deliver a secret message to a British prison—to help her father escape!

These stories are available as a 224-page softcover book (as a standalone or in the Caroline 3-Book Box Set) and as ebooks.


About the Author

Bestselling author Kathleen Ernst writes award-winning mysteries, historical fiction, and non-fiction for adults and young readers.

Her work has earned numerous honors, including two lifetime writing achievement awards, an Emmy for educational television, and an Edgar Allan Poe and multiple Agatha Christie mystery award nominations.

To date nearly 1.8 million audio, ebook, and print copies of Kathleen's thirty-eight published books have been purchased. more>>

Related Blog Posts

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

Baking Bread With Caroline

kathleen ernst, caroline abbott, american girl, children's historical fiction, sackets harbor new york, lake ontario, war of 1812, sites and stories blog, baking bread with caroline blog post When I was a kid, I read about a girl in colonial times whose family had kept a crock of sourdough going from generation to generation. I’ve been fascinated with the idea of making bread with sourdough starter ever since.  more>>





Author's Note

I’ve had the great pleasure of meeting and hearing from many Caroline fans since my first books about her came out in 2012. I’ve spent so much time imagining Caroline and her world that she almost feels like a friend!

If you haven’t met Caroline yet, this book will let you enjoy several of her many adventures. I hope you’re soon thinking of Caroline as a friend, too! 



In Caroline's time sailors believed that black cats brought good luck. Perhaps that is why Caroline's papa gives her one, which she names Inkpot.

Plush toy of Caroline's pet cat Inkpot, available from American Girl

Here are Caroline and her pet. American Girl no longer sells Inkpot the plush toy.

Where To Buy

American Girl has "archived" the Caroline doll and accessories, which means they are no longer selling them. However, this Caroline book is still available from the vendors listed below—while supplies last.

NOTE: You can acquire 'as new' softcover copies of Captain of the Ship and my other Caroline books (signed and personalized as desired) directly from me. Request a quote by clicking HERE.

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