American Girl Publishing

kathleen ernst, caroline abbott, caroline's secret message, american girl, sackets harbor new york, war of 1812



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Caroline Abbott shivered as she kicked the kitchen door closed behind her. She eased a muddy pumpkin to the floor. "Here's one to cook today, fresh from the garden," she told Grandmother. "I'll put the rest in the root cellar."

Thus begins the second book in the award-winning, bestselling series about Caroline, the children's historical character that American Girl asked author Kathleen Ernst to create.

This story is written for readers age 8 and up who enjoy historical fiction without sex, gore, or explicit violence.

Story Description

Caroline and Mama make a dangerous trip across Lake Ontario to the British fort where Papa is a prisoner. When Mama isn't allowed to see Papa, it's up to Caroline to pass a secret message to him—right under the nose of a British guard!

Caroline hopes desperately that Papa will be able to use the information to escape. But can she get the message to him? And even if she does, will Papa understand it?

When Caroline and Mama return home, all they can do is wait... and hope. On Caroline's birthday, an unexpected gift lifts her heart.

Includes an illustrated "Looking Back" essay about Wartime in 1812. This story was released as a 104-page book in softcover and hardcover formats, and in ebook versions. All are now out-of-print, but this story is still available (see Where to Buy box above for details). 

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.

Caroline's Map 

Reproduction of the embroidered map that Carolne Abbott made to show her father how to escape from Canada back to Sckets Harbor, New York during the War of 1812. I discovered map samplers while doing research about girls’ lives during Caroline Abbott’s time. I knew right away I wanted to include one in Caroline’s stories! One of the fun things about writing historical fiction is...  more>> 

Team Caroline 

kathleen ernst, caroline abbott, american girl, children's historical fiction, sackets harbor new york, lake ontario, war of 1812, sites and stories blog, team caroline, Have you ever thought about how many people are involved with producing the American Girl books, dolls, and accessories? It takes a whole team to see such a big project through from idea to publication...  more>>

Where To Buy

American Girl no longer sells this title in printed or ebook formats, but you do have options for acquiring this story in print.

1.  The first three books in this award-winning series (Meet Caroline, Caroline's Secret Message, and A Surprise For Caroline) have been combined by American Girl into a single new book: Captain of the Ship.

2. New and used copies of Caroline's Secret Message are available online.

3.  'As New' softcover and hardcover copies of Caroline's Secret Message are available for purchase—signed and personalized as per your wishes—from Kathleen. To request a quote, click HERE.

Author's Note

I loved imagining the plot for this book! Caroline and Mama travel into enemy territory, hoping to pass important information to Papa. I knew I wanted Caroline to take a key role in that dangerous adventure—but how?

What could a girl of that time and place realistically do that could make a difference?

The answer came not from reading, but from examining a special kind of antique made by young girls during that era. 

Book Goodies

kathleen ernst, caroline abbott, caroline's secret message, book two, preview, american girl, sackets harbor new york, kingston upper canada, lake ontario, war of 1812, ages 8 and up,  PREVIEW
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inside this book 
Partial image of the cover of the "Caroline Abbott Learning Guide" created by American Girl and the Smithsonian institution. LEARNING GUIDE
For teachers and

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Caroline Abbott - Sackets Harbor - 1812 

kathleen ernst, caroline abbott, caroline's secret message, american girl, children's historical fiction, sackets harbor new york, lake ontario, kingston upper canada, war of 1812, illustrator robert papp,