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Nellie's Promise (2004)

by Valerie Tripp

Series: American Girls (Nellie)

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
547634,313 (3.95)2
Nellie O'Malley finally has a home again. She and her little sisters, Bridget and Jenny, are happily settling in with Samantha's family in New York City..."
  1. 10
    Changes for Samantha: A Winter Story by Valerie Tripp (mandymarie20)
    mandymarie20: Basically, this book is the prequel to Nellie's Promise. Reading it definitely helps the reader understand Nellie's Promise.
  2. 00
    Meet Samantha: An American Girl by Susan S. Adler (mandymarie20)
    mandymarie20: Meet Samantha and Nellie and see the birth of their friendship
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Showing 1-5 of 6 (next | show all)
Nellie and her sisters now live with Samantha, Uncle Gard and Aunt Cornelia. Nellie doesn't feel comfortable with Samantha's friends or in Samantha's school. She has experienced a life of factory and maid work; She enjoys being useful. And she promised her dying mother that she would always take care of Bridget and Jenny. When Nellie receives much praise for her many capabilities, Samantha becomes jealous. The girls, once best friends, drift apart.

Nellie's Promise addresses the challenges of blending two families with different backgrounds and goals.

The "Looking Back" section of this historical novel informs us about adoption, orphan trains and Settlement Houses in 1906. ( )
  shsunon | Dec 1, 2014 |
Nellie and her two sisters Bridget and Jenny moved in with Samantha, her Aunt Cornelia and her Uncle Gard. Before they lived here in a nice house in New York City they lived in a tiny apartment with their foul Uncle Mike. ( )
  rsteinberg | May 31, 2011 |
What a great sequel in the Samatha & Nellie saga. In this story, Nellie's story is told. She and her sisters have been adopted by Samatha's family. She spends her time now trying to fit into her new family. She has a tough time adjusting to finishing school and wishes that she could go to teaching school. Many mishaps happen and finally the family realizes her wishes and are okay with it. This is a great picture of Nellie & Samatha's friendship.

My daughters are completely taken by these American Girl stories. I loved them because they remind me of my own daughters, one blonde, one brunette. Also, I really like these stories because the way they are written, I can see it like a movie.

I would use these books to show children the differences in how people lived in early America. I could also use this book to introduce adoption to my students.
  b1m1d | Oct 28, 2008 |
And okay, yes, I tagged this "Victorian" even though, aren't they technically Edwardian? It's just easier to have one tag to put things under.

There are two big changes in Nellie's book from the last Samantha book published. First, there's a new author, and second, it's 1906. I was a bit surprised by that at first, but since "Changes for Samantha" took place in December, I suppose it makes sense.

It's from Nellie's point of view, which is interesting , we've never seen *her* perspective on any of it. I pretty much called most of it though (including Samantha wanting to become an artist) . I did not call the fact that Nellie is passably trilingual and diagnoses the problem with Uncle Gard's car.

She's happy about her new life, but also uncomfortable because she doesn't always fit in. She's too used to working and doesn't know how to deal with a life where people think nothing of spending their time doing, buying, or learning, stuff that has no practical purpose. She is afraid because she isn't like Samantha, she doesn't have a fortune in wait for her and as generous as her friend's family is, some day she will have to support herself. She is afraid to tell anyone that she doesn't like her new rich girl's school in case they think she's ungrateful.

The promise in the title refers to one that Nellie made to her dying mother, that she would take care of her two little sisters no matter what. And then What arrives. It's her drunken Uncle Mike, who is threatening to take them back from their new wealthy family.

I suppose the fact that Nellie has plenty of reason to mistrust grownups is a good enough explanation for forgetting that Samantha's uncle isn't just rich, he's a lawyer. So she tries to solve both her problems by writing to a teacher's college in Boston (she likes helping out with the classes down at the local "settlement house") and requesting enrollment information. Her adoptive family finds out, and realizes how unhappy she's been. They agree to let her attend a teacher's college in NYC instead, and strong arm Uncle Mike into leaving her alone.

So Nellie is going to become a teacher, and Samantha will remain at her trophy wife classes and... we've learned something? I suppose?

Samantha and Nellie share a bed, something else I called (they are the only "best friend" dolls who don't come with separate beds but I'd previously wondered if that wasn't just because there hadn't been a second bed designed yet). ( )
  babydraco | Jul 1, 2008 |
Nellie's life with Samantha, Uncle Gard, Aunt Cornelia, and her sisters seems idyllic, but Nellie is worried her Uncle Mike will take her and her sisters away. She's also worried that Samantha is getting jealous of the praise she's getting and that as she becomes closer to Uncle Gard and Aunt Cornelia, she becomes more estranged from Samantha and her sisters. Nellie and Samantha finally talk things over and discover that most of the problems they thought they had aren't really there. In the end, Nellie has the courage to tell her Uncle off and make a path for herself that includes Samantha and her new family. ( )
  t1bclasslibrary | Dec 24, 2007 |
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For Tamara England, dear friend and trusted editor, with love and thanks
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Nelly O'Malley skipped cheerfully along the city sidewalk.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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Nellie O'Malley finally has a home again. She and her little sisters, Bridget and Jenny, are happily settling in with Samantha's family in New York City..."

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[From back cover]: Nellie O'Malley finally has a home again. She and her little sisters, Bridget and Jenny, are happily settling in with Samantha's family in New York City. Best of all, Uncle Gard and Aunt Cornelia want to adopt the girls. Now Nellie's best friend Samantha will be her sister, too, and Bridget and Jenny will be protected and cared for, just as Nellie had promised her mother. Then Uncle Mike shows up again and threatens to ruin everything - including Nellie's friendship with Samantha! Can Nellie find a way to keep her promise without losing her new family?
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