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Book Review

Meet Felicity: An American Girl by Valerie Tripp has been reviewed by Focus on the Family’s marriage and parenting magazine. It is the first book in the "Felicity" series.

Positive Elements

Spiritual Content

Sexual Content

Violent Content

Crude or Profane Language

Drug and Alcohol Content

Other Negative Elements


Pro-social Content

Objectionable Content

Summary Advisory

Plot Summary

Felicity Merriman, a Colonial girl living in Virginia shortly before the American Revolution, is worried when she learns that Jiggy Nye has a new horse. Felicity loves horses. She is concerned because Nye is a cruel man and drinks a lot. She is afraid that he will abuse the horse.

When Felicity goes with Ben, her father's apprentice, to deliver a new bit and bridle to Nye, she sees Nye struggling with the horse in his pasture. Nye refuses to buy the bit and bridle that he requested, saying the horse is too wild. Ben is convinced the horse will never trust anyone because of Nye, but Felicity doesn't agree. She names the horse Penny because of its shiny copper coat. Mr. Merriman also fears for the horse's safety in the hands of Nye, and Felicity decides she must help the animal.

A week of rain keeps Felicity inside doing needlework, but she doesn't have the patience for it. The rain finally lets up, and Mrs. Merriman sends Felicity on an errand. After completing the chore, Felicity visits Penny and sees that Nye is again frustrated with the horse. He threatens to give her to anyone who manages to ride her. This gives Felicity the hope that she could own and care for Penny, if she can tame the horse.

Though her parents forbid her to visit the horse again, Felicity leaves the house before dawn to bring Penny an apple. When Mrs. Merriman asks how Felicity dirtied her skirts, Felicity lies and says she had been gardening. Felicity then steals Ben's church breeches and wears them to run to Nye's pasture and back every morning. Felicity visits Penny for the next several weeks, slowly helping the horse learn to trust her.

After a month, Ben finds Felicity hiding his breeches in the stable and demands an explanation. More surprised and impressed than upset, Ben promises not to tell Felicity's parents that she's been visiting the horse.

Penny now trusts Felicity enough to be ridden. With Nye's statement in mind, Felicity rides the horse through town back to her own home. Her parents are stunned to learn of her morning shenanigans.

Mr. Merriman explains that she must bring the horse back to its rightful owner, yet he and Mrs. Merriman are impressed that Felicity had the patience to tame the mare. When Nye arrives and demands his horse back, Felicity is heartbroken. Her father gently explains that simply riding the horse could not be enough to own her, but also says he is proud of her efforts.

Felicity realizes that she can't own Penny, but she wants the horse to survive, so she sets it free. Felicity eventually returns home, sad but satisfied.

Christian Beliefs

The Merriman family attends church on Sundays.

Other Belief Systems


Authority Roles

Both Mr. and Mrs. Merriman tell Felicity to do (or not do) specific things, and gently and clearly explain why. Felicity is given charge of her younger siblings when her parents run errands. Though Ben has no real authority, Felicity looks up to him.





Discussion Topics

Get free discussion questions for this book and others, at FocusOnTheFamily.com/discuss-books.

Additional Comments/Notes

You can request a review of a title you can't find at reviewrequests@family.org.

Book reviews cover the content, themes and worldviews of fiction books, not their literary merit, and equip parents to decide whether a book is appropriate for their children. The inclusion of a book's review does not constitute an endorsement by Focus on the Family.

Episode Reviews



Readability Age Range

8 and up


Valerie Tripp






Record Label



American Girl


On Video

Year Published





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