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Thursday, January 27, 2011

Books By Ann Rinaldi

Ann Rinaldi is a prolific YA historical fiction author whose books are among my favorites read as a young reader. Her books focus mostly on American events and she has also written a couple of the Dear America and My Name is America books that I mentioned a few days ago. You would not be remiss to introduce a young reader to these books. Several of the books have won awards. I have placed stars next to the ones that I have read – and I would recommend them all! I must warn you, this is a marathon post – and I didn’t even include ALL of her books, just the most historical based ones!

Great Episodes Series

A Ride Into Morning* A novel of Tempe Wick
“The Revolutionary War is raging. General Wayne's soldiers are freezing, underpaid, and resentful. Whispers of mutiny abound.

A stone's throw from the restless camp, Tempe Wick wages her own battle for survival. Despite her efforts, she fears she won't be able to feed her family, care for her ailing mother, or maintain her farm for long.

As the whispers get louder, the soldiers get bolder. Mutiny is imminent. And Tempe faces a gut-wrenching decision: Should she join the revolt?"

A Break with Charity* A novel of the Salem Witch Trials.
“Why, in 1692, did Salem execute 22 citizens accused by hysterical girls? Susanna English, ancestor of Nathaniel Hawthorne, is a fascinated, horrified observer whos told, early on, by ringleader Ann Putnam that the girls are deliberately seeking attention and power; Susanna keeps silent lest her own family be accused.”

The Fifth of March* A novel of the Boston Massacre.
“Rachel Marsh is a servant in the Boston household of John Adams. But her loyalty to the Adams family is tested by her friendship with Matthew Kilroy, a British private who leads his soldiers in firing upon a mob of Boston citizens.”

Finishing Becca A novel of Peggy Shippen and Benedict Arnold
“Peggy Shippen is everything Becca is not--a beautiful, rich, and horribly spoiled Quaker daughter whose life revolves around the whirlwind society of Philadelphia in 1778. Becca's family has fallen on hard times, and she is sent to the Shippen household to be Peggy's personal maid and to receive a finishing education. But working for Peggy, Becca gets an education in deceit and treachery, as Peggy sets her sights first on British Captain John Andre and then on American General Benedict Arnold.

As Becca fervently tries to find the "missing pieces" of herself, she watches in horror as Peggy Shippen manipulates General Benedict Arnold to turn traitor and join forces with the Crown against the revolutionary Americans.”

The Secret of Sarah Revere*
"What really matters? The truth? Or what people think? This question plagues thirteen-year-old Sarah Revere, daughter of the famous patriot Paul Revere. Who fired the first shot at Lexington does Paul Revere know? Sarah struggles with these questions and looks back at all that has happened since her father began his series of rides for the patriots. Dr. Joseph Warren, a friend of her fathers becomes a part of the family watching over them during Paul Revere's frequent absences. But Sarah fears that Warren's best interest is in her step mother. As Sarah is left with her own personal war."

Keep Smiling Through
“For young Kay, growing up in middle class America during World War II is a confusing and sometimes painful experience. Her stepmother, Amazing Grace, is a selfish woman who takes her unhappiness out on those around her. And for a little girl so concerned with pleasing others and doing the honorable thing, life with Amazing Grace is nearly unbearable. But Kay is also a believer. She’s determined to “keep smiling through,” as the song says, knowing that one day she will do something extraordinary.”

Hang a Thousand Trees with Ribbons A novel of Phillis Wheatley.
“Kidnapped from her home in Senegal and sold as a slave in 1761, a young girl is purchased by the wealthy Wheatley family in Boston. Phillis Wheatley--as she comes to be known--has an eager mind and it leads her on an unusual path for a slave--she becomes America’s first published black poet”.

An Acquaintance with Darkness
“Chaos reigns in Washington, D.C., after President Lincoln's assassination. But for 14-year-old Emily Pigbush, the Union's turmoil is nothing compared to her own struggle. Sent to live with her uncle Valentine after her mother's untimely death, Emily realizes that her best friend's mother was one of John Wilkes Booth's accomplices. And even worse, she suspects that her uncle is breaking the law.”

Cast Two Shadows The American Revolution in the South
“A young girl living in South Carolina during the American Revolution discovers the duplicity within herself and others. It's 1780, and war has come to Camden, South Carolina. Caroline Whitaker's father is in prison for refusing to pledge allegiance to the king; her brother, Johnny, is away fighting for the Loyalists; and she, her mother, and her sister are confined to an upstairs chamber as British colonel Lord Francis Rawdon occupies their spacious plantation house.

Caroline soon learns that Johnny is injured and needs her help to get home. Caroline receives permission from Rawdon to fetch Johnny, but she is not to make this journey alone. Her black grandmother, a slave on the plantation, accompanies her...on a trip that turns Caroline's already tumultuous world upside down and forces her to question all that she holds dear.”

The Coffin Quilt* The Feud Between the Hatfields and the McCoys
“Teenager Fanny McCoy grows up in the midst of a longstanding neighborhood war in this novel that brings to life the archetypal American family feud between the Hatfields and the McCoys — a legendary episode in history.”

The Staircase*
“Who really built the miraculous staircase in the Chapel of Loretto in Santa Fe?

How could Lizzy Enders's father leave her in a girls school run by the Sisters of Loretto in Santa Fe? She's surrounded by Catholics, who pray to Saint Joseph and whose saints keep watch over her-and she's Methodist! Taunted by the other boarders, Lizzy befriends a wandering carpenter named Jose, who with just three tools--and his unflagging faith--builds a staircase to the choir loft of the new chapel. Through their friendship, Lizzy discovers the inner strength to forgive and to trust.

Working from the legend of the "miraculous" staircase in the Chapel of Loretto in Santa Fe, Ann Rinaldi skillfully blends the mystery surrounding the builder of the staircase with the daily trials of a young girl growing up in the 1870s.”

Or Give Me Death A Novel of Patrick Henry’s Family
“With their father away most of the time advocating independence for the American colonies, the children of Patrick Henry try to raise themselves, manage the family plantation, and care for their mentally ill mother.”

An Unlikely Friendship A Novel of Mary Todd Lincoln and Elizabeth Keckley
“On the night of President Abraham Lincoln's assassination, his frantic wife, Mary, calls for her best friend and confidante, Elizabeth Keckley, but the woman is mistakenly kept from her side by guards who were unaware of Mary Todd Lincoln's close friendship with the black seamstress. How did these two women--one who grew up in a wealthy Southern home and became the wife of the president of the United States, the other who was born a slave and eventually purchased her own freedom--come to be such close companions? With vivid detail and emotional power, Ann Rinaldi delves into the childhoods of these two fascinating women who became devoted friends and confidantes amid the turbulent times of the Lincoln administration.”

Come Juneteenth
“Sis Goose is a beloved member of Luli's family, despite the fact that she was born a slave. But the family is harboring a terrible secret. And when Union soldiers arrive on their Texas plantation to announce that slaves have been declared free for nearly two years, Sis Goose is horrified to learn that the people she called family have lied to her for so long. She runs away--but her newly found freedom has tragic consequences. How could the state of Texas keep the news of the Emancipation Proclamation from reaching slaves? In this riveting Great Episodes historical drama, Ann Rinaldi sheds light on the events that led to the creation of Juneteenth, a celebration of freedom that continues today.”

The Ever-After Bird
“Now that her father is dead, CeCe McGill is left to wonder why he risked his life for the ragged slaves who came to their door in the dead of night. When her uncle, an ornithologist, insists she accompany him to Georgia on an expedition in search of the rare scarlet ibis, CeCe is surprised to learn there's a second reason for their journey: Along the way, Uncle Alex secretly points slaves north in the direction of the Underground Railroad.

Set against the backdrop of the tumultuous pre-Civil War South, The Ever-After Bird is the story of a young woman's education about the horrors of slavery and the realization about the kind of person she wants to become.”

Juliet’s Moon
“War is turning Juliet Bradshaw's world upside down. Her brother, Seth, rides with William Quantrill's renegade Confederate army, but he's helpless when the Yankees arrest Juliet along with the wives and sisters of Quantrill's soldiers as spies. Imprisoned in a dilapidated old house in Kansas City, Juliet is one of a handful of survivors after the building collapses, killing most of the young girls inside. When she's reunited with her brother, Juliet finds the life she had previously known is gone. Surrounded by secrets, lies, murder, and chaos, she must determine just how far she will go to protect the people and things she holds dear.”

The Letter Writer
“Eleven-year-old Harriet Whitehead is an outsider in her own family. She feels accepted and important only when she is entrusted to write letters for her blind stepmother. Then Nat Turner, a slave preacher, arrives on her family’s plantation and Harriet befriends him, entranced by his gentle manner and eloquent sermons about an all-forgiving God. When Nat asks Harriet for a map of the county to help him spread the word, she draws it for him—wanting to be part of something important. But the map turns out to be the missing piece that sets Nat’s secret plan in motion and makes Harriet an unwitting accomplice to the bloodiest slave uprising in U.S. history. Award-winning historical novelist Ann Rinaldi has created a bold portrait of an ordinary young girl thrust in to a situation beyond her control.”

Leigh Ann’s Civil War
“Leigh Ann Conners is spunky and determined. Although she often finds herself in trouble, she loves her two older brothers dearly and would do anything to make them proud.
When the Yankees arrive in Roswell, Georgia, Leigh Ann places a French flag upon the family’s mill. She hopes the Yankees will then spare the mill from destruction, but her actions have disastrous results. Sent north with the women and children who worked in the mill—all branded traitors for making fabric for Confederate uniforms—Leigh Ann embarks on a journey that requires her to find her own inner strength. Only then will she be able to rise above the war raging around her.”

Other Novels

Time Enough for Drums
“Sixteen-year-old Jem struggles to maintain the status quo at home in Trenton, New Jersey, when the family men join the war for independence.

There are signs of rebellion in the Emerson household several years before the actual American Revolution hits in 1776! Brought up in a relatively liberal household, Jemima Emerson is quite a challenge for her tutor, John Reid, who is known as a Tory with strong ties to England. How could Jem's parents be friends with a man who opposes American freedom? Jem longs for freedom on every level, in the home and her homeland—and John represents the forces that restrict her.

Jem and her family soon find themselves fighting for freedom in whatever ways they can in the Revolutionary War. Before long, Jem discovers that there is much more to Mr. Reid than she ever imagined. Her feelings about him change when Jem realizes that John shares her love of freedom—and will risk his life to defend it.”

The Last Silk Dress
“Fourteen-year-old Susan chilmark wants to do something to support the Confederacy during the Civil War. She decides to collect silk dresses to create a huge hot-air balloon to spy on the enemy. But at the same time, Susan discovers unsettling family secrets, deals with the death of her father, and falls in love with a Yankee.”

Wolf by the Ears
“Harriet Hemings has always been happy in the comfortable, protected world that is Monticello. She's been well treated there; no one has ever called her a slave. But that is what she is, a slave of a man who wrote the Declaration of Independence. And there are rumors that she might be more than Thomas Jefferson's slave - she might be his daughter.

Now Harriet has to make a choice - to run to freedom or to stay. If she stays, she'll remain a slave. But how can she choose freedom, if it means leaving behind her family, her race, and the only home she's ever known?”

In My Father’s House
“Many of the fiercest battles of the Civil War were fought in the home. Oscie Mason knows this all too well.

The first shots of the war were fired on her front lawn - a sign of things to come. Oscie's a proud daughter of the Old South, but her stepfather, Will McLean, thinks the world of her childhood must change. Oscie won't accept anything he has to say. And the tension between them is about to explode.

To escape the war, Will McLean moves the family to a quiet town called Appomattox. But the war will follow them there, as sure as the hurtful battle will continue in Oscie's home, and in her heart. Can Oscie call a truce - or will all that she cherishes become a casualty of war?”

The Second Bend in the River
“Rebecca Galloway is a busy pioneer girl in the Ohio Territory. Over the years, her friendship with Tecumseh, the respected Shawnee chief, grows into love. Rebecca must choose a future on her family homestead, or with the man she loves.”

Mine Eyes Have Seen
“As antislavery crusader John Brown gathers men and arms at a small farm near Harper's Ferry, 17-year-old Annie Brown must decide: Is her father a visionary or a madman?”

Taking Liberty A Novel of Oney Judge, George Washington’s Runaway Slave
“Oney Judge is a slave. But on the plantation of Mount Vernon, the beautiful home of George and Martha Washington, she is not called a slave. She is referred to as a servant, and a house servant at that — a position of influence and respect. When she rises to the position of personal servant to Martha Washington, her status among the household staff — black or white — is second to none. She is Lady Washington's closest confidante and for all intents and purposes, a member of the family — or so she thinks.

Slowly, Oney's perception of her life with the Washingtons begins to crack as she realizes the truth: No matter what it's called, it's still slavery and she's still a slave.

Oney must make a choice. Does she stay where she is — comfortable, with this family that has loved her and nourished her and owned her since the day she was born? Or does she take her liberty — her life — into her own hands, and like her father, become one of the Gone?

Told with immense power and compassion, Taking Liberty is the extraordinary true story of one young woman's struggle to take what is rightfully hers.”

Mutiny’s Daughter
“In the most famous mutiny in the world, Fletcher Christian risked imprisonment by leading a rebellion aboard the HMS Bounty in 1789. But what happened to Fletcher Christian after that? There were stories that he survived a vicious massacre in the South Pacific and boarded a ship back to England. We know that he had several children by his Polynesian wife, including a daughter named Mary. Could he and Mary have reunited in England?

Respected writer of historical fiction Ann Rinaldi brings her magic touch to the fascinating prospect “What if?” and weaves an enthralling tale told through the words of Fletcher Christian's fourteen-year-old daughter, Mary. Behind the privileged walls of her new boarding school, Mary struggles to fit in, trying not to reveal the identity of her father, who dishonored his family name.

Rollicking adventures await Mary as she ventures out into London's crowded streets, desperately searching to see her father's loving face one more time.”

Brooklyn Rose
“It's 1900, the dawn of a new century, and fifteen-year-old Rose Frampton is beginning a new life. She's left her family in South Carolina to live with her handsome and wealthy husband in Brooklyn, New York -- a move that is both scary and exciting. As mistress of the large Victorian estate on Dorchester Road, she must learn to make decisions, establish her independence, and run an efficient household. These tasks are difficult enough without the added complication of barely knowing her husband. As romance blossoms and Rose begins to find her place, she discovers that strength of character does not come easily but is essential for happiness.

Writing in diary form, Ann Rinaldi paints a sensual picture of time and place--and gives readers an intimate glimpse into the heart of a child as she becomes a woman.”

Nine Days a Queen The Short Life and Reign of Lady Jane Grey
“I had freckles.
I had sandy hair.
I was too short.
Would my feet even touch the ground if I sat on the throne?

These are the words of lady Jane Grey, as imagined by celebrated author Ann Rinaldi. Jane would become Queen of England for only nine days before being beheaded at the age of sixteen.

Here is a breathtaking story of English royalty with its pageantry, privilege, and surprising cruelty. As she did in her previous novel Mutiny's Daughter, Ms. Rinaldi uses powerful, evocative writing to bring to life a teenage girl caught in the grip of stirring times.”

The Redheaded Princess
“Growing up, Elizabeth fears she can never be Queen. Although she is the King's daughter, no woman can ever hope to rule over men in England, especially when her mother has been executed for treason.

For all her royal blood, Elizabeth's life is fraught with danger and uncertainty. Sometimes she is welcome in the royal court; other times she is cast out into the countryside. With her position constantly changing, the Princess must navigate a sea of shifting loyalties and dangerous affections. At stake is her life—for beheading is not uncommon among the factions that war for the Crown.

With the vivid human touch that has made her one of the foremost writers of historical fiction, Ann Rinaldi brings to life the heart and soul of the young Elizabeth I. It's a portrait of a great leader as she may have been as she found her way to the glorious destiny that lay before her.”

You can check out a complete list of her books at Ann Rinaldi’s website.

Copyright © 2011 by The Maiden’s Court


  1. I love Ann Rinaldi!! Seeing all these titles and covers take me back -- I loved her and I love passing her on to the young women in my life.

  2. Audra - she was my favorite author growing up - probably one of the very few that I read multiple books by. I wasn't award that there were quite so many! Now I wish I had known and read more of them!

  3. Love her books. I wish books like this had been around when I was a teen. There was Nancy Drew and little else other than the classics. Unfortunately, no one made aware of those. I missed out on so much. I didn't become aware of Rinaldi until I was working as a children's librarian. There were great advantages to that job. I discovered many wonderful authors and was able to introduce them tho the kids.


Thanks for leaving your comments! I love reading them and try to reply to all!