The Fifth of March: A Story of the Boston Massacre by Ann Rinaldi
Great Episodes Series
Great Episodes Series
Unabridged, 7 hr. 30 min.
Melissa Hughes (narrator)
April 28, 2004
Genre: Historical Fiction, YA, Audio book
Source: Downloaded the Audio from my Library
“Rachel Marsh, an indentured servant in the household of John Adams, believes she is well treated, and greatly admires Abigail and John Adams. Although not political herself, she worries about friends who support rebellion and have told her that a time will come when she will have to take a stand. It is only when she meets Matthew Kilroy, a young, argumentative British soldier who has been sent to Boston as part of a peacekeeping force, that Rachel begins to question British domination of the colonies and to see herself as an American.”Growing up my favorite author was hands down Ann Rinaldi. I owned probably about a dozen or so of them and I would frequently borrow those that I didn’t own from the school library. After about age 15 I got distracted by other books and really forgot all about this author until a few weeks ago. I was exploring the author’s website for a feature I was doing on YA Historical Fiction and realized that she has still been releasing books, almost every year, and still is. This made me want to take some time to get back to reading those books I loved – this time on audio book.
The Fifth of March is a story of the events in Boston that lead up to the Boston Massacre, the event itself, the trial of those British soldiers, and some of the outcomes of this conflagration. But it is also the story of Rachel dealing with figuring out who she is – does she still see herself as a British American or just a plain American (to use her own words)? It is a really interesting question – when do you start to see yourself as something different? You get to see Rachel really starting to open her eyes to what is happening around her and see how it affects her. I also really loved the sweet, little romance that developed. You really were able to see how this put added stress on a young girl too.
The author does an awesome job at giving the reader a visual layout of Boston. She also has a great ability to convey the drama, hysteria, tension, panic and drive to choose sides that enveloped Boston during that time.
Although this book is written for a primarily high school audience, I enjoyed it immensely. The historical facts and events were not brought down a level and would still be very enjoyable for an adult reader. This is a coming of age story with a teenage narrator – but also consider, people had to grow up a lot faster back then and were encountering situations that many teens wouldn’t be today.
4 out of 5 stars.
I have to say that I didn’t love this narrator. The way she read for the main character of Rachel made the character seem dumb. Having read this in paperback several years ago I had never gotten that impression – a little naïve, yes, but not the way this narrator made me feel about the character. The narrator did do a good job at evoking the feelings of the story and the world the characters were living in – the fear and panic. I think it would have been a more enjoyable listening experience with a different narrator.
3.5 out of 5 stars for the audio.
Author Ann Rinaldi has written dozens of YA historical fiction books. You can check out my post Books by Ann Rinaldi for a detailed listing of many of her books. You can also visit her website for additional information about her books. You can check out a preview of the book from Google Preview to get a taste of the writing style – even with some pages omitted.
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