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Ann Rinaldi (1934–2021)

Author of A Break with Charity

59 Works 15,781 Members 239 Reviews 33 Favorited

About the Author

Young adult author Ann Rinaldi was born in New York City on August 27, 1934. After high school, she became a secretary in the business world. She got married in 1960 and stopped working, but after having two children she decided to try writing. In 1969, she wrote a weekly column in the Somerset show more Messenger Gazette and in 1970 she wrote two columns a week for the Trentonian, which eventually led to her writing features and soft new stories. She published her first novel Term Paper in 1979, but was ultimately drawn to writing historical fiction when her son became involved in reenactments while he was in high school. Her first historical fiction novel was Time Enough for Drums. She also writes for the Dear America series. She currently lives in Somerville, New Jersey with her husband. (Bowker Author Biography) show less
Image credit: Ann Rinaldi


Works by Ann Rinaldi

A Break with Charity (1992) 1,222 copies
Girl in Blue (2001) 766 copies
Numbering All the Bones (2002) 754 copies
The Secret of Sarah Revere (1995) 624 copies
In My Father's House (1993) 545 copies
Time Enough for Drums (1986) 536 copies
Wolf by the Ears (1991) 505 copies
The Last Silk Dress (1988) 432 copies
Amelia's War (1999) 395 copies
A Stitch in Time (1994) 385 copies
Mine Eyes Have Seen (1997) 348 copies
The Staircase (2000) 295 copies
Broken Days (1995) 266 copies
The Second Bend in the River (1997) 261 copies
The Blue Door (1996) 248 copies
The Redheaded Princess (2008) 190 copies
Brooklyn Rose (2005) 169 copies
Come Juneteenth (2007) 164 copies
Keep Smiling Through (1996) 162 copies
Sarah's Ground (2004) 147 copies
The Letter Writer (2008) 125 copies
Juliet's Moon (2008) 99 copies
The Ever-After Bird (2007) 96 copies
Mutiny's Daughter (2004) 94 copies
The Color of Fire (2005) 76 copies
My Vicksburg (2009) 58 copies
Millicent's Gift (2002) 58 copies
The Family Greene (2010) 54 copies
Leigh Ann's Civil War (2009) 53 copies
The Last Full Measure (2010) 46 copies
Term Paper (1980) 18 copies
But in the Fall I'm Leaving (1985) 14 copies
The Good Side of My Heart (1987) 7 copies
Promises Are for Keeping (1982) 5 copies


Common Knowledge

Date of death
New York, New York, USA
Places of residence
Somerville, New Jersey, USA
columnist for The Trentonian



April 2013--Juliet's Moon in Missouri Readers (April 2013)


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.

-Amazon description
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CDJLibrary | 4 other reviews | Nov 9, 2023 |
An historical novel about the childhoods of Mary Todd Lincoln and Elizabeth Keckley, two women coming from opposite ends of society prior to the Civil War.

Mary Todd came from a plantation owning family. She was brought up with fine clothes, housing and slaves, schooled in educational and social arts during an era where women were groomed to be more like background to their husbands, yet expected to run the household like a corporation.

Elizabeth’s mother was a slave, seamstress to the family. Elizabeth’s father was the plantation owner, which put her in the house staff and not in the fields. Nothing more, but if she didn’t behave it could be much less.

Both had difficult childhoods. Mary Todd was the fourth of six children. Her mother died giving birth to Mary’s youngest brother. The following year her father remarried, which was too early for the mourning, but her felt the need to have someone to care for the children. The new wife brought “a new standard of elegance” to the family. From day one she was in charge of the home and children. She was the centerpiece and she had no love for Mary.

Elizabeth was light in skin but it didn’t make any difference in her position in her world. She was still and slave and as long as she was in the south she had no say in her life. Being a girl made it even harsher.

Both girls had dreams and they worked towards them. Mary’s was to marry a politician and live in the White House. Elizabeth’s was to be a free woman and run her own life. Interestingly they did accomplish their dreams, even though it was not easy.

This is a short read. The description of life in that era is harsh and difficult. The fancy dress, and the opulence of one life against the brutal treatment and hard labour of the other emphasizes the extreme differences between the two.
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ChazziFrazz | 6 other reviews | Nov 8, 2023 |
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. With vivid detail and emotional power, Ann Rinaldi delves into the childhoods of two fascinating women who became devoted friends amid the turbulent times of the Lincoln administration.
PlumfieldCH | 6 other reviews | Sep 22, 2023 |
I used this novel with my 8th-grade class. It offered enough historical facts that it went perfectly with the unit I was doing. It is well written in a language that is easy to follow and understand.
It allows the reader to see the effect the American Revolution and slavery had on the individuals who experienced it firsthand.
amroczkowski | 2 other reviews | Mar 2, 2023 |



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