THE LETTER WRITER by Ann Rinaldi

THE LETTER WRITER

Age Range: 12 - 14

KIRKUS REVIEW

An 11-year-old girl’s inadvertent role in the infamous Nat Turner slave uprising of 1831 dramatically alters her life in this fictional account. Child of her late father’s illicit affair, Harriet Whitehead lives on a Virginia plantation with her blind stepmother, preacher stepbrother and coquettish stepsister. Harriet’s judgmental stepbrother faults everything she does and treats the slaves harshly. When he asks Harriet to become letter-writer for her stepmother, she initiates a correspondence with her uncle in England, telling him about her sympathy for the slaves, especially Nat Turner, a seemingly gentle furniture-maker and part-time preacher. Harriet supplies Turner with a map he wants of surrounding plantations and is horrified when he leads a grisly slave uprising, brutally murdering neighboring families and slaves, including her own. Afterward, Harriet is left alone to manage the plantation and deal with her guilt as well as shocking family news. The feisty Harriet narrates her harrowing story with a credible mix of naïveté and candor, providing troubling glimpses of the enigmatic Turner and antebellum Virginia. (notes about Nat Turner, author’s note, bibliography) (Historical fiction. 12-14)

Pub Date: Nov. 1st, 2008
ISBN: 978-0-15-206402-0
Page count: 224pp
Publisher: Harcourt
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 1st, 2008




MORE BY ANN RINALDI

ChildrenLEIGH ANN’S CIVIL WAR by Ann Rinaldi
by Ann Rinaldi
ChildrenMY VICKSBURG by Ann Rinaldi
by Ann Rinaldi
ChildrenJULIET’S MOON by Ann Rinaldi
by Ann Rinaldi