Monday, March 9, 2009

The Letter Writer

I have said many times that historical fiction books are one of my favorite genres- if not the favorite. Just this weekend I read The Letter Writer by Ann Rinaldi. Knowing my love of kids historical fiction novels, I am surprised that I haven't read more by Rinaldi, who happens to have a large collection of historical fiction novels she has penned.
The Letter Writer tells the story of eleven year old Harriet who is her blind stepmother's letter writer. The two live on a plantation in the south, complete with slaves. While Harriet's time is taken up helping her stepmother, she is introduced to Nat Turner, a slave who has become popular as a minister preaching of God's love. Harriet's stepmother wants to hire Nat Turner to refinish some furniture for her, and while he is at their plantation Harriet is convinced by Turner to let him borrow a map of the area. The map, he claims, will help him know where the plantations are so he can continue to spread God's word. What he uses the map for, however, is one of the biggest slave uprisings in history.
I was totally fascinated by this look at something in history I knew little about. Rinaldi's book has made me want to delve further into the history surrounding this slave uprising and Nat Turner's role in history.

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