Tuesday, July 27, 2010

The Staircase

by Ann Rinaldi
ISBN 0152024301

Ann Rinaldi writes historical fiction for young adults. This particular novel was about a young girl who moves to a convent shortly after the Civil War. She does not want to be there, especially because she is Methodist, but also because she is grieving the loss of her mother and really would rather be on adventures with her father.

The convent was in Santa Fe, New Mexico territory. I was very surprised to see how interesting the culture of that area was at the time. The author portrayed a town full of Mexican, Indian, and Catholic superstitions, culture, and customs. At times the children in the book encountered graveyards, witches, vicious townspeople, and failed prayers. The protagonist has a healthy suspicion of Catholic beliefs and would rather just be Methodist.

I thought that though religion was not always portrayed in a positive light, there were some truths and hopeful characters. It was an engaging story about a real legend from the area.

Recommended for ages 13 and up.

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