Ann Rinaldi has written dozens of historical novels and she was my secret weapon as a homeschool mom. No matter what American historical time period we were studying, Ms. Rinaldi had an excellent book for my middle grade and high schoolers to read.
Here are 6 titles that all deal with the American Civil War — in one way or another. My girls LOVED her novels and read many of them just for pleasure.
There probably isn’t a better way to understand history!
The Civil War began in the front yard and ended in the parlor of the McLean family. This is their story.
In My Father’s House, Middle Grade Reading Level, 336 pages, Published in 1992
Fourteen year old Susan collects silk dresses from the women of Richmond, VA in order to make a hot air balloon that can spy on the Union Army. This is a wonderful story told from the Confederate side of the Civil War.
The Last Silk Dress, Middle Grade Reading Level, 352 pages, Published in 1988.
Phyllis Wheatley was an American slave, kidnapped from her native Senegal in the 1760s. Despite extreme hardship, Phyllis becomes the first black poet to have her work published in the United States. This is a remarkable story.
Hang a Thousand Trees with Ribbons: The Story of Phyllis Wheatley, Middle Grade Reading Level, 352 pages, Published in 1996.
Neddy is finally free, but can she find the rest of her family now that the Civil War is over? This book takes you to the Andersonville Prison and introduces readers to Clara Barton.
Numbering All the Bones, Middle Grade Reading Level, 176 pages, Published in 2002.
A story of the Underground Railroad.
The Ever-After Bird, Middle Grade Reading Level, 240 pages, Published in 2007.
Who does Mary Todd Lincoln turn to after the assassination of her husband?
An Unlikely Friendship: A Novel of Mary Todd Lincoln and Elizabeth Keckley, Middle Grade Reading Level, 256 pages, Published 2007