Cast Two Shadows: The American Revolution in the South

Cast Two Shadows: The American Revolution in the South

4.2 34
by Ann Rinaldi
     
 

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A young girl living in South Carolina during the American Revolution discovers the duplicity within herself and others.

Overview

A young girl living in South Carolina during the American Revolution discovers the duplicity within herself and others.

Editorial Reviews

KLIATT
To quote KLIATT's Sept. 1998 review of the hardcover edition: The Revolutionary War in South Carolina was an especially bloody conflict, with families divided and terrorism rampant. Rinaldi tells of several months in the life of Caroline, the summer of 1780, when Caroline is 14 years old. Her father, a patriot, is imprisoned by the British; her brother is fighting for the British, but switches loyalties; her sister is flirting with the British officer occupying their home. During the horror of this time, Caroline faces the truth about her own place in the family; that her biological mother is a slave who was sold to the West Indies, and her grandmother is a slave still living on their plantation. Caroline has been adopted into the white family, sharing a father with her half-siblings. In the midst of this story, Caroline undertakes a dangerous journey with her slave grandmother, a skilled herbalist, to find her wounded brother and bring him back home. This journey works on several levels, as a time for Caroline to learn about her own heritage through a relationship with her grandmother, and a time to find strength within herself to be decisive and courageous. The story itself is relentlessly gripping, starting with Caroline witnessing the hanging of her childhood friend and seeing her family ruined by the war. Caroline is an appealing narrator and readers will see the horror through her eyes. My only reservation is that while I'm willing to believe it possible that Caroline's white family regulated her relationship to them, by essentially adopting her, I feel that it is wildly improbable. To add to this improbability, at the end Caroline tells of her marriage into a white family whowelcome her knowing of her heritage. Of course there were many children born during slavery whose fathers were their owners or other members of the owners' families, and these slave children grew up side-by-side with their white siblings—that fact is not what I'm objecting to in Rinaldi's story. I'm worried that Rinaldi might be misleading YA readers who don't know much about the horrors of slavery by writing that the white family adopted Caroline, covering up her slave heritage, and then another family welcomed her as a wife knowing that same heritage. Therefore, I think it would be important for teachers and librarians to point out to this book's readers just how unusual Caroline's position was; more than likely she would have remained a slave, perhaps given some preferential treatment, but not accepted as an equal. KLIATT Codes: JS—Recommended for junior and senior high school students. 1998, Harcourt, Gulliver Books, 282p, bibliog, 18cm, 98-4770, $6.00. Ages 13 to 18. Reviewer: Claire Rosser; May 2000 (Vol. 34 No. 3)
Children's Literature - Heidi Green
Fourteen-year-old Caroline has seen her family devastated by war. Her father has been imprisoned as a rebel, and her brother has gone to fight for the British. Her sister has become the companion of the pompous British officer occupying their family home, and her mother has been forced to wait on him. Yet the War also provides an opportunity for Caroline to be closer to her family. Caroline is actually the daughter of her father and a slave she's never known; in this time of war, racial barriers are relaxed, and the girl becomes close to her grandmother, Miz Melindy. As the two travel to rescue her wounded brother, Caroline learns more about her past-and her self-than she's ever known. Rinaldi's narrative is fluid and captivating. The author's note addresses the historical context of the tale. The bibliography identifies nonfiction texts that deal with these issues.
VOYA - Brenda Moses-Allen
Rinaldi's thought-provoking novel opens as fourteen-year-old Caroline Whitaker witnesses the hanging of a childhood friend who tried to attack a troop of British soldiers patrolling the Camden, South Carolina, countryside in 1780. The hanging changes how Caroline regards the war and her life. Her moroseness is compounded by confusion about her family and their part in the war. Caroline's father, a wealthy businessman and plantation owner, is in prison because he refuses to pledge allegiance to King George. Her brother Johnny, opposing their father's views, has joined the Loyalists. The women of the family, Caroline, her mother, and sister Georgia Ann, are forced to suffer the unpredictable whims of English officer Lord Rawdon who has commandeered their house and businesses to shelter and feed his marauding troop of soldiers. Events take on a different meaning for Caroline when Rawdon requests a special cook, her black grandmother and her father's slave, Miz Melindy. The world Caroline once knew changes and her feelings about the people who inhabit that world are thrown into turmoil as she and Miz Melindy travel the back roads looking for Johnny, who has been wounded by the British. The "good master" slave owner is portrayed here: the British are the villains and slave owners play only a minor role as oppressors. Rinaldi does offer a realistic view of the effects of slavery on the lives of the plantation slaves, however, and truthfully depicts the intermingling of the masters' and slaves' lives. Another small but integral part of the novel is the friendly relationship that existed between some Native Americans, slaves, and colonialists in South Carolina. The author's painstaking research is evident in this work, affording an insightful look at the varied ways of American life during the Revolutionary War in this fine addition to her list of historical YA fiction. VOYA Codes: 4Q 3P M J (Better than most, marred only by occasional lapses, Will appeal with pushing, Middle School-defined as grades 6 to 8 and Junior High-defined as grades 7 to 9).
School Library Journal
Gr 5-9-The prolific Rinaldi's latest piece of historical fiction focuses on the Southern colonies during the American Revolution. War reaches Camden, SC, in 1780, and Caroline Whitaker's privileged world comes undone. For the lively 14-year-old, things are already uncomfortable; her household is split between her beloved brother Johnny's Loyalist military service and her father's unabashed support for the Patriots. In rapid succession, Caroline then witnesses the brutal execution of a childhood friend, sees her father imprisoned for refusing to declare loyalty to King George, and, along with her mother and sister, becomes a prisoner in their own home when British troops occupy the plantation. The stress, fear, and confusion bring to light one of the family's greatest secrets: Caroline's birth mother, whom she never knew, was a slave in the Whitaker household. When word comes of Johnny's court-martial and brutal punishment, Caroline undertakes a journey to bring him home, accompanied by her maternal grandmother, Miz Melindy, a slave who is also a skilled healer. Both expect to face danger, but neither of them anticipates how significant their travels will be for Caroline's future. Rinaldi has incorporated prodigious historical research and provocative themes to produce a deftly plotted and fast-paced novel.-Starr E. Smith, Marymount University Library, Arlington, VA
Kirkus Reviews
Skeletons come and go from a wealthy South Carolina family's closet when the British army arrives in this tale set during the Revolutionary War. While sister Georgia Ann has taken to dining nightly with haughty Lord Rawdon, Caroline Whitaker, 14, scorns the occupying officer; she has seen a friend hanged and her Patriot father thrown into prison. Word comes that brother Johnny, a member of the Loyalist militia, has been wounded, so Caroline and her "negra" grandmother, Miz Melindy, set out to bring him home. Caroline not only learns that Johnny has switched sides, but that her birth mother, Miz Melindy's daughter, didn't die (as she had always been told); she was shipped off to the West Indies as the price of Caroline's acceptance as a Whitaker. Deftly incorporating facts into the background but leaving most of the violence offstage, Rinaldi (Mine Eyes Have Seen, 1998, etc.) keeps the focus on her characters, developing an entertainingly contentious rapport between Caroline and Miz Melindy while strewing the cast with rough men and widowed or abandoned women. Georgia Ann eventually becomes Rawdon's doxy, then is summarily dropped from the story, and Johnny, willing to risk his life to save his slave, breaks off with the Catawba women he had been seeing for years in the name of appearances. In the end, Caroline has no trouble marrying into a white family, a seeming paradoxþconsidering the pervasive consciousness of racial differences hereþthat Rinaldi doesn't explain. Anna Myers's Keeping Room (1997), a less disingenuous story set in the same place and time, offers a more direct view of the unusual brutality that characterized the war in the Carolinas. (bibliography)(Fiction. 12-15)

From the Publisher
[star] "Impeccably researched, vividly detailed, and filled with very human characters."
Booklist (starred review)

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780547351155
Publisher:
Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
Publication date:
05/01/2000
Series:
Great Episodes
Sold by:
Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
Format:
NOOK Book
Pages:
288
Sales rank:
159,474
Lexile:
610L (what's this?)
File size:
176 KB
Age Range:
12 - 17 Years

What People are saying about this

From the Publisher
[star] "Impeccably researched, vividly detailed, and filled with very human characters."
Booklist

Meet the Author

ANN RINALDI is an award-winning author best known for bringing history vividly to life. A self-made writer and newspaper columnist for twenty-one years, Ms. Rinaldi attributes her interest in history to her son, who enlisted her to take part in historical reenactments up and down the East Coast. She lives with her husband in central New Jersey. Visit her online at www.annrinaldi.com.

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Cast Two Shadows: The American Revolution in the South 4.3 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 34 reviews.
hockey22 More than 1 year ago
Awesome book!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! This book is incredibly good! It is one of the best historical fiction books I have ever read with accurate details in history. If you want to learn about the Revolutionary War you need to read this book ASAP!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Guest More than 1 year ago
If you loved the movie The Patriot, you'll love Cast Two Shadows. It takes place in the same area with almost the same situations from a girl's point of view. Like all of Ann Rinaldi's books, this is truly a remarkable book that sticks to the facts.
Guest More than 1 year ago
its a very good book and i recomond to every one who like history.
Guest More than 1 year ago
cast two shadows is an awesome book. caroline is a young girl struggling to accept her life the way it is and at the same time trying to learn more about her true mom and why she was sent away from her. caroline copes with the hardships of the war and growing up which i think her brother johnny had a lot to do with. i totally reccomend this book to anyone.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Cast two shadows, is about a young girl who is half black and half white, living with her father, stepmother, sister, and brother. It tells about how she and her family try to survive in the old south. This book is a very good book, I couldn't put it down till I finished it. I hope anyone who reads my review will read this book. It really was a super book to read.
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This novel is truly an inspiring piece of work. Ann Rinaldi's ability to make you cry and laugh along with her characters is truly astounding! The vivid imagery, as well as the beautiful and fragile relationships between characters such as Miz Melindy and Caroline, make this story a unique masterpiece. I have found that Mrs. Rinaldi's fictional characters have instilled in me lessons that I will carry with me for years.
hiyee-iluvchocolate More than 1 year ago
this book was ok i guess....i had to read it for school and i was pretty surprised how it turned out. normally, i would NEVER pick up a historical fiction. This book however, was pretty good. I'm in eighth grade and had to read it for my history novel. There was intense family drama and i actually did not sleep through it :D (well, most of it). This book ended up pretty interesting and kind of helped me recap what i learned in school. good job ann rinaldi :D
Guest More than 1 year ago
At first i picked up this book from my teacher, to do an assignment on it, after the first 100 pgs, I was TOTALLY ABSORBED!! GOOD read!
Guest More than 1 year ago
From the hanging in the opening pages until the epilogue, Cast Two Shadows is filled with new suspenseful twists that make for an exciting, yet sobering read. This is probably my favorite Ann Rinaldi book. It showed a new perspective of the American Revolution. It was interesting to read about a family that wasn't decidedly patriot, but was torn in half. It was a very complex story, yet it flowed smoothly and was a quick reader. There were so many nuggets of wisdom spread throughout the book, that are worthy of quoting. Most of the characterizations were very vivid and realistic at the same time. Miz Melindy (Caroline's slave grandmother) was a very interesting character. She was very critical, but at the same time, very caring and observant. I would have liked to have heard more from Caroline's adoptive parents, because they did not seemed as well developed. (Rinaldi could have further expanded upon the theme of hiding the truth to protect those you love). The book showed how harsh life can be, through all the characters that were never heard from again, but it also showed how truth makes from stronger new beginnings.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I read this book about three years ago for a seventh grade book report, and it turned out to be one of the best books I have read up until this point. Over the course of the past few years i have read this book about five times. Ann Rinaldi is an inspiration to anyone who loves historical fiction
Guest More than 1 year ago
This book is beautiful. once i started reading it i couldn't put it down! Ann Rinaldi use so many adjectives the words just come alive!