Cast Two Shadows: The American Revolution in the South

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Overview

A young girl living in South Carolina during the American Revolution discovers the duplicity within herself and others. It's 1780, and war has come to Camden, South Carolina. Caroline Whitaker's father is in prison for refusing to pledge allegiance to the king; her brother, Johnny, is away fighting for the Loyalists; and she, her mother, and her sister are confined to an upstairs chamber as British colonel Lord Francis Rawdon occupies their spacious plantation house.

Caroline ...

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Cast Two Shadows: The American Revolution in the South

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Overview

A young girl living in South Carolina during the American Revolution discovers the duplicity within herself and others. It's 1780, and war has come to Camden, South Carolina. Caroline Whitaker's father is in prison for refusing to pledge allegiance to the king; her brother, Johnny, is away fighting for the Loyalists; and she, her mother, and her sister are confined to an upstairs chamber as British colonel Lord Francis Rawdon occupies their spacious plantation house.

Caroline soon learns that Johnny is injured and needs her help to get home. Caroline receives permission from Rawdon to fetch Johnny, but she is not to make this journey alone. Her black grandmother, a slave on the plantation, accompanies her...on a trip that turns Caroline's already tumultuous world upside down and forces her to question all that she holds dear.

Ann Rinaldi is an award-winning author best known for bringing history vividly to life. She has received numerous starred reviews and awards, as well as widespread recognition for her historical novels. Ms. Rinaldi lives with her husband in central New Jersey.

In South Carolina in 1780, fourteen-year-old Caroline sees the Revolutionary War take a terrible toll among her family and friends and, along with a startling revelation about her own background, comes to understand the true nature of war.

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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)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780606188050
  • Publisher: San Val, Incorporated
  • Publication date: 1/1/2000
  • Series: Great Episodes Series
  • Format: Library Binding
  • Age range: 12 - 17 Years

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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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 34 )
Rating Distribution

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(21)

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(7)

3 Star

(2)

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 34 Customer Reviews
  • Posted July 2, 2013

    I Also Recommend:

    Awesome book!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    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!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 8, 2003

    Wonderful!

    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.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 11, 2002

    ITS A REALLY GREAT BOOK

    its a very good book and i recomond to every one who like history.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 9, 2001

    excellent

    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.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 13, 2000

    A wonderful book for people who love History

    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.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 16, 2009

    An Inspiring Novel

    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.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted November 25, 2008

    I Also Recommend:

    :D:D:D

    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

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 4, 2008

    GREAT BOOK!!!

    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!

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 20, 2008

    Incredible and Insightful-Whether You Like Historical Books Or Not

    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.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 23, 2007

    Awesome!!!

    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

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 9, 2007

    Amazzaing

    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!

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 16, 2006

    Amazing story!!

    I have read a lot of historical fictions by ann rinaldi. 6 to be exact. this was deffinatly her best so far. the story goes into vibrant detail of the Revolution. She uses many reliable facts in her books. I now am obsessed with the american Revolution thanks to ann rinaldi. i just love it.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 23, 2005

    Not Impressed

    I was not impressed by this book at all. Ann Rinaldi usually writes really well, but this book was a major let down. The characters were poorly developed. I should have been able to sympathize with Caroline, but I could not. Her characters were not rounded whatsoever, unlike most Ann Rinaldi's novels. The story line could have been good, but it wasn't. Overall I was extremely disappointed.

    0 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 7, 2005

    i love it!!

    i am a 8th grader from holms jr.high and i had to read this book for history i thought it would be boring but its soo interesting

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 26, 2004

    Cast Two Shadows by Ann Rinaldi published by Gulliver Books, Harcourt Inc.

    Cast Two Shadows interested me throughout the entire book. Ann Rinaldi really brought out what it was like for some southern families under control of the British during the Revolutionary War with her detail and characters. The story is told through the eyes of Caroline Whitaker who not only lives in a beautiful plantation in Camden but she is also part black. Colonel Rawdon of the British military has control over the Whitaker's home when Caroline receives news of her brother Johnny. Her and her black grandmother then go to get him and bring him home. Along the way they face many things then finally they find him and start heading home, and even then things are not peaceful. Full with many twists and turns this book will hold you to the pages leaving you not able to stop. So many things in this book shocked me but each shock was one that kept you reading on and on. The only true criticism I have toward this book is that at some points the things that happen can seem a little too predictable. Other than that this is a book that I would recommend to anyone who likes any sort of historical fiction book or novel. Cast Two Shadows will remain a memorable book for a long time. Not only with the story line but also with the themes to be strong through hard situations and maybe even to accept who you are. I really liked this book and I believe anyone else who reads it will too.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 28, 2002

    Dramatic and entertaning!

    This is a book about historical fiction during a war. The role of women is displayed and how the importancy of apparences affect everyone. This a classic story of a young mullato woman in the 17th through 18th century. Told by a great author, Ann Rinaldi, This is a compelling, yet dramatic book in ways.If You like historical fiction, this book is must for you. I rcommend it to everyone.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 19, 2002

    Awsome book!!

    The book is very well writtten. It was my first book I read that was by Ann Rinaldi (except for the Dear America books she has written.) She is an awsome authur!!!

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 24, 2001

    I Luv this Book!

    This book is really great! I first got it out in 6th grade and I never returned it to the Library until I had to pay 4 it and then I finished it and returned it, but I got it out the very next day! I Love this book!

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 13, 2001

    Great Book

    Really gets you in to the time period.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 26, 2000

    The truth about war

    All young Caroline has seen and heared is war. Before seeing Her freind Kit get hanged by Lord Cornwallis she wanted no part in the war but after her father being dragged away to prison and her brother being of in the war fighting with the british, having Lord Rawdon in her lovly southeren plantation house and them being prisonier in their own house and only having a small chamber in the upstairs, and worst of all seeing her friend kit hanged on that beutiful day. Also her brother is injured by excaping a whiping for not giving up grey goose (his prized horse) is out in the wilderense. So she and her Black grandmother a slave on the plantation go on a journey to fetch her brother home. There her step mother and father have always told her that her mother was dead her Grandmother told her that her mother was alive but in the west indes after being sold by her father. After they had fetched Johney home he promised that he would spy for him. But while he was in the woods he became a rebel and went to jion sumters army instead of spy. Rawdon found out that Johnney told Sumter his plans and then the british troops were badly defeated by the contenentail army and so he was going to burn carolines beutiful house down. The night before they escaped then Caroline shot a fire arrow into the room and then they ran having set there house on fire. They went to live with these people that Caroline and her grandmother et on the way to get johnny.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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