Fifth of March

( 54 )

Overview

Fourteen-year-old Rachel Marsh, an indentured servant in the Boston household of John and Abigail Adams, is caught up in the colonists' unrest that eventually escalates into the massacre of March 5, 1770.

Fourteen-year-old Rachel Marsh, an indentured servant in the Boston household of John and Abigail Adams, is caught up in the colonists' unrest that eventually escalates into the massacre of March 5, 1770.

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Overview

Fourteen-year-old Rachel Marsh, an indentured servant in the Boston household of John and Abigail Adams, is caught up in the colonists' unrest that eventually escalates into the massacre of March 5, 1770.

Fourteen-year-old Rachel Marsh, an indentured servant in the Boston household of John and Abigail Adams, is caught up in the colonists' unrest that eventually escalates into the massacre of March 5, 1770.

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Editorial Reviews

Children's Literature - Susie Wilde
Several years ago Ann Rinaldi became my favorite historical fiction writer because of her devotion to exploring the depths of female emotion while viewing history through the quandaries obscured by time. In The Fifth of March, she writes about fourteen-year-old Rachel Marsh, John Adam's indentured servant in Boston in the 1770s. Rachel becomes friends with a British soldier and she's caught between loyalty to America and to friendship. Everything comes to a head on March 5th at the Boston Massacre when Rachel's friend shoots a Bostonian. She is torn apart by her loyalties to the Adams family, her burgeoning sense of Americanism, and her bonds of true friendship. The book is part of the "Great Episodes" series.
School Library Journal
Gr 6-9-Ann Rinaldi's award-winning novel (Harcourt, 1993) is reminiscent of Johnny Tremain. It features an orphaned bondservant, Rachel Marsh, who finds herself enmeshed in the furor that was pre-Revolutionary Boston prior to the Boston Massacre. Many historical personages are featured in the story-John, Abigail, and various other Adamses of Boston; Henry Knox; and soldier Matthew Kilroy. The tale melds history and fiction to give an excellent view of colonial Boston, its inhabitants, and the political and social attitudes that pervaded the city. Rachel discusses the role of women in society with Abigail Adams herself. The notion of colonial British-Americans discovering that they have become "plain Americans" and the philosophical changes that entailed is examined. Melissa Hughes gives an honest voice to narrator Rachel. Early, wistful readings tender an innocence that develops into confidence and assurance as the character grows in years, education, and confidence, lending believability to the narrative. The Adams' cook is referred to as a "nigra girl," which is historically accurate, but might be offensive to some. The story is sprinkled with mild oaths and finds Rachel chastely fending off the advances of soldier Matthew Kilroy. Rinaldi has scored a winner with this book, destined to be a classic, and Hughes ably provides a clear, crisp, and honest rendering.-Mike Brown, Bowie High School, MD Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information.
Chris Sherman
Rinaldi's latest historical novel, which takes place in 1770, is told from the point of view of 14-year-old Rachel Marsh, an indentured servant in the household of John Adams. Rachel feels lucky to have the position, believes she is well treated, and greatly admires Abigail and John Adams. Although not political herself, she worries about friends who support rebellion and have told her that a time will come when she will have to take a stand. It is only when she meets Matthew Kilroy, a young, argumentative British soldier who has been sent to Boston as part of a peacekeeping force, that Rachel begins to question British domination of the colonies and to see herself as an American. When Matthew is arrested for his part in the Boston Massacre, Rachel, who's convinced he's caught up in a political war not of his making, defies convention and the Adamses' wishes and visits him in jail. Although the act costs her her job, she knows she has done the right thing. Rinaldi provides a vivid picture of colonial life and the pre-Revolutionary War period, including the disagreements among various American factions and the frightening actions of mobs and British retaliation. Because the issues she raises--the role of peacekeeping forces, the use of violence to achieve political goals, and the courage required to take a stand--are as significant today as they were at the time, this will be a wonderful selection to use in language-arts and social-studies classes.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780780752733
  • Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
  • Publication date: 9/1/1995
  • Series: Great Episodes
  • Pages: 352
  • Sales rank: 607,253
  • Age range: 12 - 17 Years
  • Product dimensions: 4.40 (w) x 6.90 (h) x 1.10 (d)

Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 54 )
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Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted April 23, 2009

    This story compels the reader and has great ideals you will fall in love with the suspense and the romance as I did throughout the book

    This was a great book that showed the reader Rinaldies talent. I recommend this book and all of her others this one was one of my favorites. Try the Quilt triolgy as well if you enjoy the plot in Boston.

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