Juliet's Moon
  • Juliet's Moon
  • Juliet's Moon

Juliet's Moon

5.0 4
by Ann Rinaldi

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War is turning Juliet Bradshaw's world upside down. Her brother, Seth, rides with William Quantrill's renegade Confederate army, but he's helpless when the Yankees arrest Juliet along with the wives and sisters of Quantrill's soldiers as spies. Imprisoned in a dilapidated old house in Kansas City, Juliet is one of a handful of survivors after the building collapses

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War is turning Juliet Bradshaw's world upside down. Her brother, Seth, rides with William Quantrill's renegade Confederate army, but he's helpless when the Yankees arrest Juliet along with the wives and sisters of Quantrill's soldiers as spies. Imprisoned in a dilapidated old house in Kansas City, Juliet is one of a handful of survivors after the building collapses, killing most of the young girls inside.
When she's reunited with her brother, Juliet finds the life she had previously known is gone. Surrounded by secrets, lies, murder, and chaos, she must determine just how far she will go to protect the people and things she holds dear.

Editorial Reviews

KLIATT - Janis Flint-Ferguson
This novel is based on one of the most dramatic events in the Civil War. Twelve-year-old Juliet Bradshaw lives in Missouri, and her older brother Seth is a rider with Quantrill's Raiders. Readers follow the lives of Juliet and Seth as Union soldiers try to end the raids by the unorthodox Quantrill and his guerrilla fighters. The Union virtually imprisons the female relatives of Quantrill's men until a tragic accident kills many of the innocent young women and sends the Southerners on one of their bloodiest raids. After her confinement at Union hands, Juliet lives with Seth and his young wife, fending off nosy Union soldiers and befriending Sue Mundy, an unusual member of the Quantrill party. As Union soldiers become regular visitors to the Missouri farm, it is no longer safe for Seth to be seen there. And on one fateful night Juliet has to decide how far her loyalty extends to the raiders with whom her brother rides. Although the characters of Juliet and Seth are not based on real people, the story of Quantrill and his Raiders carries legendary status and this novel provides YAs with a look at the world of midnight raids and the decisions that relatives had to make in order to keep their secrets. The story is all Rinaldi, intertwining the fictional family with historical figures to address universal themes of loyalty, friendship and hard choices. Reviewer: Janis Flint-Ferguson
Katie Pearson
This installment of Ann Rinaldi's Great Episodes series tells the story of Juliet Bradshaw, a 12-year-old girl growing up in the midst of the Civil War. Her only living family—her father and brother Seth—wholly support the Confederacy, and Seth leaves the family's Missouri farm to join Quantrill's Raiders. As a result, the Yankees arrive on the farm and shoot Juliet's father and burn her home to the ground. Soon afterward, Juliet is captured, along with Seth's fiancee Martha and Martha's sisters. Thus begins the girls' long journey home and Juliet's personal quest to reconcile the good side of herself with her newly discovered dark side. While the prose of Juliet's Moon is easily accessible to both low- and high-level readers, some of the content may be too graphic for younger students. It would be best for mature readers in eighth to 10th grade. Reviewer: Katie Pearson
Kirkus Reviews
"At your age, all you should be worried about is clothes and boys and reading Moll Flanders," Seth tells his 12-year-old sister, Juliet Bradshaw. But in 1863 Missouri, Juliet has seen too much: Her father was shot and killed; her house was burned to the ground by Yankee soldiers; she was jailed as a spy and the jail collapsed, killing several young women; and she killed one man to save another. She'll have stories to tell her grandchildren, but coming of age in such a terrible time has been rough. Fortunately, Seth, who rides with William Quantrill's renegade Confederate army, is a devoted protector, and their relationship is the heart of this moving story set in the midst of the Civil War. The drama of family, friendship and growing up is effectively rooted in the particulars of one time and place-a burned-out corner of Missouri-and thereby says volumes about what war does to people clinging to humanity and civilization. One of Rinaldi's best. ("what happened next," author's note, bibliography) (Fiction. 10 & up)

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Product Details

Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
Publication date:
Sales rank:
Product dimensions:
4.20(w) x 6.80(h) x 0.70(d)
630L (what's this?)
Age Range:
12 Years

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Chapter One

LIKE I SAID, my secret hiding place saved me and Maxine that day, just as I used to fancy it would. I’d stocked it well with sugar cookies, slices of smoked ham, even tins of food like Seth used in his guerrilla unit when he fought with Quantrill and his Raiders. Maxine, our house nigra, cook, and all-around friend to Seth and me, had given me a stone jar of water, pillows, and blankets to make it comfortable.

And, of course, I had my box of treasures: marbles I’d won from Seth at our last game; a blue feather from a peacock; one of Pa’s cigars, unsmoked, that I’d stolen from his desktop; some quills for a pen; a set of teeth from an animal that I like to think was a baby dragon found by the creek in back of the house; and my mother’s good pearl necklace that she gave me when I turned twelve. Right before she died.

Maxine was having some difficulty climbing the ladder to the tree house. I had to help her up. We spent the rest of the afternoon there. We ate the cookies and ham. We could see the house from where we were, disappearing in the smoke, belching flames from its windows.

And Pa, standing there alone one minute, alone in the barnyard, like he was cleaning his rifle, but waiting for the Yankees to return from the wheat fields. And in the next minute lying at the feet of the Yankees. Shot.

I didn’t love Pa. I never had. Not like I loved Mama and Seth. Pa was gruff and had a quick, hard hand to slap and no patience with a little girl. Seth knew how to handle him; I didn’t. Seth even bad-mouthed him, jokingly, calling him an old codger or some other term that Pa never seemed to mind. If I did that, I’d be put in a closet in the cellar and made to wait there until Seth talked him into pardoning me. Then Seth would come down and get me. "Don’t you know any better?" he’d say as I clung to him. "You can’t talk to him like that."

"You do," I’d sob.

Though they had their fights, Pa gave Seth freedom to "sow his wild oats" and would lecture him at the table the next morning. Seth yes sir’d and no sir’d him to death.

"He’d be disappointed in Seth if he didn’t sow his wild oats," Maxine told me.

Once, when Seth didn’t get home by four in the morning, Pa sealed up the house. Locked him right out. Seth came rapping softly at my window and I let him in. I got time in the cellar closet the next day, and Seth had to talk him out of my punishment.

I know Pa didn’t like girls. I know he’d wanted another son, instead of me. And he never let me forget it. For fatherly affection I went to Seth. Pa didn’t care at all.

Still, Pa shot! It was outside the realm of all family pettiness. He was still my father. Shot for what? For not giving out the whereabouts of his son’s guerrilla army unit? For not telling where their cache of ammunition was stored?

I shivered. Maxine put a blanket around me. "Pa’s dead," I told her.

"I know, chile."

"I’m an orphan. Will the authorities put me in an orphanage in Kansas City?"

"Ain’t no orphanage in Missouri will take you."

"Am I that bad?"

"No, ’cause you ain’t an orphan. You gots your brother, Seth."

"But he goes away to war."

"Seth ain’t gonna let anybody take you away. Not while he lives and breathes. Now you’re just a little girl. You just twelve. Seth is all of twenty-four. He old enough to care for you, even though he go to war. He gots me to see to you while he’s gone."

I hugged her. "We got to bury Pa."

"We wait for Master Seth," she said.

I looked up at her. "You call him ‘Master Seth’ now."

"Thas’ right. Thas’ respect."

"Do I have to respect him, too?"

"Wouldn’t hurt none if’n you did."

I giggled. "He’ll still swing me around, won’t he?"

She sighed. "Chile, it’s a different world out there now. I wouldn’t count much on anybody swingin’ you ’round."

I sobered. "I wager he would if I asked. Wouldn’t he?" All hope was gone from my voice.

Maxine sighed. "I wouldn’t ask, honey. I jus’ wouldn’t ask."

We were quiet for a while. The hours passed. I decided I didn’t like this world anymore. What kind of world was it if I couldn’t ask Seth to swing me around? The fire was down to smoldering and the afternoon blue turned to gray and my eyes stung from the smoke. My house was gone, my room gone. I wondered how the flowered bedspread had burned, if the dolls had stopped smiling, if my dresses and shoes had taken it well. I wished I had a newspaper so I could read about Sue Mundy. They had stories about her every day and I followed her doings avidly.

She was the only woman who rode with William Clarke Quantrill, the notorious leader of Quantrill’s Raiders. You couldn’t pick up a newspaper but there she was, in her women’s attire, sometimes in her men’s attire.

She fought as a man. Seth fought with her. But he would never talk about her.

I wondered what made her do what she did. If she ever had anyone to swing her around when she was a child.

We waited for Seth to meet us at the gates.

Copyright © 2008 by Ann Rinaldi

All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopy, recording, or any information storage and retrieval system, without permission in writing from the publisher.

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Juliet's Moon 5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 4 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Angela Kopfer More than 1 year ago
I loved this book and i could not put it down.the time in history the civil war is so interesting in this book.i love how the author wrote this book as a mix with fiction and non fiction.so worth it!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago