The Staircase

The Staircase

by Ann Rinaldi

Hardcover(First Edition)

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Who really built the miraculous staircase in the Chapel of Loretto in Santa Fe?

How could Lizzy Enders's father leave her in a girls school run by the Sisters of Loretto in Santa Fe? She's surrounded by Catholics, who pray to Saint Joseph and whose saints keep watch over her-and she's Methodist! Taunted by the other boarders, Lizzy befriends a wandering carpenter named Jose, who with just three tools--and his unflagging faith--builds a staircase to the choir loft of the new chapel. Through their friendship, Lizzy discovers the inner strength to forgive and to trust.

Working from the legend of the "miraculous" staircase in the Chapel of Loretto in Santa Fe, Ann Rinaldi skillfully blends the mystery surrounding the builder of the staircase with the daily trials of a young girl growing up in the 1870s.

About the Author:

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 in central New Jersey.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780152024307
Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
Publication date: 10/28/2000
Series: Great Episodes Series
Edition description: First Edition
Pages: 240
Product dimensions: 5.50(w) x 8.25(h) x (d)
Lexile: 590L (what's this?)
Age Range: 10 - 14 Years

About the Author

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 in central New Jersey.

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The Staircase 4.6 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 20 reviews.
jmfonz52 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Lizzy is thirteen and her mother just died; her father left her at a convent in Santa Fe after her mother died. Raised a Methodist, Lizzy can't quite reconcile her beliefs with those of Catholics. She becomes friends with one nun, a "crazy lady," and a carpenter. This is a fictionalized story of an actual staircase built in Santa Fe (one of my favorite places). The staircase and its mystery, however, are true.Occasionally, I read a book that makes me glad I love to read and makes me want to be an author (while realizing that I could never be the latter). This is one of those books.
Whisper1 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Once again Rinaldi wrote an excellent book filled with likable characters and historical fact.When Lizzy Elders traveled with her family in the long arduous trip west from Missouri in the hope of reaching Colorado for gold, sadly, Lizzy's mother died. When the remaining members of the party reached Santa Fe New Mexico, Lizzy was abandoned by her father and left at a Catholic boarding school with the sisters of Loretto.The only Methodist among Catholics, Lizzy found their incessant prayers and rituals very foreign. Shunned by cruel, pious girls, she found friendship with a stranger who was a carpenter, a "crazy" lady who hides out in the hills and Jean-Baptiste Lamy, the Bishop of the Santa Fe Archdiocese.Spunky enough to tolerate the taunts from others, still, Lizzy is deeply grieving her mother and angry at the abandonment by her father.Using the backdrop of the unfolding coming-of-age story of Lizzie, Rinaldi expertly teaches the reader of the folklore and historical fact of the miraculous building of the spiral staircase in the chapel of Loretto.After the original chapel was built, it was realized that the space was too small to accommodate a choir loft.Legend shows that after nine days of prayers to St. Joseph, a shabby, raggedy carpenter appeared. Devoting months to the impossible task of building a staircase, when the project was finished, the carpenter left without seeking remuneration.The Loretto Chapel staircase is a miraculous feat. Ascending twenty feet, it makes two complete 360 degree revolutions to the choir loft. Using only primitive tools and no nails, it appears that the carpenter did not have a central support, nor was the staircase affixed to a wall. Furthermore, the wood used was not indigenous to the area of Santa Fe, NW.Educating readers is what Rinaldi does best! Her books are well written and informative.Today the chapel at Loretto is no longer used as a church. It is a museum, and the incredible staircase still stands.
MarthaL on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I liked this very much.
sweetsarah on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I loved this book because just how the Medothist girl, Lizzy made friends with the "crazy lady" and the peasant carpenter. that probably could turn out to be Saint Joseph. I love this book it was really good!!!=)
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I enjoyed this book a lot. It is a good read for anyone and everyone. Lizzy, although not the most religious girl in the world, cares about her pets and dead mother, and doesn't care for Latin prayers. She is different from the Catholics surrounding her, yet matches them – perhaps more – in helping others.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
New Mexico historical fiction.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book is awesome!!! I recommend it for all ages! This is a very good book! Favorite book of mine! You should definitly read it! :) :D
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
The staircase is real, I saw it myself.
Daniela Lujan More than 1 year ago
As someone who lives in NM, is a practicing Catholic, have heard the story of the miraculous staircase and seen it for myself- I have to say this was an amazing story & one I could definitely appreciate. Two thumbs way up! ;)
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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Anonymous More than 1 year ago
read it
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Guest More than 1 year ago
not Rinaldi's best. i got bored at times. the legend it is based on is cool, but this one doesn't have enough detail.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Ann Rinaldi is a terrific author of historical fiction novels. It is no wonder her books are award winning and widely recognized. After being abandoned at a Catholic convent school by her Father in Sante Fe Lizzie Enders, a 13-year-old Methodist girl struggles to fit in her new home. By inviting a beggar carpenter to build as staircase at the church, she unknowingly participates in a miracle. Ann Rinaldi did a fantastic job at intertwining a classic legend from Sante Fe's history with the adventures of a young girl struggling to grow up in a new place where she doesn't quite fit in. Lizzie has many adventures and makes some good friends along the way, whose stories make it impossible to set this book down. "The Staircase" was a fun and easy read. This book will captivate the imagination of anyone who enjoys historical fiction. It is a great book.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I have read a great many books in my time, literally more then 1,000. And this was most certainly one of the best. Lizzy Enders is a strong and self-sufficent girl, who copes bravely with her father's abandonment, and befriends an old lady, who is considered senial by the nuns. She's the only non-Catholic in the school, and her roommate is the Bishop's grand-niece, who is insufferable. Lizzy is alone in a world she doesn't understand, but not for long. The friends she makes and the adventures she takes leave her memories for a lifetime. And, as as is in all good books, the story has a happy ending, one which will make you smile, no matter what the mood.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Guest More than 1 year ago
Lizzie Enders has just witnessed her mothers death, had to leave her best friend, had a 60 day trip to Santa Fe, and her father has just abandoned her at a Catholic School for girls. Lizzie is Methodist and finds it very hard to fit in at a Catholic School. She makes no friends with her peers, but instead with some adults, one of whom is a 'begger man carpenter'. The church is in need of a staircase to the choir loft, so they start a novena for Saint Joseph, yet resent letting the carpenter in to work. Lizzie of course does not understand how they can believe that praying will make a staircase 'magically appear.' Through her struggles in Santa Fe, Lizzie meets many who make a difference in her life and in her opinions. This book was really good, and if you read all of Ann Rinaldi's books like I do, then I definately reccomend reading it, it won't be a waste of time!!!
Guest More than 1 year ago
This book is very different from Ann Rinaldi's other books. Her other books usually take place in a northern eastern coast city or state. This book takes place in New Mexico. Instead of having English ties, the characters in this book have Spanish ties. Yes, this book is different, and that is why I like it. It does take place in history, of course, but not in a highlighted time of American History. This book concentrates on the life for convent school borders, which was very harsh. If you want to read something different from Rinaldi, then read this. I love all of her other books, but I guess that it just shows that Rinaldi can write in different styles and still make a book great.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Hey i have to do a book and one of my least favorate genres historical fiction so when i saw this at the library and it was already checked outi thought my nook so is it wotlrth buying or should o get it from my other libraryfor cheap?