Cover image for In my father's house
In my father's house
Rinaldi, Ann.
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
New York : Scholastic Inc., [1993]

Physical Description:
viii, 323 pages ; 18 cm
For two sisters growing up surrounded by the Civil War, there is conflict both outside and inside their house.
Reading Level:
640 Lexile.
Program Information:
Accelerated Reader AR UG 4.4 10.0 10292.

Reading Counts RC 6-8 7.2 17 Quiz: 05781 Guided reading level: Y.
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
Y FICTION (READING LIST) Adult Mass Market Paperback Reading List
Y FICTION (READING LIST) Adult Mass Market Paperback Reading List

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An ALA Best Book for Young Adults, now in paperback. This insightful historical novel set during the Civil War looks at a girl's struggle to keep her family together and to accept her stepfather's beliefs about slavery and the war.

Author Notes

Young adult author Ann Rinaldi was born in New York City on August 27, 1934. After high school, she became a secretary in the business world. She got married in 1960 and stopped working, but after having two children she decided to try writing. In 1969, she wrote a weekly column in the Somerset Messenger Gazette and in 1970 she wrote two columns a week for the Trentonian, which eventually led to her writing features and soft new stories. She published her first novel Term Paper in 1979, but was ultimately drawn to writing historical fiction when her son became involved in reenactments while he was in high school. Her first historical fiction novel was Time Enough for Drums. She also writes for the Dear America series. She currently lives in Somerville, New Jersey with her husband.

(Bowker Author Biography)

Reviews 2

Booklist Review

Gr. 7-10. Rinaldi notes that her novel is based on this quirk of historical coincidence: the first battle of the Civil War took place on the Manassas farm of Wilmer McLean, who eventually moved with his family to Appomattox, where the Civil War ended with Lee's surrendering to Grant in the McLeans' parlor. While some facts are known about the McLean family, the framework is bare enough to give Rinaldi full rein in creating an involving historical novel. Oscie, the narrator, begins the story as a seven-year-old girl who regards McLean suspiciously, just as any young girl might regard a prospective stepfather; by the end, she is a young woman who understands and respects him. While Oscie never sounds quite as young as seven, her transformation from child to woman is convincingly portrayed against a backdrop of the changing South before, during, and slightly after the Civil War. Rinaldi's interest in Wilmer McLean, who began by giving his farm to the cause and later profiteered in sugar, pulls the focus of the novel away from Oscie's story at times. This is, in any case, a story of many intertwining threads rather than one with a strong, central theme. Many readers will find they can't put it down. ~--Carolyn Phelan

Publisher's Weekly Review

Oscie struggles with her stepfather as the Civil War rages on. Ages 12-up. (Nov.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved