Cover image for Mutiny's daughter
Mutiny's daughter
Rinaldi, Ann.
Personal Author:
First edition.
Publication Information:
New York, NY : HarperCollins, [2004]

Physical Description:
218 pages ; 22 cm
Gives voice, as a teenager returned to the Christian family in England, to the half-Tahitian daughter of the British ship Bounty's second-in-command and mutineer, Fletcher Christian.
Program Information:
Accelerated Reader AR MG 4.1 6.0 76343.

Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
J FICTION Juvenile Fiction Open Shelf
J FICTION Juvenile Fiction Open Shelf

On Order



What if? In the most famous mutiny in the world, Fletcher Christian risked imprisonment by leading a rebellion aboard the HMS Bounty in 1789. But what happened to Fletcher Christian after that? There were stories that he survived a vicious massacre in the South Pacific and boarded a ship back to England. We know that he had several children by his Polynesian wife, including a daughter named Mary. Could he and Mary have reunited in England? Respected writer of historical fiction Ann Rinaldi brings her magic touch to the fascinating prospect ?What if? and weaves an enthralling tale told through the words of Fletcher Christian's fourteen-year-old daughter, Mary. Behind the privileged walls of her new boarding school, Mary struggles to fit in, trying not to reveal the identity of her father, who dishonored his family name. Rollicking adventures await Mary as she ventures out into London's crowded streets, desperately searching to see her father's loving face one more time.

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. 5-7. Having mined American history for controversial figures (Benedict Arnold in Finishing Becca, 1994; John Brown in Mine Eyes Have Seen, 1998), Rinaldi shifts her gaze to a similarly notorious Englishman: Fletcher Christian, the lead mutineer of the HMS Bounty. The evocative premise is outlined in the foreword: What if Christian secretly returned to England with his 5-year-old, half-Tahitian daughter, Mary? The story opens nine years later, as Mary, forced by paranoid guardians to hide her origins, heads for a posh London boarding school. Tension arises from a manipulative classmate bent upon outing her secret, along with news that her father, whom she can't remember, may be nearby. The consequences of exposing her connection are never articulated clearly enough to justify Mary's spiraling anxieties, and the many secondary characters (including a cameo by Samuel Coleridge), along with the sundry historical references, can be distracting. Still, Mary's yearning for her father is affecting, and Rinaldi's writing, at its best, evokes London of the early nineteenth century with precision. --Jennifer Mattson Copyright 2004 Booklist

School Library Journal Review

Gr 5-8-Once again, Rinaldi has unearthed a historical nugget and polished it into a gem of a story. This intriguing novel is based on the premise of what could have happened if the notorious Bounty mutineer Fletcher Christian returned to England with his five-year-old daughter, who was born on Pitcairn Island, and left her on the Isle of Man to be raised by his mother, before he went into hiding. Now 14, Mary is forced to live a lie, as she must pretend that her uncle is her father in order to save the family's good name. Still, she wonders about the whereabouts of her real father, and hopes that she will someday see him again. When her grandmother sends her off to a fashionable girls' school in London, this secret becomes a great burden for her to bear, and she must stand up to a fellow student who is threatening to expose her. In the end, through a selfless act, she is finally reunited with the father for whom she has been longing. The author sets the scene with an introduction that provides a bit of background and sifts through what is fact and what is fiction in a note at the end. The characters are well drawn and believable and the 19th-century English setting is vividly presented. This clever, well-written historical novel may just inspire curious readers to investigate the personalities and events on which the story is based.-Kimberly Monaghan, formerly at Vernon Area Public Library, IL (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.



Mutiny's Daughter Chapter One 1808 I dream, all the time, of ships. All kinds, from terribly large East Indiamen to sloops and packets and cutters. In these dreams, I am trying to board these ships, or rushing to meet them, or on one and passing others and searching. Searching for people whose names I do not know, running on the ships' decks, or packing, hastily, so I won't miss one. Packing is the worst. I can never fit everything into my trunk, and I am late. Often, I am standing alone on the quay, having missed a cutter to take me out to a ship, standing with the most terrible feelings of dismay and anguish. For the most part, in my dreams I have feelings of anguish and distress and anxiousness, and failure. And loss. And if I take a voyage, I never arrive anywhere that I know. The place is always foreign to me. And nobody knows me. Nobody at all. Of course, I have figured by now the cause of these dreams. They were born the day my father took me out to sea in the Bounty's cutter. Away from that place where he'd lived for eight years in what was either a heaven or a hell of his own making. How long we floated in the sea in that cutter before we sighted the large ship that was to bring us to England, I do not know. For I have only my dreams. No memories. I do not know how it happened, how my father sneaked me off that island, how he kept me from falling out of the cutter, I a child of only five, who was accustomed to roaming about the island with my older brothers at will, barefoot, free of spirit. Did I have shoes on my feet? Sandals? Did I wear a proper dress? If I did, did my mother make it? Out of what? Canvas sail? Or tapa, bark cloth, which my mother labored over for weeks to make fit for clothing? I have been told that my father stole me away from my mother because he feared more killing of the children of white men on the island. He did not fear for my brothers, for they were already under the protection of the native man my mother was living with in the years my father was in hiding on the island. But he feared for me, for as a girl I was less valued, and I looked more English than Polynesian. Did my father secure me to the seat of the cutter with ropes? How did he lift me to the great ship that took us on? How did he explain my manner of dress? Grandmother said the ship was American and that my father told the captain we'd been shipwrecked. But still, my dress. How did he explain that? Oh, how I wish I knew something solid so that when I go to sleep at night my dreams will have an end to them, or, if not, that I will have memory to build walls to contain them, their sights and sounds, their smells and feelings -- to rein them in and end my anxiousness and fear. Especially I wish I had the feeling of my father's arms around me, or the memory of his face next to mine, or even the words he must have said when Thursday October, my older brother, brought me to him from my mother's house on the other side of the island. Where he must have said, "Come, little one, don't be afraid. Say good-bye to your brother now, and let us be gone from this place." But I have none of it. This seems so unfair. I have asked Grandmother about it, but she won't answer. She won't speak of my father except when the mood seizes her. And when that happens, she is bitter and spends her words like shillings she doesn't want to part with. "On the day you were born, in 1793, there was a massacre on the island," she will say. "Tahitian men killed the Europeans." Then she finishes the story. "And your father was shot. How he survived, I do not know. I did not inquire." My father brought me here in 1798. I am only fourteen. He sneaked back to England, where he was thought of not only as a mutineer but also as a pirate, and a traitor to his King and his country. He committed the worst sin our family could imagine. The sin of dishonor. So the tale my grandmother and the others give out to the world is that my father, Fletcher Christian, was killed in the massacre on Pitcairn Island in 1793. And that his brother, Uncle Charles, is my father. That he begot me on a visit to the West Indies when he was in the merchant service. I live that lie every day. And my grandmother lives in fear that I will give it away. And so do I. Mutiny's Daughter . Copyright © by Ann Rinaldi. Reprinted by permission of HarperCollins Publishers, Inc. All rights reserved. Available now wherever books are sold. Excerpted from Mutiny's Daughter by Ann Rinaldi All rights reserved by the original copyright owners. Excerpts are provided for display purposes only and may not be reproduced, reprinted or distributed without the written permission of the publisher.