July 04, 2006

Incivil War

Author Ann Rinaldi is practically a household name in terms of children's and young adult historical fiction. Rinaldi's research and meticulous recreation of historical times gives a peek into the lives and times of even some of the most minor players in American History. In Mine Eyes Have Seen, Rinaldi finds and recreates the life of Annie Brown, daughter of anti-slavery leader John Brown. Through careful research, Rinaldi discovered what it was like to be a child of the fiery and eccentric abolitionist, and what it was like the year before the infamous raid on Harper's Ferry, which was one of the final triggers that launched the Civil War.

The story is tragic, since Annie, on the periphery of events that she could not hope to influence, so wishes to be strong and act -- but her womanhood makes her all but useless to her father. As her brothers are killed or scattered, all she has left, in the end, is herself. A child no more fatherless than she had been when her father was alive, the daughter of an historic person, a tiny cipher on the page of history, in Rinaldi's work, Annie Brown finally gets her chance to shine.

No comments: