Saturday, June 12, 2010

Review: Time Enough For Drums by Ann Rinaldi

Summary:Sixteen-year-old Jem struggles to maintain the status quo at home in Trenton, New Jersey, when the family men join the war for independence. Brought up in a relatively liberal household, Jemima Emerson is quite a challenge for her tutor, John Reid, who is known as a Tory with strong ties to England. Jem longs for freedom on every level, in the home and her homeland--and John represents the forces that restrict her.

Jem and her family soon find themselves joining the revolution in whatever ways they can. Before long, Jem discovers that there is more to John Reid than she ever imagined.

Review: The first Ann Rinaldi book I have ever read and I loved it. I've always loved Historical Fiction so this was a great find for me.
This book begins in 1775 Trenton, New Jersey with Jem Emerson, our protagonist. From the beginning I can tell she is a head strong, strong willed, feisty girl. But it was also notable that she knew something was going to happen in the future.
As the American Revolution takes full flight, Jem is afraid that her family is going to be torn apart as there is signs of rebellion. Her suspicions come true when older brother Daniel goes off to fight in the war. Not only that but Tory John Reid, her tutor, seems to be more busy than ever. And her mother begins to act differently and looks sicker and sicker as the days go by.

Not wanting to spoil the book, I'll say that as the book progresses, we learn more about Jem, her family and friends. She grows as a character and as a young lady. Not only that but she finds romance in a place she never thought she would. With surprising twists and turns, Ann Rinaldi writes a book filled with remorse, sadness, and happiness in the time of war.

As many of you know, on December 26, 1776, The Battle of Trenton was fought here and that is the bases of the story. I've never read a story account of this battle so this was interesting. I felt so bad for Jem when her father was murdered, and the British came to town. Then when George Washington's Army attacks, I felt so happy, though I was sad as well.

With history, reading about it in text books is very, very boring. But reading about it in books by the point of view of fictional characters, it becomes interesting. With this story, I love how well Ann Rinaldi was able to write this historical novel and stay true to the facts.

Go to fullsize image .5 I really liked it.

Cover: C-, Not really my cup of tea. I would have loved something that had more with it on the war.

Overall: A very well written historical novel that you should definitely read!


  1. I remember reading this years ago and loving it. I don't remember how it ends but I recall really wanting Jem and John to end up happily ever after. I may have to go re-read it now to refresh my memory.

  2. My first and favorite book by Ann Rinadli. I much prefer the original cover artwork to this new one. The original had Rinaldi's son and daughter posing as John and Jemima. I still re-read it time and again to this day. The first time I think I was about 10 or 11. Ah memories.