Juliet’s Moon

Written by Ann Rinaldi
Review by Wendy A. Zollo

In the latter years of the Civil War, all the niceties and structure of 12-year-old Juliet Bradshaw’s life are turned upside down. Her home is destroyed and her father killed by the Yankees while her brother Seth rides with Quantrill’s Raiders, a radical group of Confederate soldiers. Arrested along with other young females and accused of spying, Juliet is held in a ramshackle building and is one of the few survivors when it shockingly collapses.

Juliet’s maturity awakens as she faces her new reality as history unfolds with the flowing ease and polished storytelling that is unique to Rinaldi. A new relationship is forged between Seth and Juliet, one that balances the lines between siblings and parenting. Drama persistently soars into Juliet’s life, though real hardship seems to be fleeting; Juliet’s Moon lacks the emotion usually found in Rinaldi’s writing.

Rinaldi introduces the reader to a whole host of characters besides William Quantrill: there is a passing introduction to Jesse James and a very toned-down version of ‘Bloody’ Bill Anderson.

A recommended read, interesting and historical, but not up to Rinaldi’s usual standard.