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The Fifth of March

Great Episodes - A Story of the Boston Massacre

This book is available for download with iBooks on your Mac or iOS device, and with iTunes on your computer. Books can be read with iBooks on your Mac or iOS device.


It's 1770, and fourteen-year-old Rachel Marsh is a servant in the Boston household of John Adams. But her loyalty to the Adams family is tested by her friendship with Matthew Kilroy, a British private with an unsavory reputation. Rachel knows Matthew is frustrated and angry, but even she is surprised when he is accused of joining soldiers in firing upon a mob of citizens . . . in the bloody encounter that came to be known as the Boston Massacre.

“Carefully researched and lovingly written, Rinaldi’s latest presents a girl indentured to John and Abigail Adams during the tense period surrounding the 1770 Massacre. . . . Fortuitously timed, a novel that illuminates a moment from our past that has strong parallels to recent events. Bibliography.”--Kirkus Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Nov 01, 1993 – Historical events aren't as neat and tidy as they appear in history books, nor are they dissimilar from modern happenings (i.e., the Rodney King case), as Rinaldi ( A Break with Charity ) ably demonstrates in this painstakingly researched tale told by a young servant in colonial Boston. Rachel is 14, bound as a nursemaid to the children of John and Abigail Adams, at whose house she sees many of the town's ``movers and shakers'' (one of the book's few faults is its jarringly anachronistic language). When British troops are sent to Boston to keep order, Rachel--despite her increasingly anti-Royalist sentiments--takes pity on Matthew Kilroy, the young sentry posted at the Adamses' door. Their relationship gradually blossoms, but Rachel, who has embarked on an ambitious program to educate herself and who rightly fears ``getting into circumstances,'' refuses to demonstrate her affection in more than verbal terms. Lonely, frustrated, underpaid and reviled by the citizenry he was sent to protect, Matthew explodes during a riot on March 5, 1770, after which he and his fellows are tried for murder and manslaughter in the deaths of five colonialists. How Rachel acts according to her newly awakened social conscience and sense of self-worth makes for engrossing and educational reading. However, readers may object to Rachel's sense of guilt over Matthew's sexual frustration, and to her pronouncements on ``good breeding.'' Ages 10-up.

Customer Reviews

Wonderful Read

The Fifth of March conveys the strong emotions and feelings that are brought upon the hearts of the working class during the American Revolution. With quick witted characters who are willing to fight for what they think is right, this book is to be considered another Rinaldi masterpiece!

The Fifth of March

I had to read "The Fifth of March" for a book report for school. I was expecting it to be like all other historical books, boring. But I was pleasantly surprised to find myself reading it all day. I was COMPLETELY in love with it. It tells of a girl living in Boston during the time of the Boston Massacre, Rachel Marsh, servant of the Adams, finds herself a friendship with Matthew Kilgory. An English Solider. They become fast friends and fall in love. But Matthew has two sides. He was accused of murder and miles away from home, with no one to help him but Rachel. But, she was forbiden to see him. Rachel has to chose one or the other, the Adams or Matthew?

To sum it up, I loved it so much I was wishing for a movie of this book to come out. And I hope they will. Five Stars!

The Fifth of March
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  • $7.99
  • Level: Grades 5-7
  • Available on iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, and Mac.
  • Category: Historical
  • Published: Mar 01, 2004
  • Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
  • Seller: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company
  • Print Length: 352 Pages
  • Language: English
  • Series: Great Episodes
  • Requirements: To view this book, you must have an iOS device with iBooks 1.5 or later and iOS 4.3.3 or later, or a Mac with iBooks 1.0 or later and OS X 10.9 or later.

Customer Ratings