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Time Enough for Drums
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Time Enough for Drums

4.08 of 5 stars 4.08  ·  rating details  ·  2,452 ratings  ·  161 reviews
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.

There are signs of rebellion in the Emerson household several years before the actual American Revolution hits in 1776! Brought up in a relatively liberal household, Jemima Emerson is quite a challenge for her tutor, John Reid, who is...more
Paperback, 256 pages
Published May 9th 2000 by Laurel Leaf (first published March 28th 1986)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Laura
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Michelle Isenhoff
Ann Rinaldi has become a household name in YA historical fiction, and this is one of her most acclaimed books. It’s been on my reading list for some time. The year is 1775, and fifteen-year-old Jemima Emerson is a headstrong young lady. She’s not a bad child; she simply doesn’t think before she acts, and Mr. John Reid, her tutor (and a hated Tory), is determined to turn her into a lady. She resists with everything she has.

But war has a way of making one grow up. Jem’s brother, Daniel, fulfills a...more
Ashley
I finally wrote up a review of this book! It's an old favorite! I wrote it up for my blog, Books from Bleh to Basically Amazing (and, it looks/reads better there, because all the HTML is viewable! :) )

Time Enough for Drums is the one of three reasons I decided in 8th grade that it was okay to read and enjoy more than murder mysteries. (Robin McKinley is reason one and two but more on that later.) Because this book is one that I credit with vastly expanding my literary horizons, I'm going to tell...more
Josie
There were some great moments in this book. I loved how Jemima would, in the middle of a mind rant about how much she hated her tutor John Reid, mention his good looks, or muscular arms...
He was beastly and I hated him. We did geography and French and Latin and sums for four hours while Raymond's letter sat between us.
....Oh he knew he was handsome, all right. He strutted about the room when he lectured on geography or listened to my French and Latin pronunciation, ever aware of the breadth of h
...more
Sarah
I thought this was quite good, but felt that the romance between Jem and John Reid resolved too quickly. I enjoyed the romantic tension that was sizzling between them at the start but by only about 1/3 of the way through they'd declared their love for each other and he'd nicked off leaving her pining for him at home, NOT as fun!
Although on that note, he did seem to enjoy excercising his power over her a LITTLE bit too much, plus the fact that he was nine years older than her and she was only 15...more
Patriot
I LOVED this book!!!!!! All thanks to dear Kelsey, who gave it to me as a wonderful birthday present! It was such a refreshing breeze to be able to read a really good book after the last two I read, which were both pretty poor. But "Time Enough For Drums" was excellent; Ann Rinaldi did an AWESOME job of making it suspenseful and dramatic--and romantic too:) I would highly recommend it!
Brittany
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jenny
This is a well written historical romance set in Trenton during the Revolutionary War. The characters come alive as well as the war during that time period. Jemima, a teenage girl, wages constant war with her tutor, John Reid, a supposed Tory. Her brothers are Patriots who go off to fight with Washington, her sister is married to a British officer, and her mother secretly writes pro-rebel essays for the paper. Ann Rinaldi is a real expert at telling an interesting and compelling fictional story...more
AlixJamie
The only thing I didn't like about this book was that the main character, Jemima, was supposed to be "spirited". Unfortunately her "spirited" actions were mostly outright disobedience. Other than that, the romance is sweet and clean, the dialog is well written, and the characters are very likable. I do remember writing in my journal that if I were the author I would have made Jemimah hate Mr. Ried a lot longer than she did, because that part of the book was the best. :) That's just my opinion th...more
Allie
Rank in My Top Ten: # 3
Why in My Top Ten: I think this is one of the best historical fictions of all time, though I'm sort of biased because I kind of grew up with this book. I first read it when I was 12 and have read it at least 25 times since then. It is a young adult novel, so the book's themes are tailored for that age group. However, the story of how the revolutionary war affects a 16 year-old girl's family and friends still captivates me every time, even 13 years later. The love story is...more
Rachel M.
I love this book! Of all the Ann Rinaldi books I've read, this is definitely my favorite! Unlike most of her other novels, it isn't depressing, although there are some sad parts. John Reid is an awesome character, while Jemima is annoying for most of the book. However, she becomes more mature as the Revolutionary War progresses, and by the end of the novel, she becomes a lady. I think it's really cool that Rinaldi's son and daughter posed for the cover of this book as John and Jemima.
Kelli
Such a good historical novel. My favorite of Ann Rinaldi's. She is an amazing history writer. When I was younger I used to scale the library for any new books by her. She was my favorite writer and I still reread my favorites that she has written. This book is about the Revolutionary War in New Jersey. It sort of has a Pride and Prejudice undertone (but most good love stories do). An awesome book.
Melinda
This is one of my favorite books. It is a heartouching novel about a young girl, Jemima, who is going through her teenage years during the Revolutionary war. She faces many challenges - one of which is trying to understand how her parents can befriend her tutor, John Reid, who is known as a Tory and has strong ties to England. She faces the challenges of the war, love, friendship and family.
Olivia
I read this back in my teens. Jemima is a young girl during the Revolutionary War. She is being tutored by a family friend who is a tory which infuriates her. As time goes by she stumbles across some information that changes her whole world and how she views it. It's a wonderful book filled with drama and wistfull romance.
Violet
Really liked it!!! I did feel that the writing was a little undeveloped; some parts seemed a little choppy...the author probably didn't spend a lot of time writing it.

I really did enjoy the story though; Jem and John were so perfect for each other!!!! ;)
Jessica
I read this novel after completing Rinaldi's, The Last Silk Dress, and honestly it felt like the same story only transferred into the American Revolution time period. However, it was very enjoyable. Jemima is a young woman attempting to be accepted as a lady, however she is very stubborn in her rebel ways. She loves the patriot cause, and is disgusted by the politics of her Tory tutor, until she comes accross documents proving that John is actually a spy for Washington. Holding this precious inf...more
Amy
*This review originally appeared here at Tripping Over Books*

Oh, baby! American Revolution! I love this shizz so hard guys, I don’t know that all of my nerding out could even convey the full breadth of my fascination with it. It’s just an amazing time to me. So when I was wandering around Goodreads, I happened upon some Ann Rinaldi books, and I soon discovered TIME ENOUGH FOR DRUMS, after it was strongly recommended to me by Tara from Hobbitses. I couldn’t get it from my library fast enough. Bec...more
Audrey
I found this to be very enjoyable and engaging. The short chapters made it hard to put down; I kept telling myself I'd read just one more chapter! The heroine sometimes did stupid things, such as disobeying her father, but she gets a little better as the novel progresses.

I didn't expect this to be as much of a romance as it was. (view spoiler)...more
Kailia
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 rebell...more
Leighann
Great historical fiction read, for kids ages 10-14. Use to teach the American Revolution unit in history class.

Time Enough For Drums was set in the 1700s during the Revolutionary War time. I like being able to see the War through a different perspective. Jem, a 15-year-old girl is telling the story. I thought the book was interesting because it also noted significant historical events while still keeping you hooked. During the end of the book, though it started getting very sappy and a lot of di...more
Cherry
Mar 24, 2008 Cherry rated it 3 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Cherry by: Annette Payne
I enjoyed this book greatly because I love historical fiction. I feel the best way to learn history is through a story so historical fiction I feel is one of the most important of genre's. I think Ann Rinaldi is a fabulous story teller. I felt that I learned so much about the time period leading up to the Revolutionary War. It made me ponder what side I may have been on, before this book I dare say I knew nothing of the Tory’s and after reading it wondered if I have been one who would have felt...more
Audrey  *Ebook and Romance Lover*
This book was really an awesome book. I loved it and I loved how its from history. I liked how it was from the Revolutionary War. I loved how it had romance, sadness, lessons, and action and adventure. I loved how she came to love her tutor John Reid who was handsome and mean but later showed kindness to her and confessed his love to her after two years of loving her.

It was sad how her father died and her mother never was the same again. And it was sad that her brother died and that she never...more
Tracy
Still, a great book and a good example of the early writing style of Ann Rinaldi. However, as an adult, I find the courtship between Jem and her tutor a little creepy. That said, I did like that the storyline gears a bit older and Jem really does go from a 14 year old spoiled immature brat to a wise and considerate 21 year old woman. The same familiar characters in Rinaldi's stories are there, the idealized older brother(s)/father, wicked sister, and distant mother but they are wonderfully flesh...more
Sydney
After reading a lot of books on the American Revolution, I'm really starting to like that time period. It is a very interesting time in history, and almost always makes for a great story.

I really liked this book. I loved Jemima! I loved her high spirits and feisty personality. With a main character that has a feisty personality you can't go wrong. There were a few things near the end of the book that I didn't really like, but not enough to make me not love the book.

(view spoiler)...more
Kathleen
Once again, Ann Rinaldi makes some compelling historical fiction. The slice of history is very narrow, but it's deep, so you really get to see life in a teenage Patriot girl's life. An older sister is a Tory (more for her own comfort than political convictions--she likes her tea and silk dresses), so we also get to examine how the American Revolution split up families. I think I liked A Break with Charity: A Story about the Salem Witch Trialsa little better, but this was very good. Sorry if this...more
Liz Turner-olivier
By far my favorite "romance" novel. I've read it at least once a year since I was 14. All thanks to my best friend saying "here read this."
Melissa
I loved Ann Rinaldi's book "The Last Silk Dress," which I read in high school. At the library recently, I saw this book, "Time Enough for Drums," and decided to check it out. Although it's classified as "young adult," I really enjoyed reading it (as an adult!). Ann Rinaldi included lots of interesting tidbits about the American Revolution in this book. And, I really enjoyed her depictions of the Emerson family and the people in their life. It was historical fiction with a human touch. Also prese...more
Rebecca
Aug 29, 2008 Rebecca rated it 2 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: pre-teen girls
This book is cleanly suited for a pre-teen girl who has an interest in our nation's beginnings. As an adult, I found myself wanting to skim the pages rather than devour every word. The romance was contrived and misplaced amongst the more interesting elements of the actual war. Jemima and John should have been a subplot. The ending was abrupt and patchy. I felt little for the characters. Why didn't I cry when Jemima's father died? Many characters felt conveniently placed and false. I would like t...more
Lorna
Good historical fiction featuring a female teen protaginist. It was definitely worth the time to read it.
Ashley
I've read several of her books and I absolutely love them, however this particular book was is one of the three I bought of her's. I read it all the time. It' a quick and easy read, I take it on long car rides and its great on days inside.
I love being able to see the main character grow; at first she hates her teacher and it usually ate for lessons, but as the war continues on, she grows up and her and her professor reach an... understanding.
If you are a fan of her book or perhaps it showed up...more
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Ann Rinaldi Fan Club: Time Enough for Drums 1 1 Jul 07, 2013 07:48PM  
  • Just Jane: A Daughter of England Caught in the Struggle of the American Revolution
  • North by Night: A Story of the Underground Railroad
  • Cannons at Dawn: The Second Diary of Abigail Jane Stewart, Valley Forge, Pennsylvania, 1779 (Dear America)
  • Constance: A Story of Early Plymouth
  • Hindenburg,1937
  • Annie, Between the States
  • The Claim (Boston Jane, #3)
  • A Coal Miner's Bride: The Diary of Anetka Kaminska, Lattimer, Pennsylvania, 1896 (Dear America)
  • When Christmas Comes Again: The World War I Diary of Simone Spencer (Dear America)
  • Tituba of Salem Village
  • Love Thy Neighbor: The Tory Diary of Prudence Emerson (Dear America)
  • Calico Captive
  • Two Girls of Gettysburg
  • One Eye Laughing, the Other Weeping: The Diary of Julie Weiss (Dear America)
  • No Shame, No Fear (No Shame, No Fear #1)
  • The Sherwood Ring
  • Mara, Daughter of the Nile
  • Sarah Bishop
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Ann Rinaldi (b. August 27, 1934, in New York City) is a young adult fiction author. She is best known for her historical fiction, including In My Father's House, The Last Silk Dress, An Acquaintance with Darkness, A Break with Charity, and Hang a Thousand Trees with Ribbons. She has written a total of forty novels, eight of which were listed as notable by the ALA. In 2000, Wolf by the Ears was lis...more
More about Ann Rinaldi...
A Break with Charity: A Story about the Salem Witch Trials Girl in Blue The Fifth of March: A Story of the Boston Massacre The Last Silk Dress Wolf by the Ears

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“Because I had already resolved that if you're afraid of love, your heart will break anyway, only in not half so nice a fashion as it does when you let somebody love you.” 7 likes
“...I've learned that doing what you think is right doesn't always make you feel good. For another, I've learned that sometimes you just have to keep on going when you want to do nothing but drop. And that just doing the everyday things, like keeping a shop running or getting up every morning, will keep the work going until things can straighten out again. And doing those things right every day soon becomes more important than the more pressing issues of the time.” 5 likes
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