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Cast Two Shadows: The American Revolution in the South

3.81  ·  Rating details ·  1,306 ratings  ·  115 reviews
In South Carolina in 1780, fourteen-year-old Caroline sees the Revolutionary War take a terrible toll on her family and friends, and comes to understand the true nature of war.
Paperback, 304 pages
Published March 1st 2004 by HMH Books for Young Readers (first published October 1st 1998)
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Meghan 11-13 at the earliest if one has read a lot about the Revolution. 14+ if it's a newer concept. The beginning of the story might make one squeamish.…more11-13 at the earliest if one has read a lot about the Revolution. 14+ if it's a newer concept. The beginning of the story might make one squeamish.(less)

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Average rating 3.81  · 
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Katie Hanna
Jan 17, 2019 rated it really liked it
"Sometimes I thought we were just a bundle of worms, all tied up in a burlap conjure sack and tied with strands of horsehair, bound to hurt anyone who didn't stay clear of us. And hidden under the back porch. Which was probably where we belonged."


This is an excellent historical novel, one which showcases all of Ann Rinaldi's strengths: war, complex local politics, twisted family dynamics, a young, stubborn, but curious heroine, and minimal romance.
Oct 13, 2016 rated it really liked it
Another great Rinaldi! Every time as I pick up a book to read off of my juvenile shelf, I almost groan because so many juvenile books are either poorly written or not interesting to an adult. But Rinaldi never fails to draw you in from the start and make you a silent character in the story. In this one, I was Caroline's shadow as the American Revolution in South Carolina caused this young teenage girl to grow up quickly. As my usual habit, I'll not give away any spoilers; you should read the sto ...more
Jennifer Honein
Oct 09, 2010 is currently reading it
Recommends it for: All:)
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Shaunya Harden
This book takes place during the American Revolution, in 1780. The main character is a girl named Caroline, her rebel father has been arrested and her brother is fighting for the British. She learns her brother has been injured and takes her "grandmother", Miz Meindy to go to his aid.

Caroline has an extremely selfish sister, Georgia Ann, who very much cares more about herself and the way she looks than her her family. She is being courted by a British colonel, Rawdon.

I think this book is writt
Oct 01, 2011 rated it really liked it
Historical fiction about the South during the American Revolution. This one is definitely a YA novel. I liked the book -- I especially like that Rinaldi tells you at the end what is fact and what id fiction. I think the main female character is much stronger than the females in the other Rinaldi novels I have read and that contributed to my enjoyment of the book.

I read this because I am deciding on its suitability for the 3rd-5th grade library I found it in. I will be moving this one to the mid
Oct 25, 2012 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 7th-grade-shelf
It was an amazing book!!!!!
Caroline was a very strong, independent and brave character. She wanted to take care of her family, and
I think that she kind of stepped in to be the substitute dad, since he was put in jail. She took care of her mother (not real mother) and even though her sister is older, Caroline acts more mature. She had the guts to stand up to Colonel Rawdon when no one else did. Caroline and her almost-brother saved a lot of people, but it was all thanks to Caroline, because she
Aug 25, 2017 rated it really liked it
Another great Rinaldi! Some more adult themes in this one, but handled tastefully, as always. I wasn't sold on the ending, but I devoured the book pretty quickly (it was one of those books where I actively looked forward to reading it when I wasn't, which seems to be a thing with Rinaldi books). I'm glad I read it. :)

[Also, though, I have to point out that I rather thought that Georgia Ann had a point when she called Johnny out on Nepoya, especially when the ending came around. I mean, I know it
Apr 19, 2018 rated it really liked it
I was browsing the shelves when I found this book. Usually, an author sticks with the big events of the American Revolution, but Rinaldi sets this book in the south. Caroline, the main character, is 14 years old and sees how the war has separated her family's loyalty, as well as how it has affected her friends. The British have taken over her family's plantation; her father is thrown in jail for supporting the patriots; the brother is fighting for the British. She sees some horrors on both sides ...more
Mar 03, 2009 rated it it was amazing
This is a different approach to the story of the American Revolution told from the viewpoint of the South, a much different war than that fought in the North. Caroline Whitaker witnesses her best friend hanged, her father taken to prison, and her brother fighting the Loyalists while she and her mother and sister are forced to stay upstairs in their home while the rest of their home is being occupied by a British colonel. The story is exciting and made me appreciate the price paid for our freedom ...more
Dec 15, 2011 rated it liked it
Cast two shadows was amazing book full of suspense. Ann Rinaldi uses an amazing sense of knowledge throughout the book about the Revolutionary War. The main character Caroline is very strong headed. she is brave enough to go fetch her brother home who is injured. she get to bond with her real grandmother. after she finds out a surprising secret about her brother she does the same. At home Colonel Rawden is in her house, but come to find out he is in love with Carloines sister Georgia Ann and she ...more
Quentari Walker
Mar 05, 2008 rated it liked it
Cast Two Shadows is A Good Historical fiction book. The book informs you about what happened in the American Revolution using made up characters, Only the leaders or generals that are head of in army are real life people. The Setting of the story was in Camden South Carolina in 1780. This is a few of the books that I enjoyed. I recommend this book for people who like to read about history. This book is by Ann Rinaldi.
Sep 23, 2014 rated it it was amazing
I had to read this book for school and I am so glad I did. It was a really good book. I loved the ending. It had some action and adventure. I liked the family part of it as well. Overall, to me this was a really good book and I think other people would like it too.
Feb 07, 2016 rated it it was amazing
A quick read and a great story with historically accurate details. Rinaldi delivers again.
May 21, 2016 rated it really liked it
Actual Rating: 4.5

I am legitimately surprised by this book. I got this book for book clubs, and it didn't look like much. I wasn't suspecting anything, except one warning/comment from my friend who had read it before, and that was that apparently that it was pretty gory at the beginning. And that's true. It is gory, for a middle grade book, at the beginning. The main character's friend is hung, and the scene is described in length, and isn't allowed to be buried for three weeks, and somebody who
May 08, 2013 rated it liked it

It is the summer of 1780 in hot South Carolina--a tense time for plantation owners who must make a serious political choice:
remain loyal to the King or declare for American independence.
The situation at the Whitaker plantation is painful: the father in a local prison, with threats of being sold in the Bahamas; the young scion of the family off fighting with guerilla patriots; the mother and two daughters virtually kept prisoners in their own home by a pom
Wisdom Zelda
Aug 16, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The Inside Story: A Review of Cast Two Shadows

If you live in the US, you have probably heard a lot about the War of Independence. Maybe you think it’s kind of boring: “The British fought the Settlers. Many died. The British...” However, I promise you that by reading this book, you’ll start thinking of the War of Independence in a whole new way. Because here you have it: the Inside Story.

Cast Two Shadows, by Ann Rinaldi, is a story of a young woman, Caroline Whitaker, who lives during the War o
Aug 10, 2011 rated it really liked it
Another fantastic Rinaldi read. It starts off immediately with a very rough passage that really sets an immediately serious, emotional tone for the rest of the book. I had never realized that the Revolutionary War in the South was more like a civil war in that neighbors used the war as an excuse to exact revenge or loot and pillage rivals, adopting whatever side was convenient for them, and Rinaldi really brought that to light in a very vivid way.

I also never cease to admire how she finds so ma
Jan 28, 2015 rated it it was ok
One of the few things Rinaldi's Cast Two Shadows does very well is communicate a sense of the chaos of wartime occupation. Beyond the protagonist's confinement to one room of her former plantation house, there's the sense that the very landscape of South Carolina has been changed by the presence of the British. Nothing seems safe; there are soldiers everywhere, unpredictable and dangerous; families are torn apart; no one knows quite whom to trust. That kind of confusion is hard to get across to ...more
Rebecca Radnor
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Oct 25, 2011 rated it it was amazing
I've read several of Ann Rinaldi's YA historical novels. I always love them and learn from them. This one featured a young white-skinned black girl being raised as white by her white plantation master father, his wife and family. The American Revolution is beginning and the members of her family are ambivalent about which side to support. They begin as Tories, but are faced with "popinjay" (Redcoat) attrocities and must make hard choices. The British occupiers are arrogant and treat patriots muc ...more
Sep 12, 2012 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 7th-grade-shelf
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
 Tara ♪
Cast Two Shadows: The American Revolution in the South is the story of Caroline, who, despite being only 3/4 white, is part of the family she's living with. The story opens to Caroline, her sister Georgia Ann, and her "mother" confined to a room upstairs, because a British officer has taken over the downstairs. Caroline receives word that her brother, Johnny is deserting from the British army. The officer living downstairs doesn't know that; he thinks that Johnny was injured fighting. So, he giv ...more
Dec 05, 2008 rated it it was amazing
There's good history in here. I liked how through "Cast Two Shadows", "Time Enough for Drums", "The Fifth of March: A Story of the Boston Massacre", "Hang a Thousand Trees with Ribbons", "Finishing Becca" and "A Ride into Morning: The Story of Tempe Wick", Rinaldi gives a great overview of the American Revolution for people from all walks of life. In "Cast Two Shadows" we get a Southerner's perspective. Here the Revolutionary War is more than politics and talk between men, but a bitter war betwe ...more
Feb 23, 2010 rated it really liked it
Well, not strictly Georgia, the Carolinas, but 'in the region'. I read this as part of my reading to understand a bit about the area where my son and family are living. I've read modern Georgian authors, and Ferrol Sams about the turn of the 20th century, Gone with the wind about the civil war, so I guess this one is my earliest historical foray in the Americas.
But for a dip into the journal of someone who lived through the American War of Independance, this one was the nearest I have got to
Sarah Crawford
Jan 15, 2016 rated it really liked it

Cast Two Shadows

The book takes place during the Revolutionary War. Caroline is the main character of the book. Her father has been put in prison by the British. She's in South Carolina, and the British have arrived. They take over her family's house, use their provisions, and take her favorite horse.

It's basically a book about a family living under occupation by a foreign power, complicated by the fact that the country itself is divided into those who are rebels, and those who are still loyal to
Aug 07, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: read-summer-2018
What I did not like: I thought this book did not do enough to condemn slavery. They showed the relationships between the slaves and the white family as friendships, instead of exposing the harsh power dynamic that was present. I don’t think the author thought slavery was a good thing but she did not do enough to expose the cruelties of it. Also, she wrote the slave dialogue different from the dialogue of white people. I’m not sure if this is necessarily a bad thing but it did not sit right with ...more
Mr. Gottshalk
Jun 24, 2019 rated it liked it
I rounded down to three stars for this one. Our class recently had an historical fiction unit, and this higher-level book was lonely and forlorn in the shelf, separate from others, so I picked it up. Here’s what I do not understand. Who is the author writing for? It seems to be a pretty narrow window of tweens or adults who would take a shining to a short novel that might have happened during the Revolution in the south, 1780. Also, how would a teacher explain a mostly-white main character who h ...more
Jun 26, 2014 rated it did not like it
Shelves: staff-reading
I started reading this one reluctantly. I didn't want to read a book set during a war. And it is true, this book is a really good comment on man's inhumanity to man. My first impression was that the author leaned toward making one side look worse than the other...then I read her comments at the end of the book. She did acknowledge that there were atrocities all the way around. Even the Bible says that humans cannot rule themselves. Ecclesiastes 8:9 says that man rules himself to his own injury.. ...more
Melissa Namba
Sep 09, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: books-for-lucy
This is for my 8 year old niece who is an advanced reader. She will have to work through this, but I think she will like it. I like the way it subtly introduces the way the British men "use" women because it isn't done in a vulgar way and really only intimated at the issues, so that the reader can still see there is a problem but doesn't have to know the more mature details. I am very much a fan of historical fiction and appreciate the research that Rinaldi puts into her books to ensure a somewh ...more
Interesting book set in Camden SC during the Revolutionary war. A family with members in both the loyalist camp and the patriot camp, and the struggles they go through. Nice window into the time period. Caroline, the 14 year old girl who tells the story, is a strong and interesting girl approaching womanhood, struggling with the truths and inconsistencies in the world around her. Will offer to the granddaughters when they come tomorrow.
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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

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