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Time Enough for Drums
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Time Enough for Drums

4.12  ·  Rating details ·  3,697 ratings  ·  236 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 January 1st 1986)
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Elizabeth Roberts The American revolution has not yet begun in earnest, but already there are signs of rebellion in the Emerson house-hold. brought up in a relatively l…moreThe American revolution has not yet begun in earnest, but already there are signs of rebellion in the Emerson house-hold. brought up in a relatively liberal home, Jemima Emerson is quite a challenge for her tutor, John Reid, who is known as a tory with strong ties to England. how can Jems parents be friends with a man who opposes American liberty? Jem long for freedom within her home and throughout her homeland, and John Reid 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 much more to John Reid than she ever imagined.

I love this book.(less)
Elizabeth Roberts
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Average rating 4.12  · 
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 ·  3,697 ratings  ·  236 reviews


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Katie Hanna
Jan 04, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This was an excellent read.

Yes, I didn't 100%, completely approve of the romance here--but you know what? In the end, that hardly MATTERED. Because, as with all Ann Rinaldi books . . . this is about so much more than just romance. This is why she's my favorite historical fiction author. She takes what most other writers would just make a conventional "love story," and she crams in so. much. more.

Such as:
- Rich, realistic family dynamics. I absolutely loved Jem's relationships with both her par
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mina
Mar 02, 2019 marked it as dnf  ·  review of another edition
I didn’t get far into this book, only 17% before I decided to just drop it. I see a lot of people liking it, but I don’t share that with them. Usually if a book grips me from the first chapter, even first page, I’m going to continue reading it (obviously), however here nothing griped me; I read it and it felt distant, that probably has something to do with the narration which was too simplistic for my liking.

It doesn’t help that I found the main character, Jemima, a tad annoying or maybe her ag
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Mela
Almost perfect young adult historical fiction.

Amazingly good historical accuracy. Reading this book (with author's note) you can be sure you weren't misled. In another word, it could be an interesting addition or introduction to a lesson about American Revolutionary War for teenagers, especially for girls.

The storytelling was engaging. There was no place for boredom.

Likable and rather complex characters.

A charming love story.

Nice and wise messages for (not only) young people.

And in that moment I
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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
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Sarah
Sep 11, 2009 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
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Erin O'Connor {If The Review Fits}
Oh my, this book was so captivating I have read it more than once. The time period is amazing, and the plot so exciting. I would give this a 10 out of 5 🌟's ...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
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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
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Heather
Aug 14, 2017 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-2017
I remember loving Ann Rinaldi historical fiction as a teen, so when a podcast about childhood favorites mentioned this one I immediately ordered it from the library. I'm a sucker right now for Revolutionary War stories, fueled by my love of Hamilton: the Musical, and AMC's drama Turn: Washington's Spies.

Unfortunately, or fortunately, YA sensibilities have changed a bit in the thirty years since this book was published. I found the romance and the power dynamic displayed therein to be moderately
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Emily
Feb 14, 2018 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
0 stars. Negative stars.

Poorly drawn characters, stilted dialogue, a lack of any kind of building setting, terrible editing.
("Thee" is an object while "thou" is a subject. "Thee" does not do anything. "Thou" does something.) Throw into it a relationship that involves grooming, an uneven power dynamic, and threats of abuse and you have yourself a 1980s children's romance! While I'm sometimes willing to concede that one can allow large age gaps in relationships and threats of physical trauma in
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Ann
Ann Rinaldi was my jam when I was twelve, and this book was my very favorite. There was NOTHING more romantic than Jemima and John's scenes together (other than maybe Anne and Gilbert), but the story was also dramatic and heart-wrenching and multilayered, with complex characters struggling to survive terrible things.. The family's relationship, pulled apart by war, is so well drawn. As a teen, I appreciated that Ms. Rinaldi didn't make the period feel sugar-coated or romanticized, and it's books ...more
Patriot
Sep 02, 2010 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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! ...more
Britt
Jan 17, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This was such a great book! All of the historical facts were acurate, so that naturally made a history nerd like me really happy. I loved John and Jem's relationship, as well as her relationship with her brothers. This book was such a good read! ...more
Lindsey Robison
Apr 07, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
HOLY GUACAMOLE! This book was SO GOOD. I’m such a history buff, and this book was right up my alley! Plus the romance was SWOON WORTHY!
Sarah Crawford
Feb 01, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition

Time Enough for Drums

This is another historical book from Ann Rinaldi that deals with the Revolutionary War. Jemina Emerson is 15, a Patriot, and a rather headstrong and opinionated young girl. John Reid, a supposed Tory, is hired to be her tutor, and for a good while things do not go well between them.

Things get more complicated as the town, already split between Tories and Patriots, has to endure armies of both sides coming through the town. The Hessians, fighting on the side of the British, s
...more
Jessica
Sep 11, 2009 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Brittany
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Tena
Oct 09, 2011 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
While TIME ENOUGH FOR DRUMS is a good little book about life during the Revolutionary War, I see a lot of similarities between it and William Lavender's JUST JANE - Life during wartime, families split on different sides, the controversy of slavery in a country fighting for its freedom, the love interest turned spy for the American Army, and more. However, JUST JANE is about a noble born lady who finds her place as a Patriot, whereas TIME ENOUGH FOR DRUMS features a feisty young lady whose family ...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
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Jessica
Sep 25, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I think I got obsessed with Ann Rinaldi in the fifth grade. Pretty sure I went through a phase where I read every book the library had from her and waited with bated breath for new ones.

I don't love her books quite as much as I did then. I haven't read any of her books written since 2008 or so. Despite the love affair ending, Time Enough for Drums will always hold a place in my book affections.

Now that I think more about it, I had a love/hate affair with her books. There were some that I loved
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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
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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
Jun 11, 2010 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Black Bones
Jul 07, 2018 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
A perfect example of how a protagonist changes to the worst through the story. She turned from a strong-headed, independent and cool girl into a NERD one . (By the help of John and almost all the other characters)


I wanted the protagonist to be more involved in the war of Independence as the title suggests.
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Kelli
Apr 19, 2010 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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. ...more
Rachel
Jul 25, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorite-books
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.
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Zara
Mar 03, 2019 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Not exactly gripping or exciting material but it's alright. I found the main character - Jemime really annoying and her age isn't enough of a reason for her to act the way she does. The student, teacher romance I found a bit icky, even though I tried to view it through the lens of that time period. The fact that her parents encouraged it made it even more... uncomfortable.

An OK read but don't expect anything great.
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April
Mar 30, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
So I should preface by saying I'm not usually an Historical Fiction/Romance reader. Nothing against it, just not my usual genre. BUT, when one of my best friends lent me this book and excitedly told me how it was her favorite of all time, I had to read it. And it was amazing!!!!!!
The characters were so real and relatable. Nothing was held back or sugar coated. It was just all in all a great ride Easily one of my favorites for 2020.
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Olivia's Bookish World
Nov 27, 2010 rated it really liked it
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. ...more
Melinda
Jul 03, 2012 rated it it was amazing
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.
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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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