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Maria's Story: 1773 [Hardcover]

Joan Lowery Nixon
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)

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Book Description

Sept. 11 2001 Colonial Williamsburg(R)
When Maria Rind's father dies, her mother is forced to carry on his work: writing and publishing The Virginia Gazette, one of Williamsburg's weekly newspapers. Nine-year-old Maria would like to help too, but instead her older brother is chosen to work at the press. That leaves Maria to look after her three younger brothers-a task she does not enjoy. Then the newspaper comes under attack for its political reporting, and to make matters worse, the Rinds risk losing the press itself. Can Maria find a way to hold her family together?


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Product Description

From School Library Journal

Gr 3-6-A story based on the life of Maria Rind, who lived in Williamsburg during the 1770s. On the eve of the War for Independence, the child is mourning the death of her father, official printer to the House of Burgesses. Of necessity, her mother takes over the printing business, and the nine-year-old must take over the household tasks and the care of her three younger brothers. She is frustrated and jealous when her older and somewhat lazy brother becomes an apprentice to their mother, but her poor reading and writing skills, as well as her gender, prevent her from being elevated to more important work. During the months before the official printer is to be named, their mother holds the business together and even dares to print news of Colonial dissent. With the help of Thomas Jefferson and other men of power, she is awarded the position. The plot moves swiftly, and the characters are well developed. The story is much more realistic and personal than books in the "Dear America" series (Scholastic) since it is based on an actual person. A prologue in which modern-day children are visiting Colonial Williamsburg helps to set the scene. A concluding author's note briefly reviews Maria Rind's life, followed by information about Williamsburg, printing in the 18th century, and childhood during Colonial times. For young readers who enjoy historical fiction, this is an excellent choice as it offers information and insight and focuses on a memorable character.-Carolyn Janssen, Children's Learning Center of the Public Library of Cincinnati and Hamilton County, OH

Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information, Inc.

From Booklist

Gr. 3-6. Like the other books in the Young Americans Colonial Williamsburg series, this begins and ends with a modern framework story: children are gathered around a colonial Williamsburg interpreter to hear a story about Maria Rind, who lived in the town long ago. The fictional Rinds, based on a Williamsburg family, find themselves in a difficult position. Maria's recently widowed mother publishes The Virginia Gazette, an unbiased newspaper to be read by a populace increasingly divided by political tensions. When Maria overhears Loyalists criticizing the paper, she worries that her mother will lose the government contract for printing and with it their printing press and their home. Readers will find Maria a sympathetic heroine; they will learn about the issues and events of 1773, such as the Boston Tea Party. Back matter includes an excellent author's note about the people the characters represent and extensive, illustrated notes on Williamsburg, printing, and childhood in eighteenth-century Virginia. A rewarding addition to the series. Carolyn Phelan
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved

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5.0 out of 5 stars Well-researched and accurate. July 12 2004
Format:Hardcover
Maria Rind lives in Williamsburg, Virginia, two years before the Revolutionary War begins. She came to Williamsburg when her father was invited by Thomas Jefferson to start a newspaper. This new paper would print the viewpoint of the colonists and their grievances against England. Other newspapers didn't dare to do that. Her father won a government contract to publish The Virginia Gazette. But then he died. Now Maria's mother, Clementina Rind, must take over his newspaper and keep making money from it, or else her family will become destitute.
Maria is only nine-years-old, but she wants very much to help her mother run the newspaper. But Clementina says that Maria's older brother, William, will do that. Maria must take care of her three younger brothers, cook, and run the household while Clementina manages the newspaper. Maria does what she is told, but she believes that if she just knew how to read and write better, her mother would let her help with the paper, too. The only problem is, while her father was sick, her mother couldn't teach Maria her lessons, and Maria can barely read. She doesn't know how to cook, either, and she has to learn everything the hard way --- she has to figure things out by herself because her mother tells Maria not to bother her while she's working on the paper.
Maria works hard to teach herself to read, and she finds ways to help her mother with the paper, too. In fact, Maria figures out a solution to one serious problem that nobody else thinks of. This book is based on a true story about a real little girl, Maria Rind, who lived in Williamsburg before and during the Revolutionary War. Her mother, Clementina, really did run the newspaper after her husband died, the only woman ever to do so in the Virginia colony.
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Format:Hardcover
The year is 1773, and nine-year-old Maria Rind is growing up in Williamsburg, Virginia, with her four brothers. When her father dies, the family's life changes forever. Instead of spending her days with her children, Maria's mother must take on her late husband's job of printing the Virginia Gazette. While her older brother, William, gets to help his mother and her cousin, John, print the paper, Maria is left to the tiresome task of caring for her three younger brothers. She is unable to help with the paper because of her poor reading and writing, a result of there being little time for her parents to teach her. With the loyalties of everyone in the Colonies increasingly divided as war looms on the horizon, Maria is worried that her mother's anti-British articles will cause her to lose the government printing contract. This book brought to life the years before the Revolutionary War. Maria was a real child who grew up in Colonial Williamsburg, and the author has done a wonderful job of telling her story.
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5.0 out of 5 stars I great Historical story. June 23 2002
By MAB
Format:Hardcover
"Maria's Story 1773" is perfect for young readers, but can reinforce Colonial history to older readers, as well. The story will keep your attention and is a quick read. This book is too young for me, but I still enjoyed it. I really felt torn between the mother's feeling of telling the news and freedom of speech, but also felt for Maria, who felt that if her mother published articles that the community wouldn't like, they wouldn't get the newspaper contract again, which would lead to losing everything. What is great about the "Colonial Willamsburg" series is that readers are learning about ordinary people who really existed. Without this series, I doubt these people, like Maria, would get acknowledge for their hard working lives. After finding out Maria's life in the epilogue, I felt sorry for her and her losses. I recommend.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 5.0 out of 5 stars  4 reviews
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The fifth historical story from the Young Americans series. Sept. 12 2001
By Rebecca Herman - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
The year is 1773, and nine-year-old Maria Rind is growing up in Williamsburg, Virginia, with her four brothers. When her father dies, the family's life changes forever. Instead of spending her days with her children, Maria's mother must take on her late husband's job of printing the Virginia Gazette. While her older brother, William, gets to help his mother and her cousin, John, print the paper, Maria is left to the tiresome task of caring for her three younger brothers. She is unable to help with the paper because of her poor reading and writing, a result of there being little time for her parents to teach her. With the loyalties of everyone in the Colonies increasingly divided as war looms on the horizon, Maria is worried that her mother's anti-British articles will cause her to lose the government printing contract. This book brought to life the years before the Revolutionary War. Maria was a real child who grew up in Colonial Williamsburg, and the author has done a wonderful job of telling her story.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars I great Historical story. June 23 2002
By MAB - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
"Maria's Story 1773" is perfect for young readers, but can reinforce Colonial history to older readers, as well. The story will keep your attention and is a quick read. This book is too young for me, but I still enjoyed it. I really felt torn between the mother's feeling of telling the news and freedom of speech, but also felt for Maria, who felt that if her mother published articles that the community wouldn't like, they wouldn't get the newspaper contract again, which would lead to losing everything. What is great about the "Colonial Willamsburg" series is that readers are learning about ordinary people who really existed. Without this series, I doubt these people, like Maria, would get acknowledge for their hard working lives. After finding out Maria's life in the epilogue, I felt sorry for her and her losses. I recommend.
5.0 out of 5 stars Well-researched and accurate. July 12 2004
By KidsReads - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
Maria Rind lives in Williamsburg, Virginia, two years before the Revolutionary War begins. She came to Williamsburg when her father was invited by Thomas Jefferson to start a newspaper. This new paper would print the viewpoint of the colonists and their grievances against England. Other newspapers didn't dare to do that. Her father won a government contract to publish The Virginia Gazette. But then he died. Now Maria's mother, Clementina Rind, must take over his newspaper and keep making money from it, or else her family will become destitute.
Maria is only nine-years-old, but she wants very much to help her mother run the newspaper. But Clementina says that Maria's older brother, William, will do that. Maria must take care of her three younger brothers, cook, and run the household while Clementina manages the newspaper. Maria does what she is told, but she believes that if she just knew how to read and write better, her mother would let her help with the paper, too. The only problem is, while her father was sick, her mother couldn't teach Maria her lessons, and Maria can barely read. She doesn't know how to cook, either, and she has to learn everything the hard way --- she has to figure things out by herself because her mother tells Maria not to bother her while she's working on the paper.
Maria works hard to teach herself to read, and she finds ways to help her mother with the paper, too. In fact, Maria figures out a solution to one serious problem that nobody else thinks of. This book is based on a true story about a real little girl, Maria Rind, who lived in Williamsburg before and during the Revolutionary War. Her mother, Clementina, really did run the newspaper after her husband died, the only woman ever to do so in the Virginia colony.
The book includes several sections of history about Williamsburg, printing, children of the time, and what happened to the real Maria and her family. It has lots of photographs, and the story it tells is well-researched and accurate. You will want to find out how Maria copes with the tragic and dangerous things that happen in her life. And you will see how very unfair life could be to little girls in those days, even when they were smarter than their brothers!
--- Reviewed by Tamara Penny
5.0 out of 5 stars Entertaining and Educational May 15 2009
By Sunny Sewing Honeybee - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
Afraid that her opinionated mother may lose--over politics--a newspaper/printing business her late father worked so hard to create, Maria is determined to help. However, she finds that her mother has other ideas for how Maria should "help" out her struggling family, and those ideas do not include helping with their newspaper.

Unlike some of the more popular books for children taking place in historical times, these books are based on the lives of real people. I felt like I genuinely got to know Maria. Perhaps one of the most interesting parts of this book is that it includes information about what happened to the real Maria Rind.

_Maria's Story_ truly brings the past alive, and should be enjoyed by any child, or even adult, who is interested in the history of publishing.
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