Ann Rinaldi The Staircase

ISBN 13: 9780152024307

The Staircase

3.71 avg rating
( 1,123 ratings by Goodreads )
 
9780152024307: The Staircase

How could Lizzy Enders's father leave her in a girls school run by the Sisters of Loretto in Santa Fe? She's surrounded by Catholics, who pray to Saint Joseph and whose saints keep watch over her--and she's Methodist! Taunted by the other boarders, Lizzy befriends a wandering carpenter named José, who with just three tools--and his unflagging faith--builds a staircase to the choir loft of the new chapel. Through their friendship, Lizzy discovers the inner strength to forgive and to trust.
Working from the legend of the "miraculous" staircase in the Chapel of Loretto in Santa Fe, Ann Rinaldi skillfully blends the mystery surrounding the builder of the staircase with the daily trials of a young girl growing up in the 1870s.

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Review:

"'This one is wise,' he said.' This one has an old spirit. She has been among us before.'" Though the Arapaho Indian on the trail praised her old spirit, 14-year-old Lizzy Enders feels anything but wise. Within only a few days, she has lost her mother to the fever, been left by her widowed father at a convent, and thrust into the strange world of the Academy of Our Lady of Light in 1870s Santa Fe. Born a Methodist, Lizzy just can't comprehend Catholicism: "All this talk of blood and martyrdom and eating flesh and agony. It was just all too much, is all." In an attempt to alleviate her misery, Lizzy befriends an unemployed elderly carpenter and suggests he be hired to build the missing staircase for the convent's new chapel. The other girls at the academy are furious, since they have been praying for a miracle to complete the stairs, not an old beggar. Can she convince them that this aged man, with his real tools, is better than an ephemeral miracle? What Lizzy has to discover for herself is that sometimes miracles come disguised in nun's habits... or carpenter's sandals.

Based on a legend of a real chapel stairway in Santa Fe, The Staircase is a lively historical fiction that successfully merges myth, religion, and old-fashioned pioneer sensibility. Lizzy's need to make order of her chaotic world and define the unknown are timeless teen traits, making The Staircase a historical novel with real relevance for today's adolescent. (Ages 12 and older) --Jennifer Hubert

About the Author:

Ann Rinaldi is an award-winning author best known for bringing history vividly to life.She has received numerous starred reviews and awards, as well as widespread recognition for her historical novels. Ms. Rinaldi lives in central New Jersey.

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Rinaldi, Ann
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