Ann Rinaldi was born in New York City on
August 27, 1934. Shortly after she was born her mother died and she was
sent to live with her aunt and uncle in Brooklyn. Looking back on the time
spent with her uncle and aunt she says that this was, "the only happy
part of my childhood." Shortly after, however, he father took her and
her four siblings to live in New Jersey with him and a stepmother.
Ann's father was a newspaper manager, however he discouraged her from
becoming a writer. Her father and stepmother prohibited her from attending
college, so after graduation she went to work as a secretary.
In 1960, Ann was married to Ron Rinaldi. She was happy to have the
stability of a marriage after her "crazy upbringing." Ann became
a stay at home mom and had two children; at this time she realized that
she wanted to become a novelist.
Ann began by writing four novels, which she decided were terrible. In
1969, she was given a column in the Somerset Messenger Gazette, which she
made seven dollars a week writing. She went on to write newspaper columns
and stories for the Trentonian daily.
In 1979, Ann finished her first short story that she had been working on
for years; this later became her first published novel, "Term
Paper." Ann didn't intentionally write for young adults, she realized
after the fact that it could be geared to young adults. Shortly after her
first book was published, it was followed by a second called,
"Promises are for Keeping."
Ann became involved with history when her son, Ron, became a Revolutionary
War reenactor. She traveled with him to historic sites and participated in
the reenactments and really liked the involvement in history. After
covering a reenactment for the Trentonian she realized that she wanted to
write a book on the Revolutionary War. Ann really wanted to write a good
book though, "not one utilizing all the myths and the famous
figures." She soon wrote "Time Enough for Drums" and it
quickly became her favorite. She then continued to write thoroughly
researched historical fiction novels. In talking about young adults, Ann
believes, "If I can turn them on to our country's past, and seize
their imaginations as Ron's was seized, then I may succeed in doing
something really worthwhile."
All quotes are from Ann Rinaldi and can be
found in the biography of Ann Rinaldi here.
Other books by Ann Rinaldi
More information on these and other books is
available on Ann Rinaldi's
Rinaldi, Ann. A
Break With Charity. Harcourt Brace Inc. 1992.295.9780152046828.