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A Child Called "it"

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An Acquaintance with Darkness

~By Ann Rinaldi

Ann Rinaldi has written many books for young teenagers, she is an Award winning author who writes stories of American history and makes them become real to the readers. She has written many other books such as... A Break with Charity, A Ride into Morning, and Cast two Shadows, etc. She was born in New York City on August 27, 1934. In 1979, at the age of 45, she finished her first book.

An Acquaintance with Darkness by Ann Rinaldi is about Emily Bransby, a 14-year old girl living in Washington DC at the time that President Lincoln was assassinated, when slaves we're being freed and people were all going crazy from all of the new changes going on. Her mother has just died and her best friend's mother is jailed for taking a part in Lincoln's murder. Because her father is also dead, Emily is forced to live with her mother's hated brother, Uncle Valentine, who is a doctor with a secret. Emily has to decide how much she's willing to risk for her uncle. An Acquaintance with Darkness was a good (yet sometimes boring) book, well written with a good twist in the end.

Emily was lying in bed when all of a sudden she heard a loud knock on her door in the middle of the night. She went to go see who it was and fortunately it was her good old friend Johnny Surrat whom she hadn't seen in a long time, Johnny had said he was away on business, well he came in and he talked to her and asked how her and her mom were surviving since their slave had been set free before President Lincolns death. He gave her twenty gold pieces and said he was on an important mission and that he didn't know when he would be back. Emily lived with her mother who was dying. And she took care of her mother till the day she died. When her mother died at first she was kind of relieved that it was all over...yet she really missed her mom. Before her mother had died, her mother told her whatever she did not to go live with her uncle but her uncle somehow got legal custody of her. And she was sent to go live with him. Her uncle said that he was a doctor and he had many patients...that would come to his house and he would help many people and she always wondered why her mom hated him so much he seemed like a good man. Then one day when she was at private school this girl named Myra Motts who's dad was a news reporter. Myra told Emily that her uncle was a body snatcher and that he stole buried bodies to study them so he could learn better about the human body (which was against the law). So she told the girls that it wasn't true so then the girl asked her to take her into her uncle's shed in his backyard, the one her uncle had told her never to go in and she said ok just to prove that what she said about her uncle wasn't true. But while they were in there they found some strange things in the shed so she started watching her uncle very carefully and she noticed some strange people that brought weird stuff to the shed, she had made friends with her uncle's assistant so she went to him to ask questions. She asked him what the strange things were in the shed, and she asked if the rumors were really true about her uncle being a body snatcher. He said that it was all just rumors and that if she wanted to go look in the shed and laboratory right then she could. So she pushed all her thoughts away and decided that the other girls had nothing better to do then to pick on her and her uncle. One day Myra Motts came to school saying she had proof about her uncle being the body snatcher, Myra said that Uncle Valentine had a dead body in his laboratory, so Emily, Myra and a few other girls went to go see for themselves and to Emily's surprise they found a dead body in her uncle's laboratory as Myra had said, so Myra called her dad and they did an investigation on him but some how someone had found out and removed the bodies so they didn't have any evidence. Instead of talking to her uncle about everything she just took her 20 gold pieces that Johnny had given her and packed all her stuff and just left. But that day they happened to be having a parade and when she got outside the gate she saw this little girl running in front of the General's horse and she went and ran and saved the little girl but she got trampled on her leg by the horse. So some of the people standing near by yelled for a doctor, which happened to be her uncle's trainee, so he told her uncle and he sent her home. When she got home her Uncle asked her why had she left and Emily told him everything that she had seen and that she knew what he was doing. He got really disappointed



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