Come Juneteenth is a well-written historical novel for young adults written by one of my favorite authors, Ann Rinaldi. The story of a Texas family on a ranch in the last days of the Civil War, Rinaldi gives us a plausible plot of a mixed race slave girl who is basically raised as a member of the family alongside the youngest daughter of the house. The family makes the decision to keep the Emancipation Proclamation a secret from their slaves until their hand is forced, and it's this secret which devastates the family as Sis Goose, the young slave girl, feels betrayed by those who claim to have loved her most. Rinaldi peoples her story with Yankees, both good and bad, sent in to take over the area, as well as slaves who refuse to leave and those who are anxious to taste freedom for the first time. Added in is a romance between Sis Goose and one of the brothers of the house, and a recipe for disaster is brewed.
While I enjoyed this novel and felt it was quite well-written with interesting characters, there was a lot of coincidence and unreasonable attitudes. I was also annoyed beyond reason by the name Sis Goose; surely to goodness Rinaldi could have found a more likely nickname for an "almost daughter" of the house. Why not just shout "Hey, this girl's really a slave!"? The twist at the end is well done and I could appreciate the author's gift for character development. You can read my amazon review at http://tinyurl.com/33e7yq.
Now I've picked up Blood and Chocolate from our school's library based on its werewolf premise. I wasn't sure in the beginning whether or not I was going to enjoy it in the first few pages, but it seems to be picking up nicely and I should finish it within a couple of days.