The Fifth of March

Book review by
Monica Wyatt, Common Sense Media
The Fifth of March Book Poster Image
So-so historical fiction mixed with romance.

Parents say

age 12+
Based on 1 review

Kids say

age 13+
Based on 4 reviews

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A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this book.

Positive Messages

Some minor characters speak disrespectfully of Crispus Attucks, the black man killed in the Boston Massacre. The main character defies authority to sneak out at night and visit a prisoner.


Mildly describes the Boston Massacre.


A few references to women being "in circumstances," meaning "pregnant." Matthew's sexual frustration is hinted at.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that this is a romance with the Boston Massacre as a backdrop.

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Parent of a 14-year-old Written byPoncho93 February 28, 2010

The best book that I have ever read!!!

This is the best book that I have ever read!! Ann Rinaldi is an amazing author that paints a very realistic back drop for her heart felt writings. Yes there is... Continue reading
Teen, 13 years old Written byBest Books Around November 12, 2019

Boring, Not worth real time.

The plot is boring with the climax not starting until Chapter 16 and the book only get more boring from there. The book is more just for knowing who people are... Continue reading
Teen, 13 years old Written bywhytho January 22, 2018


THIS BOOK IS TRASH. Don't read it

What's the story?

Rachel works as an indentured servant to John and Abigail Adams in Boston during the early 1770s. She admires them greatly, but falls in love with Matthew, a British soldier who kills an American in the Boston Massacre. Rachel can't decide where her loyalties lie. Many kids will enjoy reading this, and they'll learn some history along the way.


Is it any good?

Ann Rinaldi has been tempting teenagers to read romances and learn some real history for over a decade; this doesn't stand out as her best effort, but it's a useful book. Rinaldi often writes in sentence fragments. The deliberately choppy writing style slows the pace of the book, but Rachel's inner struggle for independence still holds many readers' attention.

Rinaldi devotes most of the book to Rachel's evolving thinking. Except for a few riots, the incidents culminating in the Boston Massacre don't occur until more than halfway into the story. Rachel, Boston, the Revolution, romance, and the concept of independence dominate the story. Rachel's movement toward her own liberty mirrors the evolution of the "plain Americans."

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about the heroine's conflicted loyalties. What does independence mean for Rachel?

Book details

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