The Secret of Sarah Revere

Common Sense Media says

Decent historical fiction for fans.





What parents need to know

Positive messages

A major character owns a slave. The main character sometimes disobeys her parents.

Not applicable
Not applicable
Not applicable
Not applicable
Drinking, drugs, & smoking
Not applicable

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that this portrait of revolutionary Boston, as seen by Paul Revere's sometimes recalcitrant 13-year-old daughter, has romance and intrigue.

Parents say

Kids say

What's the story?

Paul Revere gallops around the countryside on secret missions as his thirteen-year-old daughter, Sarah, tries to make sense of life and the American Revolution. Sarah adores family friend Dr. Joseph Warren but fears that he and her stepmother may be in love. Meanwhile, danger looms for all as the Revolution begins. Good historical fiction that Rinaldi fans will enjoy.

Is it any good?


The author's research and attention to details serve readers well, while the common struggles of adolescence strike familiar chords. Despite sometimes awkward writing, this is one of Ann Rinaldi's better efforts, and it keeps readers interested in the emotions of the character while stimulating interest in the historical period.

She gives abundant details of revolutionary Boston, describing Revere's difficulties getting out of Boston for other journeys to distant cities and discussing spying among patriots and loyalists. Readers see Revere as a kind and loving father and learn that he also practiced dentistry and printed money for the patriots. But Rinaldi portrays his mother and oldest daughter as rather nasty characters. In her afterword she notes that she really has no information about their personalities, but the strong impression of the two maligned women may linger in the minds of young readers.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about coming of age amid such dramatic events. How do the events of the Revolution influence the kind of woman Sarah is becoming?

Book details

Author:Ann Rinaldi
Genre:Historical Fiction
Book type:Fiction
Publisher:Harcourt Brace
Publication date:November 1, 1995
Number of pages:320
Publisher's recommended age(s):12 - 14

This review of The Secret of Sarah Revere was written by

About our rating system

  • ON: Content is age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • PAUSE: Know your child; some content may not be right for some kids.
  • OFF: Not age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • NOT FOR KIDS: Not appropriate for kids of any age.

Find out more


Our star rating assesses the media's overall quality.

Find out more

Learning ratings

  • Best: Really engaging, great learning approach.
  • Very Good: Engaging, good learning approach.
  • Good: Pretty engaging, good learning approach.
  • Fair: Somewhat engaging, okay learning approach.
  • Not for Learning: Not recommended for learning.
  • Not for Kids: Not age-appropriate for kids; not recommended for learning.

Find out more

About our buy links

When you use our links to make a purchase, Common Sense Media earns a small affiliate fee from Amazon or iTunes. As a nonprofit organization, these funds help us continue providing independent, ad-free services for educators, families, and kids while the price you pay remains the same. Thank you for your support.
Read more

See more about how we rate and review.

What parents and kids say

See all user reviews

Share your thoughts with other parents and kids Write a user review

A safe community is important to us. Please observe our guidelines

Teen, 14 years old Written bysunnysideup7685 July 9, 2010

Not for Younger Children

I'm fourteen and read this book when I was 11. I love history, especially the Revolutionary War and thought it would be fun to read about PauL Revere's daughter. The WHOLE book is about an alleged affair between Dr. Warren and Paul Revere's wife Rachel. It is well written and Ann Rinaldi does include tons of real facts, but is not for children younger then thirteen.
What other families should know
Too much sex
Too much swearing
Educational value
Parent of a 7 and 10 year old Written bydrummer5 October 17, 2009


My daughter's school library suggested this book for a class reading project. As a parent, I'm disappointed with the choice. The dialogue between characters is difficult for a ten year old reader. The writing stye and subject is also boring.
Adult Written byhtexaschic94 April 9, 2008
AGENot rated for age

Read it!!!

This book was wonderful! Inside the class and out. It is perfect if your child enjoys diaries or Revolutionary War books. Ann Rinaldi is a great author! READ IT!!!


Did our review help you make an informed decision about this product?

Essential Apps Guide