The Staircase by Ann Rinaldi

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How could Lizzy Enders's father abandon her at a girls school run by nuns? She's surrounded by Catholics--but she's Methodist! Shunned by the other boarders, Lizzy befriends a wandering carpenter named José, who with just three tools--and unflagging faith--builds an elaborate spiral staircase in the new chapel in mere weeks. When he disappears without a trace, Lizzy realizes that the way she sees things is not always the way they are.
Inspired by the legend of the "miraculous" staircase in the Chapel of Loretto in Santa Fe, Ann Rinaldi skillfully blends the mystery surrounding the staircase's builder with the daily trials of a spunky thirteen-year-old girl growing up in the 1870s.

About Ann Rinaldi

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ANN RINALDI is an award-winning author best known for bringing history to life. A self-made writer and a newspaper columnist for twenty-one years, she lives in central New Jersey.
Published June 1, 2002 by HMH Books for Young Readers. 242 pages
Genres: Children's Books, Literature & Fiction. Fiction

Unrated Critic Reviews for The Staircase

Publishers Weekly

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The dynamics among the girls seem reductive, especially the tense exchanges between Lizzy and the villainously manipulative Elinora, whose evil deeds include poking out Lizzy's kitten's eyes with an embroidery needle.

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Teen Reads

As Lizzy tries to help the people in the convent and avoid trouble with the other girls, she begins to understand why her father left her and to accept her mother's death.

Jun 01 2002 | Read Full Review of The Staircase

SF Site

It is another kind of wonder that The Staircase accomplishes all this -- educating readers, providing a core of hope, tackling the unexplainable -- even as it keeps the reader riveted to the story.

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