"An 11-year-old girl's inadvertent role in the infamous Nat Turner slave uprising of 1831 dramatically alters her life" in this heartrending novel (Kirkus Reviews).
Harriet Whitehead is an outsider in her own family. She feels accepted and important only when she is entrusted to write letters for her blind stepmother. Then Nat Turner, a slave preacher, arrives on her family's plantation and Harriet befriends him, entranced by his gentle manner and eloquent sermons about an all-forgiving God.
When Nat asks Harriet for a map of the county to help him spread the word, she draws it for him, wanting to be part of something important. But the map turns out to be the missing piece that sets Nat's secret plan in motion—and makes Harriet an unwitting accomplice to the bloodiest slave uprising in U.S. history.
In The Letter Writer, award-winning historical novelist Ann Rinaldi has created a bold portrait of antebellum Virginia and of an ordinary young girl thrust into a situation beyond her control, and must make peace with herself in the wake of tragedy.