Acquaintance with Darkness By, Ann Rinaldi

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Acquaintance with Darkness

By, Ann Rinaldi

Chapter 1 “Johnny”

Discussion Questions
This story is told from the perspective of Emily, a fourteen-year-old girl. Who does she live with and why?
Emily says, “Washington is crying”. Why does she say this?
How does Emily describe the people living in Washington after the war?
What happened to Emily’s father?
Why do you think that has affected the way she feels about the war?

Emily and Johnny talk about what she will do when her mother dies. What does her mother want her to do? What does Johnny want her to do? What does Emily want to do?

Why does Johnny come to visit Emily?
Emily says that she knows she will never she Johnny again. What do you predict will happen?

Word Wizard
Read the sentences below. What does the underlined word mean?
Four years of scavenging for food. (pg. 2)

Booth was a matinee idol. (pg. 4)

He looked abashed. (pg. 6)

Richmond has been evacuated. (pg. 7)

Mama had worked for Elizabeth Keckley, Mrs. Lincoln’s seamstress. (pg. 8)

Literary Elements
What is the setting of the story?
When does it take place?

Where does it take place?

What is happening in the United States during this time?

What is the mood of the story?

Below are some of the characters introduced in chapter one. Describe the character and their relationship with Emily.



Relationship to Emily and how she feels about them

Mary Surratt

Annie Surratt

Johnny Surratt

John Wilkes Booth


Uncle Valentine

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