Dear America Wiki
Dear America Wiki

"How, I wonder, could a people have ever allowed slavery? The evil of it seems so clear. I can only think that, throughout history, most children have held doubts about slavery in their hearts. But children become used to the customs of their time and place. As they grow older, they forget their doubts and follow in the footsteps of their parents and grandparents. Now, for the first time, our whole nation is about to start down a new path together."
Virginia Dickens[2]

After the Rain: Virginia's Diary, Book Two is historical fiction book written by Mary Pope Osborne. It is the tenth book in the My America series and the second about Virginia Dickens. It was published in May 2002 and was followed by Virginia's third diary, A Time to Dance.

Virginia Dickens and her family face hardship after settling in Washington D.C. towards the end of the Civil War.


"To Dr. Jack Hrkach, with love and gratitude"

Book description[]

"Washington, D.C., 1864
Virginia's story continues...

In the final months of the Civil War, Ginny and her family move to Washington, D.C. The cold winter brings uncertainty and hardship. Ginny bravely faces the changing times, marked by the assassination of her hero, President Abraham Lincoln.


Historical Note[]

The Civil War, which began in 1861, was fought between the northern and southern states of America. While the north had outlawed slavery, the south still relied on slavery for their plantations which led to the Civil War. During the winter of 1864 to 1865, thousands of soldiers filled the nation's capital of Washington D.C., escaping the final months of the war. Not yet a "modern" city, Washington D.C. had unpaved streets and no sewage system. President Abraham Lincoln was elected to his second term in November 1864. Lincoln had a "tremendous" job before him. He wanted the Civil War to end, slavery to end, and for the nation to unite and "to bind up its wounds."

In 1865, the Thirteenth Amendment, which abolished slavery, was passed by Congress. On April 9 of that year, Confederate General Robert E. Lee surrendered to Union General Ulysses S. Grant at Appomattox Court House. The celebrations ended five days later when President Lincoln was shot by John Wilkes Booth at Ford's Theatre. He died the following day. Five illustrations are interspersed throughout the section.


Main article: List of characters in Virginia's Diaries
  • Virginia "Ginny" Dickens, the ten-year-old daughter of her father. After moving to Washington D.C., Virginia has a hard time adjusting and has to learn how to appreciate her family.
  • Jane Ellen Dickens is Ginny's sister-in-law whom wed Jed the previous year. She becomes a close friend and mother-like figure to Ginny. Jane Ellen is also expecting a baby.


Main article: Mary Pope Osborne

Mary Pope Osborne is an award-winning author of children's and young adults novels. She has penned over one hundred books, which includes her popular Magic Tree House series. Osborne wrote three books for My America and two for Dear America, including Standing in the Light and My Secret War. She has a "strong personal connection" to Ford's Theatre, having seen her now husband for the first time when he acted in a play there. For After the Rain, she revisited the theatre which "held such good memories for [her], and such tragic memories for our nation."

Shared continuity[]

After the Rain takes place a year after the conclusion of My Brother's Keeper (2001), the first diary featuring Virginia as a character. A Time to Dance, which was published in 2003, continues the story a month after After the Rain. A Time to Dance also concludes the trilogy.


"With special thanks to Amy Griffin, Beth Levine, Diane Garvey Nesin, and Dwayne Howard."


  • The portrait on the cover of the book was illustrated by Glenn Harrington, whom also illustrated several My America books.[3]


See also[]

External links[]