Ann Rinaldi (1934 -2021) was a prolific and award winning writer of historical young adult novels. Her books focus on American history and The Staircase published in 2000 is set in 1878 and centers around the Loretto Chapel and its beautiful spiral staircase located in Santa Fe New Mexico which tourists continue to visit to this day. No one really knows who built the staircase but the legend says it may have been St Joseph himself. Regardless the staircase remains a marvel of architectural design.
Ann Rinaldi decided to write a fictional account of how the staircase came to be built. Her novel is well written and has received fine reviews but it's possible I am not the right age for this book. It is geared for young adults and certainly I am no longer in that category. I will say that one of the characters in The Staircase, Bishop Jean-Baptiste Lamy was the actual Bishop of Santa Fe back in the 1870's and he must have been a memorable man because Willa Cather used his life as the basis for her classic novel, Death Comes for the Archbishop.
Ann Rinaldi passed away in 2021 but her well written books will continue to attract young readers and inspire them to learn more about history.