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Chains: Seeds of America 1 Edition
Contributor(s): Anderson, Laurie Halse

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ISBN: 1416905863     ISBN-13: 9781416905868
Publisher: Atheneum
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Binding Type: Paperback - See All Available Formats & Editions
Published: January 2010
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Annotation: If an entire nation could seek its freedom, "why not a girl?"

As the Revolutionary War begins, thirteen-year-old Isabel wages her own fight...for freedom. Promised freedom upon the death of their owner, she and her sister, Ruth, in a cruel twist of fate become the property of a malicious New York City couple, the Locktons, who have no sympathy for the American Revolution and even less for Ruth and Isabel. When Isabel meets Curzon, a slave with ties to the Patriots, he encourages her to spy on her owners, who know details of British plans for invasion. She is reluctant at first, but when the unthinkable happens to Ruth, Isabel realizes her loyalty is available to the bidder who can provide her with freedom.

From acclaimed author Laurie Halse Anderson comes this compelling, impeccably researched novel that shows the lengths we can go to cast off our chains, both physical and spiritual.

Click for more in this series: Seeds of America

Additional Information
Library of Congress Subjects:
Slavery; Fiction.
African Americans; Fiction.
Spies; Fiction.
BISAC Categories:
- Juvenile Fiction | Historical | United States
- Juvenile Fiction | People & Places | United States
- Juvenile Fiction | Historical | Military & Wars
Dewey: [Fic]
LCCN: bl2009036563
Lexile Measure: 780
Academic/Grade Level: Grade 4-6, Age 9-11
Series: Seeds of America
Book type: Juvenile Fiction
Physical Information: 7.75" H x 5.00" W x 1.00" (0.50 lbs) 316 pages
Accelerated Reader Info
Quiz #: 125530
Reading Level: 5.2   Interest Level: Middle Grades   Point Value: 11.0
Scholastic Reading Counts Info
Quiz #: Q45221
Reading Level: 4.7   Interest Level: Grades 6-8   Point Value: 19.0
 
Descriptions, Reviews, Etc.
Publisher Description:
The American Revolution comes to vivid life in Chains, Laurie Halse Anderson's story of one young girl's quest for freedom, now in paperback.

Reviewed by Horn Book Guide Reviews (Horn Book Guide Reviews 2009 Spring)
Slaves Isabel and Ruth are shipped to New York in May 1776. Isabel, overhearing her Loyalist master's scheme to kill George Washington, helps foil the plot. Her role forgotten by the Patriots, Isabel realizes it's up to her alone to find freedom. Anderson's novel is remarkable for its strong sense of place and nuanced portrait of slavery during the Revolutionary War. Copyright 2008 Horn Book Guide Reviews.

Reviewed by Horn Book Magazine Reviews (Horn Book Magazine Reviews 2008 #6)
Despite protests that her former owner's will had freed them, Isabel Finch and her five-year-old sister Ruth are sold and shipped from Newport, Rhode Island, to New York City in May 1776. Their new owners are fierce Loyalists, and one young African American rebel sees Isabel as a potential spy: "You are a slave, not a person. They'll say things in front of you they won't say in front of the white servants. 'Cause you don't count." At first, Isabel isn't keen to help: "I'm just fighting for me and Ruth. You can keep your rebellion." But when she overhears her master's scheme to kill George Washington, Isabel reports it to a Patriot colonel. The rebels foil the plot; Isabel, however, is forgotten. Finally, Isabel realizes that it's up to her -- and her alone -- to find freedom. Anderson's novel is remarkable for its strong sense of time and place and for its nuanced portrait of slavery and of New York City during the Revolutionary War. A detailed author's note separates fact from historical fiction. Copyright 2008 Horn Book Magazine Reviews.

Reviewed by Publishers Weekly Reviews (PW Reviews 2008 September #1)

Pursuing similar themes as M.T. Anderson's Octavian Nothing , this gripping novel offers readers a startlingly provocative view of the Revolutionary War. Isabel Finch, the narrator, and her five-year-old sister, Ruth, are to be freed from slavery upon the death of their mistress in Rhode Island, but the mistress's unscrupulous heir easily persuades the local pastor to dispense with reading the will. Before long Isabel and Ruth are in New York City, the property of a Loyalist couple, whose abusiveness inspires Isabel to a dangerous course: she steals into the Patriot army camp to trade a crucial Loyalist secret in exchange for passage to Rhode Island for herself and Ruth. But not only does the Patriot colonel fail to honor his promise, he personally hands her over to her Loyalist mistress when she runs away, to face disastrous consequences. Anderson (Speak ; Fever 1793 ) packs so much detail into her evocation of wartime New York City that readers will see the turmoil and confusion of the times, and her solidly researched exploration of British and Patriot treatment of slaves during a war for freedom is nuanced and evenhanded, presented in service of a fast-moving, emotionally involving plot. Ages 10–up. (Oct.)

[Page 54]. Copyright 2008 Reed Business Information.

Reviewed by School Library Journal Reviews (SLJ Reviews 2008 October)

Gr 6–10— Set in New York City at the beginning of the American Revolution, Chains addresses the price of freedom both for a nation and for individuals. Isabel tells the story of her life as a slave. She was sold with her five-year-old sister to a cruel Loyalist family even though the girls were to be free upon the death of their former owner. She has hopes of finding a way to freedom and becomes a spy for the rebels, but soon realizes that it is difficult to trust anyone. She chooses to find someone to help her no matter which side he or she is on. With short chapters, each beginning with a historical quote, this fast-paced novel reveals the heartache and struggles of a country and slave fighting for freedom. The characters are well developed, and the situations are realistic. An author's note gives insight into issues surrounding the Revolutionary War and the fight for the nation's freedom even though 20 percent of its people were in chains. Well researched and affecting in its presentation, the story offers readers a fresh look at the conflict and struggle of a developing nation.—Denise Moore, O'Gorman Junior High School, Sioux Falls, SD

[Page 138]. Copyright 2008 Reed Business Information.
 
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