Winter 2009 Kids' List
“This is an incredible look at a little discussed topic -- slavery during the Revolutionary War. When Isabel's master dies, she and her sister, Ruth, are sold to Loyalists and shipped to New York City. The only thing that matters to Isabel is that she and Ruth stay together. But, when Ruth is sold in the middle of the night, Isabel does what it takes to find her again, even if it means spying for the rebels.”
— Cathy Berner, Blue Willow Bookshop, Houston, TX
From acclaimed author Laurie Halse Anderson comes this compelling first novel in the historical middle grade The Seeds of America trilogy that shows the lengths we can go to cast off our chains, both physical and spiritual.
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.
About the Author
Laurie Halse Anderson is a New York Times bestselling author known for tackling tough subjects with humor and sensitivity. She’s twice been a National Book Award finalist, for Chains and Speak; Chains also received the 2009 Scott O’Dell Award for Historical Fiction. Laurie was chosen for the 2009 Margaret A. Edwards Award and received the Astrid Lindgren Memorial Award in 2023, presented to her by the Crown Princess of Sweden. She lives in Pennsylvania, and you can follow her adventures on X (previously known as Twitter) @HalseAnderson or visit her at MadWomanintheForest.com.