The young soldiers at Valley Forge are suffering from hunger, cold, and the threat of the British army. Their newly forged bonds of friendship might be enough to help them survive. But the chains of Curzon’s past threaten to shackle him again.
Surrounded by the fires of ignorance, mistrust, and greed, Curzon can’t risk sharing his deadly secrets with anyone. Does he have the mettle to hold on to his freedom? To claim his rightful place as an American? Is he strong enough to find the answer to the hardest question of all: Is Isabel still alive?
Acclaimed author Laurie Halse Anderson continues the thrilling adventure started in her bestselling, award-winning novel Chains. Ride along on a gallop that will take you from battling the British at Saratoga to fighting the elements at Valley Forge to rebelling against merciless tyranny. Discover what the fight for freedom was really all about.
About the Author
Laurie Halse Anderson is the author of several wonderful picture books and numerous highly acclaimed novels, including the bestselling Fever, 1793. Her debut young adult novel, Speak, was a National Book Award finalist, a Printz Honor Book, and an ALA Best Book for Reluctant Readers. Laurie lives in Mexico, New York.
Anderson, Laurie Halse Forge.
Atheneum, 2010 [304p] (Seeds of America) ISBN 978-1-4169-6144-4 $16.99 Reviewed from galleys R Gr. 7-10
Curzon and Isabel, runaway slaves in Anderson's Chains (BCCB 11/08), have parted company--she is headed south to find her sister Ruth, and he finds work driving a cart for Patriot soldiers. An impulsive act of battlefield bravery leads to Curzon's enlistment as a freeman with the 16th Massachusetts Regiment, and he's now a tentmate with Eban Woodruff, the young man whose life he saved, and John Burns, a sly bigot who waits for an opportunity to drum Curzon out of the army. Personal animosity simmers as the soldiers encamp at Valley Forge for the winter of 1777-8, but Curzon and his comrades cooperate to make the best of dire circumstances. When Burns rises to the rank of sergeant, though, and Curzon's legal owner, James Bellingham, reclaims his service, Curzon begins to plot yet another escape. His situation is immediately complicated by the appearance of Isabel, who has been recaptured and sold to Bellingham. Bellingham knows Curzon will withhold his labor, so he threatens to punish Isabel, who already wears a locked metal cuff around her neck, for each infraction he may cause. Desperate but unable to plan a foolproof escape, Curzon and Isabel are blessed by chance and the unexpected aid of Curzon's old comrades at arms with some slim hope of freedom as the novel ends and they march out of Valley Forge, protectively surrounded by decamping troops. The saga that began as Isabel's tale loses none of its tension as it switches to Curzon's plight, and the pair's situation at the novel's conclusion is precarious enough to suggest--even demand--another volume. Again Anderson crafts her source notes into a reader-friendly Q&A discussion and appends a glossary of eighteenth-century terms. As one of Curzon's mates observes, "This camp is a forge for the army; it's testing our qualities. . . . Question is, what are we made of?" For:
Series: Seeds of America
For Ages: 8 - 12 years old
For Grades: 3 - 7
Number Of Pages: 297
Published: 24th April 2012
Publisher: ATHENEUM BOOKS
Dimensions (cm): 19.05 x 12.954 x 2.54
Weight (kg): 0.2