- Publisher: ATHENEUM BOOKS
- Format: Paperback | 316 pages
- Dimensions: 130mm x 188mm x 28mm | 227g
- Publication date: 5 January 2010
- Publication City/Country: New York, NY
- ISBN 10: 1416905863
- ISBN 13: 9781416905868
- Edition: 1
- Sales rank: 36,179
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.
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By Tarissa 08 Oct 2014
A good, solid story taking place during the Revolutionary War. I think many people overlook the use of slaves during early American times, and "Chains" brings out a story you won't soon forget.
The author writes a gripping story that reels you in. Isabel is wrongfully sold into slavery, along with her younger sister, Ruth. Coming under bondage by the hand of the unsympathetic Locktons, young Isabel finds herself being bolted into place. Bound by the invisible chains of slavery, she just wants the freedom that was intended to be hers and her sister's.
"Chains" is an epic tale, which I would gladly read again. But I'll have to read the sequel first.
A note to parents: There is some outright defiance and domestic violence portrayed, in a fight between Isabel and her owner. I'm personally not saying this is bad quality in the book, for I truly felt for Isabel in those times, although some families may not care for their children to read scenes like that.
By TeensReadToo 16 Sep 2010
Laurie Halse Anderson tells the amazing story of a slave girl during the American Revolution.
Isabel is actually supposed to be free, since that's what her deceased owner willed, but a greedy nephew takes it upon himself to keep Isabel and her younger sister, Ruth, enslaved for his own profit. With no parents, and no one to care about their fate, the girls are shipped off to New York to live with new owners.
Aside from Isabel's plight, this book also follows the progress of the war from the standpoint of both loyalists and rebels. Readers have glimpses of the wealthy, the working class, the soldiers, and the slaves -- all while their eyes are riveted to the story of one lonely girl.
Anderson develops a realistic setting and offers up details that serve to enrich this tale and keep readers interested. From a trip to the stocks to a hanging, we see the gruesome, and from heroic acts to cowardice, we see people at their most extreme.
Anderson allows enough filtering and distance for comfortable reading, but expect no holds barred from this accurate author. The times were not pretty, despite the burgeoning of a new America. The writer neither exaggerates nor shields. She simply tells her tale, and it is most definitely one worth reading.