Forge (Seeds of America, #2)
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Forge (Seeds of America #2)

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4.1 of 5 stars 4.10  ·  rating details  ·  5,450 ratings  ·  830 reviews
In this compelling sequel to Chains, a National Book Award Finalist and winner of the Scott O’Dell Award for Historical Fiction, acclaimed author Laurie Halse Anderson shifts perspective from Isabel to Curzon and brings to the page the tale of what it takes for runaway slaves to forge their own paths in a world of obstacles—and in the midst of the Ameri...more
Hardcover, 297 pages
Published August 2nd 2011 by Atheneum (first published October 19th 2010)
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Community Reviews

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Thomas
Forge was a compelling book about the Revolutionary War, specifically the events that took place at Valley Forge. The main character, Curzon, is an escaped adolescent slave who enlists in order to keep himself safe and serve a purpose.

I liked this book, but not as much as its predecessor, Chains. Generally I do not enjoy historical fiction, so the fact that I finished this book in a couple of days says something about Laurie Halse Anderson’s writing ability. She keeps things interesting but rele...more
Jeanette  "Astute Crabbist"
The refresher course in American history was my favorite thing about this book.
Valley Forge, winter of 1777-78. Remember learning about that in school? Thousands of men (and quite a few women, too) starved and froze all winter long, and many died. The suffering was largely a result of incompetence and poor planning on the part of their leaders. Some things never change...

The continuing story of Curzon and Isabel was enjoyable, if a little contrived. I think it will appeal to young people as the...more
Barb Middleton
Left hanging as to what happened to Isabel and Curzon in "Chains," book one of Seeds of America, the action continues to steamroll with Curzon finding himself in the middle of the British fighting the Patriots during the Revolutionary War. Isabel has run off tired of waiting for the two to go find Ruth after fleeing to freedom and Curzon is trying to find her. He gets lost and ends up saving the life of Eben a brawny boy his age with a big voice and big heart. A series of mishaps leads Curzon to...more
Molly Magro
Every bit as powerful, heart-poundingly suspenseful, fascinating, and honest as CHAINS. I am in love with this series.

Curzon's voice is so solidly written, and every time you think you can put the book down, something unthinkable happens and you have to keep reading. Not that this is a bad thing, it can just keep you up later than you'd like and make you extend your lunch breaks, etc...

This made me think a lot (especially since yesterday was Veteran's Day) about how many soldiers camped in mise...more
Isabelle
Not as good as the 1st Seeds of America, Chains, but still good. I thought it was interesting from Curzon's point of view, but I like hearing from Isabel much, much more. I didn't like not knowing what was going on with her. There was also much more violence in this one, since Curzon was in the war and such. I am hoping that the 3rd, Ashes is told from Isabel's point of view. I can't wait to read the 3rd one! This is definitely my favorite Historical Fiction series!
Donalyn
Laurie Halse Anderson calls her historical fiction works "historical thrillers" and the term is well-deserved. Picking up where Chains left off, Anderson continues the story of Curzon and Isabelle, two freed slaves, during the Revolutionary War. Curzon serves as the narrator this time, and we see the horrible conditions at Valley Forge through his eyes.

I cannot wait for the 3rd installment in this series, Ashes.
Meena
This book was a really good sequel to Chains. It's written from Curzon's point of view. It really grabbed my attention and held it until the end. There's going to be a third book, Ashes. I really want to read it!
Kaci
May 03, 2011 Kaci added it
This is the second book in a series of three titled Seeds of America. Forge follows Curzon as he enlists in the Continental Army, is taken back by Mr. Bellingham, his "owner," and meets up with Isabel, who had run away from Curzon to find her sister Ruth but was captured and sold back into slavery. Laurie Halse Anderson is a genius. I love learning about how our country gained its freedom from Britain while also reading a very well-written and at times, poetic novel. The chapters that really stu...more
Beverly
Apr 11, 2011 Beverly rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: 13-16 year olds
Recommended to Beverly by: YALSA
Forge,the outstanding sequel to Chains, by truly gifted YA author Laurie Halse Anderson, will turn even reluctant readers into lovers of historical fiction and make history buffs out of even the most resistant student(young or old). The very accurate descriptions of the horrid living conditions in the colonial military camps during the winter or 1777 sound like something out of a holocaust history. The battle scenes are equally accurate, equally horrifying and action packed. Anderson also does a...more
Judy Desetti


Once again I am disappointed not to find out what happened to little Ruth, sister of Isabel. In fact this story never learns one thing about Ruth. This story is told through the voice of Curzon as the two escape New York and end up in New Jersey fleeing for freedom. There we end up following Curzon as he enlists as a free man in the Continental army to fight for the Revolutionists. Isabel runs off to find her sister. They meet again when they are both imprisoned again as slaves and owned by Bel...more
Lars Guthrie
Unlike ‘Chains,’ its War of Independence predecessor, ‘Forge’ wastes no time getting in gear. Curzon, a young slave whom we had last seen as his friend Isabel rescued him from a British prison ship, is almost immediately thrown into the Battles of Saratoga.

As fighting overtakes him, Curzon hides in the woods, only to witness a showdown between a redcoat and a Patriot soldier. The Continental, fumbling to reload his flintlock, looks to be an easy target. Then Curzon unleashes a rock at the Briti...more
Ed
Dec 05, 2012 Ed added it
Anderson, Laurie Halse. (2010). Forge. New York: Simon and Schuster/Atheneum. 297 pp. ISBN 978-1-4169-6144-4 (Hard Cover); $16.99.

Before we move into the review, readers should take note that according to Anderson, “Halse” rhymes with waltz.

Forge is the sequel to Chains. Chains is a National Book Award finalist. While Forge did not make the NBA list this year, this omission should not lead readers to expect any less of this book. Forge is better than Chains!

Curzon is the slave in Chains who enc...more
Anna
When I first realized that the narrator of this sequel was Curzon, I was disappointed. I had become so accustomed to Isabel that I had no interest in Curzon's point of view.

I plan on trusting Anderson implicitly in the future, especially with the sequel to THIS novel.

Another amazing addition to such wonderful historical fiction. This book, along with "Chains," adds many of my favourite elements together into one heap of love - historical fiction, Anderson's writing, tough hardcover, wonderful sm...more
Madison
Forge, the sequel to the book chains is a book with adventure romance and action. Forge is the story of two runaway slaves fighting for their freedom. The story starts out with Curzon saving a young fellow from death by killing a red coat with a rock. Then Curzon decided that he will sign up for the war again. He made many friends and some enemies with his fellow soldiers. Eben the boy Curzon saved from death by the redcoat became his most loyal friend and helped him many times along the way. Wh...more
Kris Sauer
I am a huge fan of Laurie Halse Anderson. She writes amazingly well-written and meticulously researched books while managing to write in a way that reaches young readers where many authors cannot. Forge does not disappoint. Picking up the story of the escaped slaves, Isabel and Curzon, we learn that Isabel has slipped off, ostensibly to find her sister, Ruth. Curzon, keenly aware that his status as an escaped slave puts him in constant danger, ends up enlisting in the Continental Army just befor...more
Krista Ashe
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Morgan
Jun 02, 2014 Morgan rated it 3 of 5 stars
Shelves: ya
Forge didn't hold my interest the way Chains did. Why LHA changed the protagonist from Isabel to Curzon is not clear and it certainly doesn't add to the story--she spent 200+ pages in Chains getting her readers invested in the relationship between Isabel and her sister, and what would happen to them. Curzon, while an interesting character, doesn't have the emotional punch Isabel's story did. Also, the epigraphs beginning each chapter (usually just 2 pages) were distracting from the story. LHA wa...more
Margaret Kensinger-Klopfer
Wow! So lucky to get a sneak peek at Laurie Halse Anderson's sequel to Chains. This time the story is told from the point of view of Curzon, as he leaves Revolutionary war New York City behind for the perils of the battlefields in Saratoga and Valley Forge. He is separated from Isabel, who won't leave the dream of rescuing Ruth behind. He is brought into the Revolutionary army, again, and develops an odd band of brothers in the heart of wartime. I don't normally go for war novels, but the descri...more
Sarah
I wasn't thrilled with the first book in this series, Chains, but I thought I would give the sequel a chance because so many librarians like it. Mehh....I don't.

I love historical fiction, but I just couldn't get into this tale of Curzon. He's a former slave who has enlisted into the American army during the Revolution, at least until his old master reclaims him. The book shows the injustice of slavery pretty clearly, and the hardship of soldiers and citizens during the American Revolution. The h...more
Alison
Are you tired of the snow we're having this year? Do you curse the freezing temperatures every time you walk out the door? Imagine having to work (and live) outside all day with minimal clothing and no shoes. I won't even mention the food...
This is the continued story of Isabel and Curzon, told from Curzon's point of view. He enlists in the Continental Army again and ends up at Valley Forge.
I think that there should be a requirement that this book be read in January or February. It really brough...more
Caitlin Hoffer
This follow-up to Chains is stunning. I received a bound manuscript copy at ALA 2010 and finished all of it in one day. Told from Curzon's point of view instead of Isabel's, Forge shows a lot more of the soldier's motivations and hardships. Curzon and Isabel are apart for much of the book and a lot has changed between them because of it. I missed Isabel's biting wit, but was buffered by the heart inherent in Curzon's decisions. I already cannot wait until the third book comes out, and Forge hasn...more
Skylar Hatfield
I loved this book more than it's prequel. I learn a lot about the history of the founding of this nation and find myself asking a lot of questions during my reading. As a daughter of the American Revolution, I enjoy placing myself where my ancestors may have tread. But the fact that the lead characters in these stories are of African decent and slaves, gives me pause. I would like to go back in time and see how my ancestors interacted with slaves and free black people. Did they think they were f...more
Stevecrandell
Forge is Anderson’s historical sequel to Chains, and I like this story even better than the first. The anger and pain and hardship is sharper here.

Curzon is now the focus of the action. He’s a slave in Revolution-era New York, enlisted in the Patriot army with the promise of freedom at the end of a year’s service. The promise is broken, setting off a chain-reaction of adventure.

Most of the scenes take place during the Continental Army’s winter camp at Valley Forge. Almost 3,000 people died the...more
Robin
I had to finish this book quickly because there's a waiting list for it in my history class among students who chose to read Chains as their Revolutionary War novel. Both are powerful, well written, and are helping students understand the Revolutionary War from the perspective of slaves. The downside? Ashes, the next book in the series is not released until March, and those of us who have read the first two are chomping at the bit to find out what happens to the characters we've come to care abo...more
Megan
This is the sequel to Chains, a novel about slaves during the Revolutionary War. The story is well written, the characters are well developed, the history is skillfully woven into the narrative. The author highlights well the injustice of a nation fight for its freedom while still practicing slavery.

Rated PG-13 for violence. The descriptions are not graphic at all, so maybe PG-13 is too strong, but the treatment of the slaves in this book (and in real life, too, of course) was extremely brutal....more
Rachel
Anderson never disappoints and always excites and surprises me along the way. I love the change in the protagonist in this book even though I instantly missed Isabel and found myself wondering if she would return throughout the first part of the book. I sincerely hope there is a 3rd book in this series because I love reading about this time period and Anderson tackles it from a new perspective that I found particularly interesting. Thank you for another amazing, heart warming book!
Noah Luna
Forge is the sequel to Laurie Halse Anderson's "Chains". Chains is about a thirteen year old slave, Isabel, and her sister, Ruth, during the American Revolution. It's from the point of view of Isabel. Chains ends with Isabel and her friend Curzon sailing across the Hudson river to freedom. Forge begins exactly where chains left off with the two companions waking up at shore; however, the perspective has switched to being from the point of view of Curzon. This is my favorite aspect of the book. B...more
Ellie
The book Forge by Laurie Halse Anderson plummets you right into Curzon's new life the minute you open to the first page. Curzon and Isabel have just escaped slavery, but still have many disadvantages. No horse. No gun. No map. Few coins, and little food. As Curzon gets over the joy of freedom, he realizes one thing: this freedom could kill them. Together, they set out to explore this new world. However, their problems are definitely not over. Curzon and Isabel quarrel- about everything. Whether...more
Tanya
This was an excellent sequel to Chains. I usually don't start reading a series until the last book is written, but I didn't realize this was a series until I finished Chains. Forge takes a look at what the life of a soldier might have been like at Valley Forge. Add to the events that the main character soldier is also a slave, and you have a great adventure!
Kim Straub
I sure wish the third one had come out on time. Now I am left hanging. It was a quick, informative read. With everything the main characters have been through, I am rooting for a happy ending - since it is about slavery, I am fully aware that may not happen. The author tells it like it was.
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UPDATE!

Laurie's new YA novel, THE IMPOSSIBLE KNIFE OF MEMORY, comes out in January!


(She is working on ASHES this very second.)

Back to our regularly scheduled biography...

Laurie Halse Anderson is the New York Times-bestselling author who writes for kids of all ages. Known for tackling tough subjects with humor and sensitivity, her work has earned numerous ALA and state awards. Two of her books, Spe...more
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Speak Wintergirls Fever 1793 Twisted Chains (Seeds of America, #1)

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“This camp is a forge for the army; it's testing our mettle. Instead of heat and hammer, our trials are cold and hunger. Question is, what are we made of?” 7 likes
“Broken leaves flew into the air from the violence of his thrashing, and the gore and blood kept pouring from the black hole in his belly and from his mouth - surely enough blood for ten men, a sight horrid enough to make God Himself weep - and suddenly, his boots stopped running and his form stilled and then......Death caught him.” 3 likes
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