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Forge (Seeds of America #2)

4.1 of 5 stars 4.10  ·  rating details  ·  6,154 ratings  ·  878 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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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
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
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
It's only fair to say that this is a YA novel and I am a boomer, so I'm not the intended audience of this book. I read it because I have great admiration for the author, and because I had read and liked the prior book, Chains. I am very glad that I read it.

Curzon, a young slave, was sent by his master to serve in the colonial army as a substitute for himself, with the promise of freedom at the end of his service. At the start of this story, Curzon has been freed from a British prison by Isabel,
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!
Kiana S
Kiana Seva
Forge (Seeds of America, #2)
By Laurie Halse Anderson

I thought that the book Forge was a good book, because it took place in the 1700s, which was a long time ago. This book is from the point of view from a free slave, though he escaped from a jail, and is enlisted in the army. His name is Curzon Smith. He enlists in the army, for the pay, the food, and somewhere to live because he does not live anywhere, and to keep from getting caught and put back in jail. When he is in the army, his f
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.
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!
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
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
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
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
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
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.
If I had young readers in my home, I would definitely stock my shelves with this wonderful, historical set of books. Not only are the books interesting and entertaining, but my favorite part may be the appendixes where the author answers questions about her books, adding additional reading suggestions for further exploration. I learned more about Valley Forge in this book than any other I have read:)
I understand Anderson's need to build in so many details about the war for the first 32 chapters. It needed to be done to develop Curzon's character , depict the amount of time away from Isabel, and let one see the harshest conditions of the war. However, it took me forever to get through this part. I ate up the latter chapters because the plot reverted back to Curzon and Isable's entrampment into slavery, which is what grabbed me in Pt.1, Chains. With that said, Anderson's depictment of the sta ...more
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
I didn't find this book to be nearly as good as Chains. It was educational yes, but I wished that we had seen more of Isabelle. In addition, the entire book was Curzon trying to map out a way to escape to freedom. THE ENTIRE STORY! And then it just ended, very abruptly as they ran away. I have to say,for all of chains greatness, this was just ok. I liked it, but wouldn't read it again.
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
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
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
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Sara Andrews
“Forge” a middle school novel by esteemed adolescent author Laurie Halse Anderson is an excellent Historical Fiction choice for any teacher looking to enhance their students learning about the issue of American Slavery during the Revolutionary War period.

“Forge” is the sequel to Anderson’s award winning novel “Chains”. “Forge” picks up where “Chains” leaves off but focuses on the male protagonist named Curzon. Curzon, a runaway slave, leaves his female counterpart and protagonist of “Chains”, Is
Anderson can tell a compelling story in our century or any other. Forge is the sequel to CHAINS. This one is set in Revolutionary War times, narrated by a runaway slave from the NYC area. Curzon is running, and gets tangled up in a battle...and ends up sort of enlisting in the rebel army.

He ends up in Valley Forge, in that horrible winter, fighting the British, suspicious tent-mates, his own memories, and his constant fear. He suffers right along with the other soldiers...not enough to eat, not
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
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
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This has been a crazy year!! Thanks to all of you who came out to see me on the road and for voting for The Impossible Knife of Memory for Goodreads Choice 2014 Best YA Fiction!

I'm home writing, am happy to report. Living out of a suitcase gets old in a hurry and it is SUPER hard to write books when dashing for an airplane.

I'm working on revisions to ASHES and will give you the REAL, ABSOLUTE publ
More about Laurie Halse Anderson...

Other Books in the Series

Seeds of America (3 books)
  • Chains (Seeds of America, #1)
  • Ashes (Seeds of America, #3)
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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