Feb 04, 09
Read in February, 2009
Great historical fiction novel. Girls would like it more than boys, I think, because the main character is a slave girl transported to New York during the American Revolution. I learned A LOT about this period of history from this book. Boys would like the descriptions of prisoner treatment, slave treatment, etc. No battles, though.
The sentence structure is meant to replicate 18th century America, but it is not so pure that MS-HS kids would get turned off by it. In fact, Isabel's use of "remembery" for her memory, and "brainpan" for her ability to think and reflect were quite interesting.
I really liked this book - although I am a Laurie Halse Anderson fan because she seems to get to the heart of adolescent feelings in a very literary way. I was thrilled at the end when I discovered a sequel is forthcoming, titled Forge. Chains leaves off at an exciting part, so readers will definitely want to pick up the next one.
My copy also had a Q&A about what was historical fact and what was fiction. If a history class had enough time on an American Revolution unit, it would be an interesting novel to use in the course of study - I never knew that New York was occupied by the British for most of the Revolution. Very interesting.