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Forge (Seeds of America, #2)
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October 2016: Historical Fiction > Forge by Laurie Halse Anderson - Five Stars, excellent

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Megalion | 484 comments The second book in a marvelous and well researched trilogy about the American Revolution. With particular respect to slavery and blacks serving in the army.

First off, you can't go wrong reading any book by Laurie. She's one of my favorite YA authors, in part for her ability to write captivating stories across a wide range of genres.

In this book, we rejoin Isabel and Curazon. Actually just Curazon as it begins after Isabel has left him. He's now a runaway slave and ends up falling in with soldiers.

This book really emphasizes the sad irony of black people fighting on behalf of the rebels for the country's freedom from England. Which will not include freedom for them.

It also gives graphic detail about conditions of war and what soldiering was really like.

For those concerned about young readers, there's no explicit cursing. There's a couple of fist fights, a couple of war-related death scenes. And some grevious injuries. Everything else is vaguely alluded to.

The hallmark of this book that shows the depth of her research is the epigraphs at the top of every chapter. They come from various diaries, writings, and other accounts of people from that time. Military & government people to free blacks and slaves.

"It would be useless for us to denounce the servitude to which the Parliament of Great Britain whishes to reduce us, while we continue to keep our fellow creatures in slavery just because their color is different from ours."
--Signer of the Declaration of Independence Dr. Benjamin Rush who purchased William Grubber in 1776 and did not free him until 1794.

"Liberty is equally as precious to a black man as it is to a white one, and bondage equally as intolerable to the one as it to the other.... an African, or a Negro may justly challenge and has an undeniable right to his liberty: Consequently, the practise of slave-keeping, which so much abounds in this land is illicit."
--Essay written by African American Lemuel Haynes, veteran of the Battle of Lexington

"Run away from Birdsborough Forge, in Berks County, Pennsylvania...Cuff Dix; He is an active, well made fellow, and a most excellent hammerman... there is a ring of iron in one of his ears... he has often run away. As Negroes in general think that Lord Dunmore is contending for their liberty, it is not improbable that said Negroe is on his march to join his Lordship's own black regiment."
Newspaper advertisement placed in the Pennsylvania Gazette by Mark Bird, Forge owner and Deputy Quartermaster of the Continental Army

This would be an excellent book for assigned reading in school for discussion.

HIGHLY RECOMMENDED. It's written for middle grades but has easy appeal for adult readers.

annapi | 4904 comments I love her books too. You need to correct the spelling of her name in the topic title, though, it's Laurie HALSE Anderson.

Megalion | 484 comments Lol. Darn autocorrect

JoLene (trvl2mtns) | 1532 comments Oh -- I loved Chain. I need to check this out.

Megalion | 484 comments Good timing. 3rd and final dropped yesterday. Can read back to back

message 6: by Xatajam823 (new)

Xatajam823 | 1 comments I love her books too

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