BOOK NAME: Chains
AUTHOR: Laurie Halse Anderson
Chains takes place during the Revolutionary War, a time in history when we were trying to make our own country. This is a story about one particular African slave, Isabel, who fights unfair circumstances and treatment. During these trying times, she questions herself and her life, and has many doubts. Isabel lives with her owner and is set to be freed upon the owner’s death. However, she is sold to cruel, unpleasant people who are loyal to the British. Since this story takes place in New York City while the war is happening, Isabel has a front row seat to lots of action. She faces much danger, but does her part to fight for both her freedom and that of her new country.
One time as a punishment, she is given a scar on her cheek in the shape of the letter S. The S stands for insolence and it causes her much humiliation. But after all her trials, she begins to take pride in the letter and says it really stands for Isabel. The story ends with a surprise, so I wont’ give it away, but I can tell you to never give up! I learned from Isabel that there is always hope, even in the bleakest situations. In fact, hope may be the only thing you have to get you through difficult times.
I really like historical fiction because you get a better insight as to the issues people faced during a specific time period. In Chains, you can better appreciate the horrors of both slavery and war. I also chose this book because it was nominated for the Rebecca Caudill Young Readers’ Book Award and these books are always a good read. This is one of the better books I’ve read, so I really wanted to stay up all night to finish it. I think everyone should read this book to see the mistakes of the past so we can avoid making them in the future.