Seeds of American Trilogy

Chains (Seeds of America, #1)Chains
by Laurie Halse Anderson
Grades 6 & up

Isabel and her little sister Ruth were promised their freedom when Miss Mary died. Her nephew who comes to settle her affairs has other ideas, however, and sells the sisters to the Locktons, a Loyalist family in New York. It is the start of the American Revolution and Isabel is torn between fighting for freedom for the country and freedom for her family. While she would like to help the revolutionaries, it is clear that their motto of “Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness” does not apply to slaves such as herself. Mr. Lockton is high up in the Loyalist government, offering her many opportunities to spy. Mrs. Lockton is a cruel and vicious mistress, making Isabel’s life much harder than she ever expected it to be. Caught between rebels and loyalists, between slavery and freedom, Isabel makes one hard choice after another in a desperate attempt to save her sister. This important novel provides a unique look at slavery during the American Revolution, giving voice to people silent for too long. Highly recommended for grades 6 & up.

Forge (Seeds of America, #2)Forge
by Laurie Halse Anderson
Grades 5 & up

This second book in the Seeds of America series picks up right where Chains left off, but switches to Curzon’s point of view. He and Isabel have gone separate ways, but it is clear that he has fallen in love with her. When he saves a young soldier’s life, he winds up enlisting in the Continental Army for the second time. Curzon and his unit spend a horrible winter at Valley Forge, fighting against enemies within and without, as well as the lack of food, clothing, and shelter, not to mention the bitter cold. This well-researched and historically accurate look at the lives of African Americans during the Revolutionary War is not only an important one to read, but an exciting adventure as well. Anderson brings the history to life, as well as the hypocrisy of slavery during a fight for freedom to light. Highly recommended for grades 5 & up.

Ashes (Seeds of America, #3)Ashes
by Laurie Halse Anderson
Grades 6 & up

This final book in the Seeds of America trilogy is the best one yet. We rejoin Isabel and Curzon months after the end of Forge and return to Isabel’s point of view. They have been traveling south, trying to find Isabel’s sister Ruth. When they do find it her, it is not the reunion that Isabel had hoped for. Instead Ruth refuses to even acknowledge her. With the help of the elderly couple who have been taking care of her, Ruth and her friend Aberdeen head north with Isabel and Curzon. Their journey is fraught with peril and they are not out of danger as they join up with the troops gathering for the pivotal Battle of Yorktown. This trilogy takes a hard look at the hypocrisy of the new American government, fighting for freedom yet denying it to the African-Americans in their midst. It is an important piece of American history that should be mandatory reading. Highly recommended for grades 6 & up.

eARC provided by publisher via Edelweiss

This entry was posted in Historical Fiction, Young Adult. Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *