Monday, September 22, 2008

Chains by Laurie Halse Anderson

"The best time to talk to ghosts is
just before the sun comes up."

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Summary: After being sold to a cruel couple in New York City, a slave named Isabel spies for the rebels during the Revolutionary War.

Publisher: Simon & Schuster; 300 pages

10 comments:

Mary said...

We don't have this book in the ACPL system yet, but I just read an ARC and thought it was GREAT! I was afraid I'd forget to list this title when the book was received, so I'm listing it early. If you're close to downtown Fort Wayne and want to stop in to the Children's Services department to get the ARC to read, feel free.

Heather said...

Anderson is amazing; she writes historical fiction as though she is writing about her own life. It comes across as effortless, which, of course, must mean that she spent countless hours researching every little fact. I can not imagine Isabel existing at any other point in history; that is not to say that her character is contrived, it is more that she was created by her place in time and space.

Anderson’s characters are intriguing and well developed. Even the characters that the reader is meant to hate are given enough depth that the reader can almost drum up a little sympathy for them. I was easily lost in Isabel’s world & in Anderson’s careful prose. Chains is the best piece of historical fiction that I have read in a good, long while.

Peter R, 13 obsessed reader said...

I am usually not a big fan of historical fiction but this book exceeds my expectations by miles. This book is great with a compelling character and a good storyline. This is Laurie Halse Anderson's best book to date. That is saying something considering I enjoyed FEVER very much. The history ties in very well with the novel. A must read.

Kris said...

Oh my goodness! I could not put this one down! This book exemplifies all that is great about well-researched, carefully written historical fiction. Anderson is already one of my favorite authors, and I agree with Peter, this is her best yet. I would call this one "perfect".

Mari said...

I haven't read many of the Newbery contenders yet, but of those I've read, this is the one I'd pick for the winner. I couldn't put it down--great writing that reads like a breeze, a strong protagonist in Isabel, and a wealth of historical detail.

Clare said...

I'm not a historical fiction lover but this one had me wanting to find out more! I felt like I was given a chance to become very familiar with all of the characters and fall completely into their world. This book could open so many doors to classroom discussions and possibly motivate further research. I know that I’ve said this before, but I may have been a bit eager on the other books-This is hands down my favorite so far.

Jen said...

Having just finished the book, I'm left breathless. I felt fully immersed in the story, and fell in love with the strong female in Isabel. I felt that I could reach out and touch the characters. It was almost a little exhausting to read, because I truly felt the experience. It is my current favorite-- though I feel I'd have to read my other favorites again to be completely certain.

Genie said...

I think this book should definitely be in the top list as a possible winner this year. I totally enjoyed this book. Anderson's writing really brought Isabel to life. I only wish I had as strong a will has this young slave girl had and thank goodness slavery in the U.S. was ended. I think all of the characters were well developed though. I usually don't read historical fiction but I have to say I always enjoy it when Anderson writes it.

Teresa said...

Ouch. Wow. A modern reader is really brought into the times. The quotations to begin each chapter are wonderful. Such detail like the mouse fur eyebrows add light points to such a painful story.

I fear what has happened to Ruth and found her on my mind too.

I especially appreciate Anderson's inclusion of the questions/answers at the back of the book.

We are in for a difficult (yet, fun, of course) selection process Saturday, my friends.

Mary said...

Received via email from Martha S.:

Chains is well-written in the same mold as Fever 1793 and includes documented resources. It's the kind of book that people like to give awards to, so I wouldn't be surprised if it won. But I thought it was unrealistic that Curzon would have survived jail. Looks like there should be a sequel, tho.