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From acclaimed author Laurie Halse Anderson comes this compelling first novel in the historical middle grade The Seeds of America trilogy that shows the lengths we can go to cast off our chains, both physical and spiritual.

As the Revolutionary War begins, thirteen-year-old Isabel wages her own fight...for freedom. Promised freedom upon the death of their owner, she and her sister, Ruth, in a cruel twist of fate become the property of a malicious New York City couple, the Locktons, who have no sympathy for the American Revolution and even less for Ruth and Isabel.

When Isabel meets Curzon, a slave with ties to the Patriots, he encourages her to spy on her owners, who know details of British plans for invasion. She is reluctant at first, but when the unthinkable happens to Ruth, Isabel realizes her loyalty is available to the bidder who can provide her with freedom.

Author: Laurie Halse Anderson
Publisher: Atheneum Books for Young Readers
Published: 10/21/2008
Pages: 316
Binding Type: Hardcover
Weight: 0.94lbs
Size: 8.50h x 6.04w x 1.08d
ISBN: 9781416905851
Audience: Ages 9-12

Accelerated Reader:
Reading Level: 5.2
Point Value: 11
Interest Level: Middle Grade
Quiz #/Name: 125530 / Chains

Award: Rebecca Caudill Young Readers Book Award - Nominee
Award: Georgia Children's Book Award - Nominee
Award: Pennsylvania Young Reader's Choice Award - Nominee
Award: Golden Sower Award - Nominee
Award: Nutmeg Book Award - Nominee
Award: South Carolina Childrens, Junior and Young Adult Book Award - Nominee
Award: Iowa Teen Award - Nominee
Award: Charlotte Award - Nominee
Award: Tayshas Reading - Commended
Award: Capitol Choices: Noteworthy Books for Children and Teens - Recommended
Award: Grand Canyon Reader Award - Nominee
Award: Volunteer State Book Awards - Nominee
Award: Rhode Island Teen Book Award - Nominee
Award: Scott O Dell Award for Historical Fiction - Winner
Award: Massachusetts Children's Book Award - Nominee
Award: West Virginia Children's Book Award - Fourth Place
Award: Beehive Awards - Nominee
Award: Carnegie Medal - Nominee
Award: National Book Awards - Finalist
Award: Young Reader's Choice Award - Nominee
Award: Parents Choice Awards (Fall) (2008-Up) - Gold Medal Winner
Award: Cybils - Winner

Review Citation(s):
Publishers Weekly 09/01/2008 pg. 54
Kirkus Review - Children 09/01/2008 pg. 938
Voice of Youth Advocates 10/01/2008 pg. 329 - Recommended - Hard To Beat
School Library Journal 10/01/2008 pg. 138
Booklist 11/01/2008 pg. 42
Horn Book Magazine 11/01/2008 pg. 696
Publishers Weekly Best Books 11/03/2008 pg. 33
Christian Century 12/16/2008 pg. 27
Bulletin of Ctr for Child Bks 11/01/2008
New York Times Book Review 12/21/2008 pg. 13
Booklist Ed Choice Youth 01/01/2009 pg. 13
Hornbook Guide to Children 01/01/2009 - Superior,Well Above Average
ALA Best Books Young Adults 03/15/2009 pg. 12
ALA Notable Children's Books 03/15/2009 pg. 24

About the Author
Laurie Halse Anderson is a New York Times bestselling author known for tackling tough subjects with humor and sensitivity. Her work has earned numerous ALA and state awards. Two of her books, Chains and Speak, were National Book Award finalists. Chains also received the 2009 Scott O'Dell Award for Historical Fiction, and Laurie was chosen for the 2009 Margaret A. Edwards Award. Mother of four and wife of one, Laurie lives in Pennsylvania, where she likes to watch the snow fall as she writes. You can follow her adventures on Twitter @HalseAnderson, or visit her at

Christopher Silas Neal is an award-winning illustrator and author who regularly contributes to The New York Times, The New Yorker, and creates book covers for various publishers. He has directed short animated videos for Kate Spade and Anthropologie and was awarded a medal from the Society of Illustrators for his work in motion graphics. He illustrated the acclaimed picture books Over and Under the Snow and Lifetime, both of which explore the natural world. Over and Under the Snow, with author Kate Messner was praised for its "stunning retro-style illustrations" (The New York Times), was a 2011 New York Times Editor's Choice and won an E.B. White Honor Award in 2012. He recently contributed art to the New York Times bestseller Goodnight Songs, which is a collection of poems by author of Goodnight Moon, Margaret Wise Brown.