Reviewed by Julie M. Prince for TeensReadToo.com
Laurie Halse Anderson tells the amazing story of a slave girl during the American Revolution.
Isabel is actually supposed to be free, since that's what her deceased owner willed, but a greedy nephew takes it upon himself to keep Isabel and her younger sister, Ruth, enslaved for his own profit. With no parents, and no one to care about their fate, the girls are shipped off to New York to live with new owners.
Aside from Isabel's plight, this book also follows the progress of the war from the standpoint of both loyalists and rebels. Readers have glimpses of the wealthy, the working class, the soldiers, and the slaves -- all while their eyes are riveted to the story of one lonely girl.
Anderson develops a realistic setting and offers up details that serve to enrich this tale and keep readers interested. From a trip to the stocks to a hanging, we see the gruesome, and from heroic acts to cowardice, we see people at their most extreme.
Anderson allows enough filtering and distance for comfortable reading, but expect no holds barred from this accurate author. The times were not pretty, despite the burgeoning of a new America. The writer neither exaggerates nor shields. She simply tells her tale, and it is most definitely one worth reading.