Anderson, Laurie Halse. 2008. CHAINS. New York: Simon & Schuster. ISBN 1416905855 [Suggested Grade Levels 6-12]
Isabel and Ruth are two slave girls who have just been freed by their master's will. Their mistress, Miss Mary Finch, has just been laid to rest. And Isabel, though nervous, is excited about their future prospects. Unfortunately, Mr. Robert Finch, the visiting nephew, has different ideas. Ignoring their protests that they have been freed within Miss Finch's will, he insists that they are his property to sell. These two girls are sold to Mr. and Mrs. Lockton, loyalist slaveholders. Their wellbeing depends on their willingness to obey and submit to the new master and mistress. But several things tempt Isabel. Freedom. She meets a slave of one of the rebels, Curzon, who promises her that the Rebel Army will reward her if she spies for them.
A nation at war. A young country seeking freedom, justice, and liberty. Set in New York City during circa 1776-1777, the story is vibrant and heartbreaking. It's a story rich in detail and emotional and powerful in nature. Isabel's story--her struggles--resonates so deeply that I think this one is a must-read.
Choose a scene from the novel to present dramatically.
Choose a character from the novel and create a journal entry or two from that perspective.
Discuss the idea of ‘freedom’ and how both sides used this desire against slaves.
Other books you might enjoy:
Hamilton, Virginia. ANTHONY BURNS. ISBN 0679839976
Lester, Julius. TO BE A SLAVE. ISBN 0142403865
Rinaldi, Ann. TAKING LIBERTY. ISBN 068985188X
Rinaldi, Ann. HANG A THOUSAND TREES WITH RIBBONS. ISBN 015205393X
Rinaldi, Ann. COLOR OF FIRE. ISBN 0786818255
By Becky Laney