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Seeds of America

Book - 2008
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After being sold to a cruel couple in New York City, a slave named Isabel spies for the rebels during the Revolutionary War
Publisher: New York : Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers, c2008
Edition: 1st ed
ISBN: 9781416905851
Characteristics: 316 p. ; 22 cm
Alternative Title: Seeds of America


From Library Staff

Gr 6-10. Book 1 of trilogy

After being sold to a cruel couple in New York City, a slave named Isabel spies for the rebels during the Revolutionary War. Recommended for Grades 6-10. AR 5.2. Lexile 780L. F & P Level Z.

Revolutionary War, Series

From the critics

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May 30, 2021

This book is a must-read for anyone who likes to read historical fiction. It describes the struggles for freedom of a slave very well. It also helps describe the struggle of keeping family close for a slave in the 18th century. Isabel is a character that everybody feels sorry for but also admires throughout the entire book. Isabel, the main character, is a very good role model for kids. She never gives up, is very strong-willed, smart, independent, perseverant, and wants to protect her sister very well. This is definitely a book that you will not put down until you finish it. It is absolutely amazing.

Jan 04, 2021

Set during the American Revolutionary War, Chains follows an enslaved girl, Isabel, as she is sold around after her previous owner’s death. She becomes involved in the political struggle of the war, while trying to protect her younger sister. Isabel also meets another slave, Curzon. Curzon works for a revolutionary, and is soon sent off to fight in the war, to be later captured. Isabel,trying to secure her freedom, agrees to work as a patriot spy, spying on her loyalist owners. As she works as a slave and a spy for the revolutionaries, she gets into trouble multiple times as her owners discover her secrets. She is branded as a punishment, and her sister is sold. Isabel later tries to escape, running away from her owners while also rescuing Curzon from prison.
Like many historical slave accounts from the 18th and 19th centuries, Chains takes the perspective of a slave, following the main character through years of struggle and labor. While a fiction book, truthful elements are present (with mentions of historical events and some historical characters). The emotions and the hope of Isabel and Curzon are positive by the end of the novel, after the grave situations described earlier.
10 and Up

Oct 14, 2020

I am 9 years old. I recommend this book because "Chains" is very exciting! It has cliffhangers. The plot is very nice and it has the point of view of a slave. I like that because it gave me a sense of what it would be like to be a slave. It was vivid. There were very vivid pictures at the time of the Revolutionary War. (my son gave it 3 stars because it is not his favorite genre of literature.)

Jul 12, 2019

I couldn't put the book down! An amazing tale of a young girl's fight for freedom.

Jun 30, 2019

Before reading this book, I used to always just think of the Civil War and Abraham Lincoln when hearing the world "slavery." Now, through Isabel's story, I've seen that slavery has an immense history dating centuries back. This novel is a fantastic historical fiction story that proves history does not have to be boring.

Aug 27, 2018

Amazing book! One of my favorites!

Jul 07, 2018

I really enjoyed this book! I found Isabel's journey and struggles very interesting! Anderson wrote a very compelling story that kept me enthralled the whole way through! I can't wait to read the rest of the series and find out what happened to Isabel and Ruth!

spl_merley Nov 22, 2017

Anderson's writing draws you into the live's of her characters and their struggle against the oppression of this period in American history. A moving and insightful read.

CRRLKids Aug 04, 2017

I've always recommended Laurie Halse Anderson to teens interested in a solid historical fiction read with a bit of mystery and intrigue, and this book is no exception. Isabel is a strong female protagonist who a lot of teens might relate to when it comes to taking risks while still holding strong to their moral compass. Very well developed characters and vivid historical descriptions. The cliffhanger ending will definitely leave you wanting to read Forge, the sequel.

Mar 28, 2017

This book is a good mix of historical information and engrossing story. Isabel is so real, she pulls you into her story. This book is definitely one you should read.

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Add Age Suitability
Jun 09, 2021

violet_fox_1387 thinks this title is suitable for between the ages of 10 and 35

Jan 04, 2021

cwcyrus1 thinks this title is suitable for 10 years and over

pink_butterfly_10287 thinks this title is suitable for 11 years and over

blue_zebra_2740 Aug 17, 2019

blue_zebra_2740 thinks this title is suitable for 11 years and over

Nov 14, 2018

Donnie333 thinks this title is suitable for 10 years and over

Mar 07, 2018

green_dog_3265 thinks this title is suitable for 12 years and over

spl_merley Nov 22, 2017

spl_merley thinks this title is suitable for 11 years and over

Mar 07, 2017

burgundy_fox_61 thinks this title is suitable for 11 years and over

Mar 06, 2017

LanaIva thinks this title is suitable for 10 years and over

Nov 16, 2016

blue_wolf_3552 thinks this title is suitable for between the ages of 11 and 40

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Add a Summary
Jun 25, 2015

This book is about the story of a young African American girl who gets taken away from her family along with her little sister, and travels to the early East Coast U.S.A. in the 1700's when our country was first being established.

bluedog91 Jun 30, 2014

she gets taken away from her family and put on sell and she gets sold to a white man and is always getting beat and she loses her bestfriend so she keeps wondering when it is going to end?

Jun 26, 2014

Isabel has to be a slave. She has to suffer when her sister is taken.
She escapes with a boy named curzon.

Feb 01, 2014

A great book about a girl and her little sister as they battle through slavery a midst the happenings of the Revolutionary War. How can they ever reach freedom?


Add Notices
Mar 07, 2017

Other: Intense scenes/imagery. Good for a mature 10 yr. old +


Add a Quote
Jul 06, 2014

" The best time to talk to ghosts is just before the sun comes up.That's when they can hear us true, Momma said.That's when ghosts can answer us.
The eastern sky was peach colored, but
a handful of lazy stars still blinked in the west. It was almost time. "

– Isabel Gardener

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