Friday, November 26, 2010

Review: Forge

Laurie Halse Anderson
2010; Atheneum (Simon & Schuster); ISBN 978-1-4169-6144-4 (hardcover)

Historical Period/Events: American Revolution

Summary:  Curzon spent a year in a colonial militia, promised his freedom by his master, James Bellingham.  When Bellingham doesn't emancipate Curzon, he escapes, scratching along with fellow escaped slave Isabel.  But then Isabel leaves to find her sister, leaving Curzon determined to go on without her.  He soon finds himself enlisted again, trying to survive the desolate winter of 1777-1778 at Valley Forge.  It's there that Curzon will cross paths with two people, only one of whom he ever wanted to see again.

A follow-up to Chains, the National Book Awards finalist, Forge beautifully continues the story.  Curzon's growth is clearly portrayed, taking him from a boy who is only concerned with his own safety to a man who protects those he cares fore.  Readers also get to observe Colonial racial attitudes, as a free black man can be treated with respect by some.    A lengthy author's note from Laurie Halse Anderson details the facts and fictions in her story.  Those who enjoyed Chains are bound to snatch up Forge, as well as fans of Johnny Tremain and April Morning.

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