Book Talk: Chains by Laurie Halse Anderson

Cvr9781416905868 9781416905868 hr

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Watch my booktalk or read the transcript below:

How did everything go wrong? They were supposed to be freed by their mistress’s will, but instead Isabel and her five-year-old sister Ruth are hastily sold to a nasty, rich couple who live miles away in New York City. As the Revolutionary War rages, Chains describes New York City as dangerous. There are soldiers in the streets. There are cannons firing. There are people being hung for treason. Her new owners are loyal to the King of England. There are rumors that the rebelling Patriots might help Isabel in exchange for information, and rumors that maybe the British will free some slaves. Who can Isabel trust – and what risks she must take –  to be free?

Book details: Anderson, L. H. (2008). Chains. New York, NY: Simon & Schuster. ISBN 9781416905851; hardcover; $16.99.

Annotation: An enslaved girl in New York City will try anything to earn her freedom as the Revolutionary War rages.


  • 2009 Notable Books for a Global Society
  • 2009 Scott O ‘Dell Award
  • 2008 National Book Award
  • Young People’s Literature Finalist
  • 2008 Booklist Editors ‘ Choice: Books for Youth
  • 2008 Publishers Weekly Best Book of the Year, Children ‘s Fiction
  • 2009 ALA Best Books for Young Adults
  • NCSS Notable Social Studies Trade Books for Young People 2009, History/Life and Culture in the Americas



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