Book - 2010
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Separated from his friend Isabel after their daring escape from slavery, fifteen-year-old Curzon serves as a free man in the Continental Army at Valley Forge until he and Isabel are thrown together again, as slaves once more.
Publisher: New York : Atheneum Books for Young Readers, c2010.
Edition: 1st ed.
ISBN: 9781416961444
Characteristics: 297 p. cm.


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Jan 04, 2021

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Feb 21, 2021

This was just amazing. Though couched in words appropriate for her audience, Anderson continues to be unflinching in her depictions of both the American slavery system and the terrible trials of the Continental Army. The horrors of both stand on nearly every page, and yet she crafts a narrative that will keep a person enthralled from start to finished. Brilliant storytelling.

Jan 04, 2021

Continuing on from the story of Chains, Curzon finds himself with Isabel, escaped from prison. Isabel still wants to find her sister, while Curzon deems it dangerous. Isabel runs away, leaving Curzon alone with few resources. After multiple near-death situations, and after saving the life of a revolutionary soldier, Curzon enlists in the army once more (to fight for American Independence). Due to storms, his previous master meets him at an army camp, and Curzon is soon forced back into servitude. He finds Isabel has been also captured, and they reconnect; but with a strained relationship. They work together to find their freedom once more, and escape with the revolutionary army.
Following Chains, Forge takes the perspective of Curzon instead of Isabel. The story continues with the action of the previous novel, more violent and gruesome, as Curzon’s role in the army is described. The book takes a disheartening turn, in contrast to the hopeful resolve established at the end of Chains. By the end of Forge, the hopeful outlook is restored. The setting shifts from the domestic life of a slave to the situations present during the Revolutionary War (and back again), allowing for Anderson to connect multiple parts of 18th century society and life together throughout this book series.
10 and Up

Sep 22, 2016

every history enthusiast will love this book. Its one of those books that like totally takes you away. lots of action


When is the next book after forge coming it is a great book read chains too.

Oct 05, 2012

Forge by Laurie Halse Anderson is the second book in her Chains YA series that is set during the American Revolution. In this book, the story follows the American army over the winter that they were in camp at Valley Forge. What helps to make these books so compelling is that these stories are told from the viewpoint to two young black slaves who desire their freedom above all, and this, contrasted with the story of a young country battling for it’s own freedom makes for an engrossing read.

I picked up the book expecting to continue with the story of Isabel, a young girl who had been promised freedom by her mistress upon her death. Instead of the freedom she craved, the greedy heir separated her from her younger sister and sold them separately. Instead this book picks up the story of Curzon, a young black soldier, whom Isabel nursed and together they escaped from their captivity in New York.

Recaptured and now with the army at Valley Forge, they must try and make another bid for freedom. Along with their story, we learn of the difficult conditions the American Patriots endured at Valley Forge, where frigid temperatures and starvation claimed the lives of over two thousand soldiers.

Laurie Halse Anderson has done extensive research into these books, and many of the episodes in the lives of Isabel and Curzon are loosely based on actual slaves’ experiences which adds an emotional impact. Her historical references are well documented and she provides both backup facts and a reading list in the Appendix of the book.

I highly recommend both Chains and Forge and I definitely plan on following these two fascinating characters as they continue on their quest for freedom down a road littered with broken promises, lies and cruelty.

arm285 Jul 08, 2012

Fast paced sequel to Chains. Isabell plays a diminished role in this sequel as Curzon is the lead. Left hanging to see what happened to Ruth.


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