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Chains | [Laurie Halse Anderson]

Chains

Freedom. In 1776 New England, that word is on everyone's lips. But for 13-year-old Isabel the word holds a different meaning, especially after the only mistress she has ever known dies, and instead of receiving the freedom promised, she and her sister are sold to the Locktons, a wealthy New York family. In a matter of hours Isabel has to leave Rhode Island for the hustle and bustle of colonial New York City - a community divided and caught up in the American colonies struggle for independence.
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Publisher's Summary

Freedom. In 1776 New England, that word is on everyone's lips. But for 13-year-old Isabel, the word holds a different meaning, especially after the only mistress she has ever known dies, and instead of receiving the freedom promised, she and her younger sister, Ruth, are sold to the Locktons, a wealthy New York family.

In a matter of hours Isabel has to leave bucolic Rhode Island for the hustle and bustle of colonial New York City - a community intensely divided and caught up in the American colonies struggle for independence. As Isabel tries to work out her own freedom, she soon finds herself a pawn in a game of cat-and mouse between the Locktons, who are fierce supporters of the king, and the growing rebel forces trying to take over the city.

Alliances are made and promises are broken, and Isabel learns the hard way that the "freedom" she's being asked to spy for does not extend to her. And when her beloved Ruth is sold off, she begins to discover that the only freedom she'll ever have is the freedom she takes for herself.

Laure Halse Anderson delivers in this utterly compelling novel, which transcends (and will ultimately redefine) the category of historical fiction. Equal parts political thriller and coming-of-age story, this impeccably researched yet completely accessible story of a young woman's quest for freedom brings the American Revolution to life in all its grand and conflicted glory.

©2008 Laurie Halse Anderson; (P)2008 Brilliance Audio, Inc.

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

3.9 (99 )
5 star
 (39)
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4.1 (70 )
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4.0 (69 )
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Performance
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  •  
    Gail The Woodlands, TX, USA 12-10-08
    Gail The Woodlands, TX, USA 12-10-08
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Stunning Book"

    Chains kept me up most of the night. Laurie Halse Anderson is an amazing writer or the contemporary novel, Speak is more or less the benchmark for the YA novel, but this historical tells a thrilling story of our past with a main character that begs you to admire her courage and her strength. The book stunned me with it's beauty and honesty will keeping the story racing. This one won't have to be required reading. Or listening.

    6 of 6 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Christia Davie, FL, United States 01-07-14
    Christia Davie, FL, United States 01-07-14 Member Since 2011
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    4
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Distracting narration"
    Any additional comments?

    The narrator has a very nasal tone that can be distracting. She can change her voice for the different roles so it is not a constant issue but still is bothersome. The story is well done historical fiction.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    EmilyA Las Vegas, Nevada, United States 04-29-12
    EmilyA Las Vegas, Nevada, United States 04-29-12 Member Since 2009

    FunSchoolingAtHome

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Historical Fiction for All Ages"

    What wonderful historical fiction! I know this book was intended for young people, but as my 12 year old read this for a history supplement, I quickly realized it is for all ages. I enjoyed it, and my son, who is not a huge fan of reading, also liked it. The story reveals so much about what life was like, from a slave's point of view, in colonial America without being overly graphic. The story line was interesting and educational. I am convinced my son has a better understanding of what life was like for a slave, and what life was like during this time period as a whole because of this book. I recommend it to people of all ages. The narrator adds so much to the story and truly brings the characters to life.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Rebekah Shehan Phoenix, AZ USA 10-21-08
    Rebekah Shehan Phoenix, AZ USA 10-21-08 Member Since 2008
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Great Story and Narrator"

    Historical fiction can be a difficult sell for my students-- I have a feeling that this book will be different.

    4 of 6 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Susan Granville, MA, United States 01-26-14
    Susan Granville, MA, United States 01-26-14 Member Since 2012
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Probaby good for students ...."
    How did the narrator detract from the book?

    I liked how the narrator could change the voices. But she sounds like she had a cold, all stuffed up.


    Did Chains inspire you to do anything?

    No.


    Any additional comments?

    I wouldn't recommend.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Connie Ray, MI, United States 01-23-14
    Connie Ray, MI, United States 01-23-14 Member Since 2007
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    Story
    "Read me a story....."
    Any additional comments?

    I was not aware that this was a book intended more for young people. It is the story of Isabelle who is a slave and the (un)realistic ways in which she aids the rebels in the Revolutionary War. There is a small amount of physical violence, but nothing that would haunt a young listener. The problem I had with the book was the narrator. She reads the book as one would read it to a child. Her inflections are the same kind we parents used to keep our children engaged in a story. At times when she reads happy or humorous parts of the book, you can hear the smile in her voice. When I listen to a book, I want the narrator to take me in and then disappear. This narrator is always present in the book and I was keenly aware someone was reading me a story.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    bstoll WI 01-18-14
    bstoll WI 01-18-14 Member Since 2005
    ratings
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    14
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    Story
    "Worth a listen"
    Would you say that listening to this book was time well-spent? Why or why not?

    Narration was good as was storyline.


    What was your reaction to the ending? (No spoilers please!)

    Book ended before I wanted it to. Leaves you hanging a little.


    What do you think the narrator could have done better?

    Narration was fine. White slave owners accents were a bit off.


    If this book were a movie would you go see it?

    I don't think so


    Any additional comments?

    No

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Showing: 1-7 of 7 results
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  • Nigel
    London, United Kingdom
    9/17/11
    Overall
    "Chains"

    Great, emotional story. Beautifully written. The narrator was good (sometimes exceptional) - occasionally the meaning would get lost i'n the delivery, but 90% of the time it was a joy to listen to.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
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