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New Review Tuesday: Chains

41db6a2k7l_ss500_I was thrilled to see Laurie Halse Anderson's Chains nominated for a National Book Award. Chains hits shelves today, so get thee to a bookstore to find out what the buzz is all about.

Historical fiction isn't always the most accessible genre for young readers, but as she did in Thank You, Sarah, and Independent Dames, in Chains Laurie Halse Anderson illuminates an under-examined facet of history—slaves' struggle for freedom during America's battle for independence from Britain (also explored in M.T. Anderson's Octavian Nothing saga).

This Anderson's heroine is thirteen-year-old Isabel, a slave who becomes a Patriot spy for the slim possibility that it will mean freedom for herself. As always, Anderson has done some meticulous historical research, which makes Chains a perfect companion to fourth and fifth grade social studies curricula.

Have you read Chains or any of the other National Book Award nominees? What did you think?

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