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Original Essays | April 11, 2014

Paul Laudiero: IMG Shit Rough Draft



I was sitting in a British and Irish romantic drama class my last semester in college when the idea for Shit Rough Drafts hit me. I was working... Continue »
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andlt;bandgt;CHAPTER Iandlt;BRandgt;andlt;BRandgt;andlt;iandgt; andlt;iandgt;Tuesday, October 7, 1777andlt;/iandgt; andlt;/iandgt;andlt;/bandgt; andlt;BRandgt; andlt;BRandgt; and#8220;BEGIN THE GAME.and#8221;andlt;BRandgt;and#8212;GENERAL HORATIO GATESand#8217;S ORDER TO STARTandlt;BRandgt;THE SECOND BATTLE OF SARATOGA andlt;BRandgt; andlt;BRandgt;THE MEMORY OF OUR ESCAPE STILL tormented me nine months later.andlt;BRandgt; andlt;BRandgt;It did not matter that Iand#8217;d found us shelter and work in Jersey or that Iand#8217;d kept us safe. Isabel was ungrateful, peevish, and vexatious. We argued about going after Ruth, then we fought about it, and finally, in May, she ran away from me, taking all of our money.andlt;BRandgt; andlt;BRandgt;I twisted my ear so hard, it was near torn from my head.andlt;BRandgt; andlt;BRandgt;andlt;iandgt; andlt;iandgt;No thoughts of Isabel,andlt;/iandgt; andlt;/iandgt; I reminded myself. andlt;iandgt; andlt;iandgt;Find that blasted road.andlt;/iandgt; andlt;/iandgt;andlt;BRandgt; andlt;BRandgt;Iand#8217;d been looking for the back road to Albany since dawn on account of my former boss, Trumbull, was a cabbagehead and a cheat. The Patriot army had hired him and his two wagons (one of them driven by myself) to help move supplies up to the mountains near Saratoga. Thousands of British soldiers waited there, preparing to swoop down the Hudson, cut off New England from the other states, and end the rebellion.andlt;BRandgt; andlt;BRandgt;Trumbull cared not for beating the British or freeing the country from the King. He cared only for the sound of coins clinking together. With my own eyes, I saw him steal gunpowder and rum and salt from the barrels we hauled. Heand#8217;d filch anything he could sell for his own profit.andlt;BRandgt; andlt;BRandgt;and#8217;Twas not his thieving from the army that bothered me. and#8216;Twas his thieving from me. Iand#8217;d been working for him for three months and had no coin to show for it. He charged me for the loan of a ragged blanket and for anything else he could think of so he never had to hand over my wages.andlt;BRandgt; andlt;BRandgt;The night before, Iand#8217;d finally stood up to him and demanded my money. He fired me.andlt;BRandgt; andlt;BRandgt;Of course, I robbed him. You would have done the very same.andlt;BRandgt; andlt;BRandgt;I stole an assortment of spoons and four shoe buckles from his trunk after he fell asleep muddy in drink and snoring loud as a blasting bellows. I put my treasures in the leather bag that held Isabeland#8217;s collection of seeds and her blue ribbon (both left behind in her haste to flee from my noxious self). The leather bag went into my empty haversack, which I slipped over my shoulder as I crawled out of Trumbulland#8217;s tent.andlt;BRandgt; andlt;BRandgt;I had walked for hours in the dark, quite certain that Iand#8217;d stumble upon the road within moments. The rising sun burned through the fog but did not illuminate any road for me, not even a path well worn by deer or porcupines.andlt;BRandgt; andlt;BRandgt;I climbed up a long hill, stopping at the top to retie the twine that held my shoes together. (Should have stolen Trumbulland#8217;s boots, too.) I turned in a full circle. Most of the forest had leafed yellow, with a few trees bold-cloaked in scarlet or orange. No road. Had I been in my natural environmentand#8212;the cobbled streets of Boston or New Yorkand#8212;I could have easily found my way by asking a cartman or an oyster seller.andlt;BRandgt; andlt;BRandgt;Not so in this forest.andlt;BRandgt; andlt;BRandgt;I headed down into a deep ravine, swatting at the hornets that buzzed round my hat. The ravine might lead to the river, and a river was as good as a road, only wetter. Because I was the master of my own mind, I did not allow myself to believe that I might be lost. Nor did I worry about prowling redcoats or rebel soldiers eager to shoot. But the wolves haunted me. Theyand#8217;d dug up the graves of the fellows killed in last monthand#8217;s battle at Freemanand#8217;s Farm and eaten the bodies. Theyand#8217;d eat a living man, too. A skinny lad like myself wouldnand#8217;t last a minute if they attacked.andlt;BRandgt; andlt;BRandgt;I picked my way through the brush at the bottom of the ravine, keeping my eyes on the ground for any sight of paw prints.andlt;BRandgt; andlt;BRandgt; andlt;iandgt; andlt;iandgt;Crrr-ack.andlt;/iandgt; andlt;/iandgt; andlt;BRandgt; andlt;BRandgt;I stopped.andlt;BRandgt; andlt;BRandgt; andlt;iandgt; andlt;iandgt;Gunfire?andlt;/iandgt; andlt;/iandgt; andlt;BRandgt; andlt;BRandgt;Not possible. I was almost certain that I was well south of the dangerous bit of ground that lay between the two armies.andlt;BRandgt; andlt;BRandgt; andlt;iandgt; andlt;iandgt;Crrr-ack.andlt;/iandgt; andlt;/iandgt; andlt;BRandgt; andlt;BRandgt;Heavy boots crashed through the forest. Voices shouted.andlt;BRandgt; andlt;BRandgt; andlt;iandgt; andlt;iandgt;Crrr-ack BOOM!andlt;/iandgt; andlt;/iandgt; andlt;BRandgt; andlt;BRandgt;An angry hornet hissed past my ear and smacked into the tree trunk behind me with a low andlt;iandgt; andlt;iandgt;thuuump.andlt;/iandgt; andlt;/iandgt;andlt;BRandgt; andlt;BRandgt;I froze. That was no hornet. and#8216;Twas a musketball that near tore off my head.andlt;BRandgt; andlt;BRandgt;The voices grew louder. There was no time to run. I dropped to the ground and hid myself behind a log.andlt;BRandgt; andlt;BRandgt;A British redcoat appeared out of a tangle of underbrush a dozen paces ahead of me and scrambled up the far side of the ravine. Three more British soldiers followed close on his heels, hands on their tall hats to keep them from flying off, canteens and cartridge boxes bouncing hard against their backsides.andlt;BRandgt; andlt;BRandgt;There was a flash and another andlt;iandgt; andlt;iandgt;Crrr-ack BOOM.andlt;/iandgt; andlt;/iandgt;andlt;BRandgt; andlt;BRandgt;A dozen rebel soldiers appeared, half in hunting shirts, the rest looking like they just stepped away from their plows. Smoke still poured from the barrel of the gun held by a red-haired fellow with an officerand#8217;s black ribbon pinned to his hat.andlt;BRandgt; andlt;BRandgt;There was a loud shuffling above. A line of redcoats took their position at the edge of the ravine and aimed down at the rebels.andlt;BRandgt; andlt;BRandgt;and#8220;Present!and#8221; the British officer screamed to his men.andlt;BRandgt; andlt;BRandgt;and#8220;Present!and#8221; yelled the American officer. His men brought the butts of their muskets up to their shoulders and sighted down the long barrels, ready to shoot and kill.andlt;BRandgt; andlt;BRandgt;I pressed my face into the earth, unable to plan a course of escape. My mind would not be mastered and thought only of the wretched, lying, foul, silly girl who was the cause of everything.andlt;BRandgt; andlt;BRandgt;I thought of Isabel and I missed her.andlt;BRandgt; andlt;BRandgt;and#8220;FIRE!and#8221;andlt;BRandgt; andlt;BRandgt;and#169; 2010 Laurie Halse Anderson

Product Details

ISBN:
9781416961444
Author:
Anderson, Laurie Halse
Publisher:
Atheneum Books for Young Readers
Subject:
Historical - United States - Colonial
Subject:
People & Places - United States - African-American
Subject:
Historical - Military & Wars
Subject:
Historical / United States / Revolutionary Periods
Subject:
Historical - United States - Colonial & Revolutionary
Subject:
Children s-Historical Fiction-U.S. Colonial and Revolutionary Periods
Edition Description:
Hardback
Publication Date:
20101019
Binding:
Hardback
Grade Level:
from 5 up to 9
Language:
English
Illustrations:
f-c jkt (w-spfx: offset stock, foil+embo
Pages:
304
Dimensions:
8.25 x 5.5 in
Age Level:
from 10 up to 14

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Related Subjects

Children's » General
Children's » Historical Fiction
Children's » Historical Fiction » Military and War
Children's » Historical Fiction » United States » Colonial and Revolutionary Periods
Children's » Middle Readers » General
Young Adult » General

Forge Used Hardcover
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Product details 304 pages Atheneum Books - English 9781416961444 Reviews:
"Publishers Weekly Review" by , "Second in the Seeds of America trilogy, this sequel to the National Book Award finalist Chains is narrated by Curzon, the slave Isabel freed from prison while escaping her own enslavement in 1777 New York City. Curzon immediately explains how he and Isabel lived in New Jersey for a few months, before she ran away with their meager funds in hopes of finding her sister, a quest Curzon refused to support. Months later, Curzon is doing his best to forget Isabel, though the depth of his feelings is made evident in flashbacks of their time together. After Curzon saves the life of Eben, a young rebel soldier, he joins the army and suffers through the winter at Valley Forge; tension mounts when Curzon's former owner arrives. Anderson includes meticulous details about the lives of soldiers and, with just a few words, brings readers deep inside Curzon's experience ("My belly voted louder than my wits"). Her masterful storytelling weaves themes of friendship, politics, love, and liberty into a deeply satisfying tale that will leave readers hungry for the final volume. Ages 10up. (Oct.) " Publsihers Weekly (Copyright 2010 Reed Business Information.)
"Publishers Weekly Review" by , "Second in the Seeds of America trilogy, this sequel to the National Book Award finalist Chains is narrated by Curzon, the slave Isabel freed from prison while escaping her own enslavement in 1777 New York City. Curzon immediately explains how he and Isabel lived in New Jersey for a few months, before she ran away with their meager funds in hopes of finding her sister, a quest Curzon refused to support. Months later, Curzon is doing his best to forget Isabel, though the depth of his feelings is made evident in flashbacks of their time together. After Curzon saves the life of Eben, a young rebel soldier, he joins the army and suffers through the winter at Valley Forge; tension mounts when Curzon's former owner arrives. Anderson includes meticulous details about the lives of soldiers and, with just a few words, brings readers deep inside Curzon's experience ('My belly voted louder than my wits'). Her masterful storytelling weaves themes of friendship, politics, love, and liberty into a deeply satisfying tale that will leave readers hungry for the final volume. Ages 10 — up. (Oct.)" Publishers Weekly (Copyright PWyxz LLC)
"Review" by , "Anderson creates a vivid setting, believable characters...and a clear portrayal of the moral ambiguity of the Revolutionary age....[F]or many readers [this sequel] will be one of the best novels they have ever read."
"Review" by , "Anderson's detailed story creates a cinematic sense of history while raising crucial questions about racism, the ethics of war, and the hypocrisies that underlie our country's founding definitions of freedom."
"Synopsis" by , The follow up to the 2008 National Book Award nominee, Chains.
"Synopsis" by , In this sequel to "Chains," Anderson shifts perspective from Isabel to Curzon and brings to the page the tale of what it takes for runaway slaves to forge their own paths in a world of obstacles.
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