Star Wars Sale
 
 

Special Offers see all

Enter to WIN!

Weekly drawing for $100 credit. Subscribe to PowellsBooks.news for a chance to win.
Privacy Policy

More at Powell's


Recently Viewed clear list


Original Essays | June 20, 2014

Lauren Owen: IMG The Other Vampire



It's a wild and thundery night. Inside a ramshackle old manor house, a beautiful young girl lies asleep in bed. At the window, a figure watches... Continue »
  1. $18.90 Sale Hardcover add to wish list

    The Quick

    Lauren Owen 9780812993271

spacer
Qualifying orders ship free.
$7.99
New Trade Paper
Ships in 1 to 3 days
Add to Wishlist
Qty Store Section
11 Burnside Children's Young Adult- General
25 Local Warehouse Children's- Historical Fiction- U.S. Colonial and Revolutionary Periods
24 Remote Warehouse Children's- Historical Fiction- U.S. Colonial and Revolutionary Periods

Other titles in the Seeds of America series:

Forge (Seeds of America)

by

Forge (Seeds of America) Cover

ISBN13: 9781416961451
ISBN10: 1416961453
All Product Details

 

 

Excerpt

CHAPTER I

Tuesday, October 7, 1777

“BEGIN THE GAME.”

—GENERAL HORATIO GATES’S ORDER TO START

THE SECOND BATTLE OF SARATOGA

THE MEMORY OF OUR ESCAPE STILL tormented me nine months later.

It did not matter that I’d found us shelter and work in Jersey or that I’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.

I twisted my ear so hard, it was near torn from my head.

No thoughts of Isabel, I reminded myself. Find that blasted road.

I’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.

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. He’d filch anything he could sell for his own profit.

’Twas not his thieving from the army that bothered me. ‘Twas his thieving from me. I’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.

The night before, I’d finally stood up to him and demanded my money. He fired me.

Of course, I robbed him. You would have done the very same.

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 Isabel’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 Trumbull’s tent.

I had walked for hours in the dark, quite certain that I’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.

I climbed up a long hill, stopping at the top to retie the twine that held my shoes together. (Should have stolen Trumbull’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 environment—the cobbled streets of Boston or New York—I could have easily found my way by asking a cartman or an oyster seller.

Not so in this forest.

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. They’d dug up the graves of the fellows killed in last month’s battle at Freeman’s Farm and eaten the bodies. They’d eat a living man, too. A skinny lad like myself wouldn’t last a minute if they attacked.

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.

Crrr-ack.

I stopped.

Gunfire?

Not possible. I was almost certain that I was well south of the dangerous bit of ground that lay between the two armies.

Crrr-ack.

Heavy boots crashed through the forest. Voices shouted.

Crrr-ack BOOM!

An angry hornet hissed past my ear and smacked into the tree trunk behind me with a low thuuump.

I froze. That was no hornet. ‘Twas a musketball that near tore off my head.

The voices grew louder. There was no time to run. I dropped to the ground and hid myself behind a log.

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.

There was a flash and another Crrr-ack BOOM.

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 officer’s black ribbon pinned to his hat.

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.

“Present!” the British officer screamed to his men.

“Present!” 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.

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.

I thought of Isabel and I missed her.

“FIRE!”

© 2010 Laurie Halse Anderson

What Our Readers Are Saying

Add a comment for a chance to win!
Average customer rating based on 2 comments:

Beverly B, March 3, 2013 (view all comments by Beverly B)
Forge,the outstanding sequel to Chains, by truly gifted YA author Laurie Halse Anderson, will turn even reluctant readers into lovers of historical fiction and make history buffs out of even the most resistant student (young or old). The very accurate descriptions of the horrid living conditions in the colonial military camps during the winter or 1777 sound like something out of holocaust history. The battle scenes are equally accurate, equally horrifying and action packed. Even more gripping than the story of the war is the story of the slaves who were promised freedom if they enlisted for the colonies and were also promised freedom and riches if they spied on their masters for the British. Forge will be a great movie and a classic YA novel.
Was this comment helpful? | Yes | No
durhamm, June 29, 2012 (view all comments by durhamm)
Laurie Halse Anderson is always dependable as an evocative writer with strong characters and a realistic, heart-breaking plot. Forge, the sequel to Chains, lives up to her talent and I appreciate that. It’s not my favorite book by her but it’s pretty interesting and impressive how she was able to create such a small story that could place her two main characters in such diverse places. Curzon, the protagonist, is placed with both rich and poor people, slave and free, officers in the war as well as the enlisted, male and female. The way he is able to be such a chameleon and bring the young reader so close to the issues of freedom framed in the constitution takes real flexibility on the part of Anderson. In reading this book I never ceased to be impressed with her grasp of the humanity in history and of just the facts she utilized for her characters. I did not feel as close to Curzon in Forge as I felt to Isabel in Chains. He was a likable enough protagonist but I thought him rather aimless for someone who had just gained his freedom in the beginning of the book. In Chains, the book preceding Forge, Curzon was seen by Isabel as a boy completely infatuated with the idea of freedom and with the war��"he was a convert. I don’t see that in this book. I guess that’s my only complaint about the book and it’s a small complaint. It was so well done��"I’d recommend it to anyone over the age of 11.
Was this comment helpful? | Yes | No
View all 2 comments

Product Details

ISBN:
9781416961451
Author:
Anderson, Laurie Halse
Publisher:
Atheneum Books for Young Readers
Subject:
Historical / United States / Revolutionary Periods
Subject:
Children s-General
Subject:
Children s-Historical Fiction-U.S. Colonial and Revolutionary Periods
Edition Description:
Reprint
Series:
The Seeds of America Trilogy
Publication Date:
20120431
Binding:
TRADE PAPER
Grade Level:
from 5 up to 9
Language:
English
Illustrations:
f-c cvr (sp fx: uncoated stock, foil, em
Pages:
320
Dimensions:
7.62 x 5.12 in
Age Level:
from 10 up to 14

Other books you might like

  1. The Bill of Rights (True Books:... New Trade Paper $6.95
  2. The Declaration of Independence... New Trade Paper $6.95

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
Children's » Sale Books
Young Adult » General

Forge (Seeds of America) New Trade Paper
0 stars - 0 reviews
$7.99 In Stock
Product details 320 pages Atheneum Books for Young Readers - English 9781416961451 Reviews:
"Review" by , "At the end of Chains (2008), Isabel rescues her friend Curzon from Bridewell Prison and rows away from Manhattan in their escape from slavery. Now, in the second of the planned trilogy, Isabel goes her own way, and 15-year-old Curzon takes over as narrator....Weaving a huge amount of historical detail seamlessly into the story, Anderson creates a vivid setting, believable characters both good and despicable and a clear portrayal of the moral ambiguity of the Revolutionary age. Not only can this sequel stand alone, for many readers it will be one of the best novels they have ever read."
"Review" by , "Anderson follows her searing, multi-award-winning novel Chains (2008) with this well-researched sequel, also set during the Revolutionary War and narrated by a young African American....Once again...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."
"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."
"Review" by , "Anderson seamlessly weaves her fictitious characters into history in a cohesive, well-researched narrative about the Revolutionary War that still focuses foremost on developing characters and their interpersonal relationships. Relevant historical quotes at the beginning of each chapter add authenticity, as does Curzon's firsthand account of daily life at Valley Forge; his detailed narration of privations, inequalities, and hard work compellingly conveys the plight of the common soldier....With this riveting sequel, Anderson certainly passes the test."
"Review" by , "The saga that began as Isabel's tale loses none of its tension as it switches to Curzon's plight, and the pair's situation at the novel's conclusion is precarious enough to suggest — even demand — another volume."
"Review" by , "Forge is the sequel to Chains (2008), but it can be read independently. Anderson has done her research and accurately portrays the horrors of serving in the first Continental Army at Valley Forge. The story within is of slavery in a fledgling nation; the freedom that the founding fathers were fighting for did not extend to their slaves. The hero of the story, Curzon...is an empathetic character to whom most young people will relate....While the details are accurate, the book is not gratuitously violent....Laurie Halse Anderson has again written historical fiction at its finest."
"Synopsis" by , For many readers, Forge “will be one of the best novels they have ever read” (starred review from Kirkus Reviews)!

Blistering winds. Bitter cold. And the hope of a new future. In this compelling sequel to Chains, a National Book Award Finalist and winner of the Scott O’Dell Award for Historical Fiction, acclaimed author Laurie Halse 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—and in the midst of the American Revolution.

The Patriot Army was shaped and strengthened by the desperate circumstances of the Valley Forge winter. This is where Curzon the boy becomes Curzon the young man. In addition to the hardships of soldiering, he lives with the fear of discovery, for he is an escaped slave passing for free. And then there is Isabel, who is also at Valley Forge—against her will. She and Curzon have to sort out the tangled threads of their friendship while figuring out what stands between the two of them and true freedom.

spacer
spacer
  • back to top
Follow us on...




Powell's City of Books is an independent bookstore in Portland, Oregon, that fills a whole city block with more than a million new, used, and out of print books. Shop those shelves — plus literally millions more books, DVDs, and gifts — here at Powells.com.