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As the Revolutionary War begins, thirteen-year-old Isabel wages her own fight…for freedom. Promised freedom upon the death of their owner, she and her sister, Ruth, in a cruel twist of fate become the property of a malicious New York City couple, the Locktons, who have no sympathy for the American Revolution and even less for Ruth and Isabel. When Isabel meets Curzon, a slave with ties to the Patriots, he encourages her to spy on her owners, who know details of British plans for invasion. She is reluctant at first, but when the unthinkable happens to Ruth, Isabel realizes her loyalty is available to the bidder who can provide her with freedom.
From acclaimed author Laurie Halse Anderson comes this compelling, impeccably researched novel that shows the lengths we can go to cast off our chains, both physical and spiritual.
In the story of the slave girl Isabel's struggles to claim the freedom bequeathed her, and unjustly denied, Laurie Halse Anderson has created not only an adventure story with a resourceful and intelligent heroine, but also a rich vision of Revolutionary Manhattan, inhabited by imperfect human beings, their judgments and choices impaired by fear, shaped by necessity and greed. In a deftly suggested comparison, Isabel suffers, and then endures, the same long odds and the same personal losses as the nation claiming its own independence while denying hers.