Fifteen-year-old Curzon Smith, freed slave and former traveling companion of the stubborn Miss Isabel Finch, gets himself in quite a fix when he saves the life of a Patriot boy soldier during the fall of 1777. The result of that one selfless act causes him to become a member of the 16th Massachusetts regiment of the Continental Army on the eve of what is to be one of the most grueling experiences of the Revolutionary War: Valley Forge. But what his stalwart companions don’t know is that the terms of Curzon’s freedom aren’t as cut and dried as they seem. And when his former master turns up at Valley Forge, Curzon will need his lost angel Isabel to give him the courage to take back his freedom and once again make it his own. (If I sound a bit cagey, I don’t want to give too much away, as this wonderfully twisty-turny tale is full of juicy surprises of both the good and bad variety.) This stand-alone sequel to Chains can be read either before or after Isabel’s story, but I strongly suggest reading both. Teen peeps, let me be clear: I really like Chains. But I LOVE Forge. I don’t know if it’s Curzon’s perfectly executed teen voice, or Anderson’s easy prose that makes the history go down like buttah, or a magical combination of both, but Curzon has my heart as much as Isabel has his.
Forge by Laurie Halse Anderson