Summer Reading Project for Chains

By John Muths

Character Analysis

Isabel is a young African American girl who is longing for freedom and her parents back. She belives in the ghosts, and is strong and stubborn. Curzon is a young black boy who also longs for freedom, but is much more subtle than Isabel. He is kind, modest and a good friend.


I think the plot is two young slaves trying to escape their owners, the war, and themselves.

Plot Line

Exposition: Isabel's current master dies and she is sold to the locktons.
Rising Action: Isabel bides her time thinking of a plan of escape. War is happening , so escaping is more difficult. Also, she is thinking about helping Curzon escape to.
Climax: Isabel frees Curzon from the prison and escapes with him further south.
Falling Action: Isabel and Curzon cross the border into New Jersey.
Resolution: Isabel and Curzon try to enjoy being free, but they are always hunted and Isabel wants to go rescue her sister.

Summary and setting *WARNING! There are spoilers in this section!*

13 year old Isabel is tied up in a knot. Her old master has recently died and now Isabel and her younger sister Ruth have to move to New York City, where their new master lives. In New York, Isabel battles the hardships of being a slave, being caught in the middle of the British and Americans, (the revolutionary war was going on) and her sister gone to another part of the country to work for someone else. Can Isabel brave through the revolutionary war without losing everything she holds dear to her?

About the Author

Laurie Halse Anderson has written many bestselling books including chains. Laurie is still in the middle of completing the trilogy "seeds of America". (Chains, Forge, Ashes).