March 10, 2015

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  • Career started as a freelance journalist
  • Writes Childrens and young adult books
  • Won the Margaret Edwards Award in 2009
  • Has written over 30 books
  • Was published October 1, 2008
  • Historical fiction


"She cannot chain my soul. Yes, she could hurt me. She'd already done so...I would bleed, or not. Scar, or not. Live, or not. But she could not hurt my soul, not unless I gave it to her.”

This is a very powerful quote. It talks about how earthly chains can hold her down but her soul if free from any chains. She is saying there is a bigger picture because although physically she is trapped she believes there is something bigger than physical being.

“Momma said that ghosts couldn't move over water. That's why Africans got trapped in the Americas.. They kept moving us over the water, stealing us away from our ghosts and ancestors, who cried salty rivers into the sand. That's where Momma was now, wailing at the water's edge, while her girls were pulled out of sight under white sails that cracked in the wind.”

The quote above shows the slave way of thinking and the culture that was brought with them from Africa. Many Africans were superspicous and had many old ways and explanations for things. This quote shows how that culture and belief was brought over with them.

"Some folks switch back and forth. One day they're for the King, the next, it's all 'liberty and freedom, huzzah!' A tribe of Mr. Facing-Both-Ways, that's what you'll find in New York"

This quote talks about how in New York everybody was back and forth and had no true loyalty. In this quote it means that no one had true loyalty to either side of the war, whoever seemed like they had better odds that day was followed until the other side began doing better

Main Conflict

The main conflict in this book is Isabels constant struggle to protect her little sister Ruth from Madame Locktons wrath. Ruth who is 5 years old often has seizures which Madame Lockton views as a sign that she is possessed. One night she has a seizure during a large fancy dinner party which makes Madame sent Ruth away. This fuels Isabel further to gain her freedom

Historical Referance

  • Based on 1700's America
  • Slaves often went through situations like her story
  • Were often mistreated or lied too


As the Revolutionary War begins, a 13 year old girl named Isabel begins trying to fight for freedom. She was promised freedom when her owner died but ended up being sold to a cruel New York City couple, the Locktons, who have no sympathy for the American Revolution and even less for Ruth and Isabel. Isabel eventually meets another slave named Cruzon a who has 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 a series of events convince her to share information, which could lead to her gaining freedom