By: Laurie Halse Anderson
Who is Isabel?
Three words that describe Isabel are:
Isabel is brave. She demonstrates strength and courage throughout the book. For example, when Madam Lockton sells her sister, Isabel fights back. She knew that doing so would be bad for her, but she resists anyway. Her actions get her thrown in jail and gets her branded with the letter "I" for Insolence. She bravely faced her punishment. She also demonstrated courage when the city caught on fire. Isabel saved Lady Seymore from her burning house. pg. 189-192
Isabel is loyal, and the type of person I would want to call a friend. She always cared for and protected her family and friends, regardless of what might happen to her. Her sister Ruth was a small child with Epilepsy, and after their mom and master both died, her dad was sold, and they were sent to New York, Isabel knew that she had to take care of her. When Ruth laughed at their new master as she was being searched, Isabel took the blame and got slapped across the face.
- "No one had ever slapped my faced like that, not once in my whole life. Better me than Ruth. Better me than Ruth." pg. 31- 32
Isabel is smart. She was able to keep her work as a spy a secret (from the Locktons anyways) , always developing plans to sneak out of the house and deliver messages. She had great, but risky, ideas. When she was making her escape from New York, she developed a great plan to rescue Curzon from prison. By pretending to clean the cells, she convinced the guards that he was dead, and she wheeled him right out of the jail under their noses. pg. 293
A Picture of Isabel
If Isabel Went on Vacation She Would Pack:
Isabel finds excitement, courage, and freedom in books. I think she would bring a book because she loves to challenge herself.
Isabel made a corn husk doll for Ruth after they left Rhode Island because they had to leave everything, including Ruth's dolls, behind. The corn husk doll was left behind after Ruth was sold. I think Isabel would take the doll with her because holding the doll feels like shes holding Ruth. Family is so important to Isabel, and she can't let go of the one thing she has left of her sister.
Isabel is a planner and cares for others. I think she would take a blanket in case she or someone else might need it. The blanket symbolizes how much of a planner she is. In the book when the Locktons take on 3 sets of soldiers and soldier wives, the cold of winter strikes hard every night. A soldier takes her blanket every night. She knows that he doesn't mean any harm, he was just cold.
- While working in the library one day, she sees a book, and the title intrigues her to open up a whole new world, about mischief, fantasy. "I might could sneak into the library and borrow that Crusoe book. I could read by the fire..." pg 126
- Isabel is given a copy of Common Sense by a book shop owner. Reading this book gave Isabel the ideas and strength to fight for her own freedom. pg 228
- "get out! Rose to my feet, grabbed Ruth's doll from the bed and opened the door. Smoke filled the hall." pg 190
- "Thinking he meant to do me harm. He did not. He was simply cold and needed another layer of cloth." pg 197