Laurie Halse Anderson and Overview of the book

Laurie Halse Anderson is an American writer best known for children's and young-adult novels. She received the Margaret Edwards Award from the American Library Association in 2009 for her contribution to young adult literature. Hanson is descended from many soldiers who fought in the American Revolution. While researching Forge, she walked barefoot in the snow, cooked over open fires, wrote by candlelight, split wood, and gained a new appreciation for the sacrifices made by our ancestors who were committed to the freedom of all people.

The young soldiers at Valley Forge are suffering from hunger, cold, and the threat of the British army. Their newly forged bonds of friendship might have been enough to help them survive. But the shame of Curzon's past threaten to shackle him again.

Important Lines

"The fat, pumpkin-colored moon rose, turning bloodstains into shadows. All of the colors of shirts and jackets and uniforms paled to the same shade of gray.” This shows that they are getting used to death because it is happening around them so much.

"His Excellency today appealed to the Officers of this Army to consider themselves as a band of brothers cemented by the justice of a common cause.
-General Orders of George Washington, Valley Forge” This means that the officers realize that the American army is to consider the soldiers as a family and not just people.

"This camp is a forge for the army; it's testing our mettle. Instead of heat and hammer, our trials are cold and hunger. Question is, what are we made of?” This shows that the soldiers knew that the journey would be tough but they had to push through it to reach their final goal of being free from England.

Main Conflict, Most Important Point, and Resolution

Main Conflict- The main conflict of this book was to get through Valley Forge without dying.

Most Important Point- After Curzon and his lover, Isabel are reunited in a dramatic fashion they are both re-enslaved.

Resolution- America is finally free from England but Curzon is re-enslaved.

What makes this story interesting?

The fact that an African American is fighting for freedom from England but he really isn't free because he he is put back into slavery in the so called "Land of the Free."

Historical References

  • The war, they are talking about the war, what has and will continue to happen because of it.
  • Valley Forge, because it shows the hardships that the soldiers face by them starving, getting frostbite, and diseases.
  • Racism, because Curzon is an African American and is fighting along side white men who do not like him


This book is very interesting especially if you like to read about war and the hardships that soldiers go through to reach a goal. Overall, I really enjoyed and I can't wait to read another book just like it.


You would really love this book because of all of the hardships and the way that the soldiers speak to each other. I would highly recommend this book to you and everyone else that enjoys reading and the American Revolution.
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