Tuesday, October 4, 2016

Ashes - Book Review

Fans of Laurie Halse Anderson's Chains and Forge have been anxiously and maybe not so patiently waiting for the final installment of The Seeds of America Trilogy. I must confess that I have not read the first two books. I bought them for my children who loved them. With trepidation, I decided to read Ashes without reading the first two. I am almost positive that I would have enjoyed it even more if I was already familiar with Isabel, Curzon and Ruth and their struggles. However, I must say that I loved Ashes and would like to go back and read the earlier novels in the series.

Isabel and Curzon are on a dangerous mission south to find Isabel's younger sister Ruth. Besides, the constant fear of being discovered and sold back into slavery, they find themselves in the midst of the final days of the American Revolution. Unsure of what side to join to maintain their freedom, Isabel and Curzon are faced with heartrending and potentially very dangerous decisions.

Ashes by Laurie Halse Anderson is a brilliantly written novel aimed at a middle grade audience. I appreciate that she doesn't talk down to the readers but allows them to see the hypocrisy and danger that faced young African Americans in the early days of our country. I felt that there was a good balance portrayed between the inspired brilliance of the Declaration of the Independence and the fight for freedom as a nation and the duplicity in the personal lives of the Founding Fathers. The writing is beautiful and using vocabulary to push the readers.

The research is good and I loved to be right in the middle of the action as Washington's troops lay siege to Cornwallis at Yorktown. Though just getting to know them, I cared about the characters and their constant plight. They are inspiring in their strength and hopes for a better future. I can't wait to pass Ashes on to my kids to see how they enjoy the final chapter of this lauded trilogy.

Ashes by Laurie Halse Anderson is the final book in The Seeds of America Trilogy. It is published by Antheneum and released on October 4, 2016.

**I received a complimentary copy of the book. All opinions are my own. No compensation was received.**

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