Kirkus Reviews QR Code
ASHES by Laurie Halse Anderson Kirkus Star

ASHES

From the Seeds Of America series, volume 3

by Laurie Halse Anderson

Age Range: 10 - 14

Pub Date: Oct. 4th, 2016
ISBN: 978-1-4169-6146-8
Publisher: Atheneum

The Seeds of America trilogy concludes at the Battle of Yorktown as Isabel and Curzon, along with the emerging new nation, grapple with the meaning of liberty.

Isabel’s journey in the first two novels took her from New York City in 1776 to Valley Forge in the winter of 1777-1778; now she’s gone to Yorktown in 1781, in search of her younger sister, Ruth, who had been separated from her and sent south from New York City. Curzon and Isabel have known each other since trilogy opener Chains (2008), when Isabel saved him from certain death in a British prison, and they have experienced much together. Curzon has become a believer in the patriots’ dream of creating a new nation conceived in liberty, but Isabel reminds him that “we’d been enslaved by both Patriots and Loyalists, and that neither side was talking about freedom for people who looked like us.” And they are both shaken by news that “self-liberated people” are being imprisoned by the American army and delivered back into slavery. Isabel’s voice is strong in this first-person narrative; though the war is the backdrop, this is her personal story, her meditation on family, loyalty, slavery, freedom, and the principles behind the Revolution. Anderson’s appendix offers much additional historical detail in the form of responses to questions.

A strong conclusion to a monumental tale of the American Revolution. (appendix) (Historical fiction. 10-14)