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- ISBN-13: 9781416961468
- ISBN-10: 1416961461
- Publisher: Atheneum Books
- Publish Date: October 2016
- Page Count: 304
- Reading Level: Ages 10-14
- Dimensions: 8.3 x 6 x 1.3 inches
- Shipping Weight: 0.9 pounds
Series: Seeds of America Trilogy
Books > Juvenile Fiction > Historical - United States - Colonial & Revolutionary Period
Books > Juvenile Fiction > People & Places - United States - African-American
Books > Juvenile Fiction > Historical - Military & Wars
Publishers Weekly® Reviews
- Reviewed in: Publishers Weekly, page .
- Review Date: 2016-07-18
- Reviewer: Staff
Picking up in June 1781, three years after Forge (2010), this thrilling conclusion to Anderson’s Seeds of America trilogy finds former slaves Isobel and Curzon finally locating Isobel’s younger sister, Ruth, on a South Carolina plantation. The reunion is not a happy one: while Ruth, now 12, has been cared for by fellow slaves on the plantation, she rebuffs Isobel. Curzon and Isobel are also at odds over his desire to enlist in the fight for independence. Despite the discord, the three head north—joined by Aberdeen, an escaped slave from the plantation—stopping in Williamsburg, Va., where patriots are preparing for an assault on Yorktown. As in the previous two books, Anderson’s vividly detailed writing immerses readers in the hardships of her heroes’ travels and the harsh realities of war. Isobel’s eventual reconciliation with Ruth, her growing understanding of Curzon’s need to fight, and her recognition of the true feelings between them all work to guide the story to an emotionally satisfying conclusion. It’s a gripping finish to an epic journey that speaks resoundingly to the human capacity to persevere. Ages 10–14. Agent: Amy Berkower, Writers House. (Oct.)
The final installment of the Seeds of America trilogy
War, death, slavery; patience, freedom, dreams. Isabel’s life is filled with contradictions. As one hopeful event occurs, painful ones follow. Ashes, the thrilling and long-awaited conclusion to Laurie Halse Anderson’s award-winning Seeds of America trilogy, continues the story of Isabel and Curzon, who have been thrust into the middle of the American Revolution. Isabel is heading back south with Curzon to find Ruth, her sister who was taken from her as an infant and sold. Finding Ruth, however, may not give Isabel the family she imagines. Ruth is scared and angry, plagued by seizures and distrustful of Isabel. Ruth, Isabel, Curzon and Aberdeen (a friend and companion of Ruth’s) begin the trip back north toward freedom, but this journey, in the middle of the Revolution and veering directly into the center of the Battle of Yorktown, is not simple for anyone.
Though it’s the final book in a trilogy, Ashes is accessible for readers who have not yet heard Isabel and Curzon’s story. For those who have, it is a satisfying finale. Filled with the horrors of slavery, the heartbreak of war, the compassion of forgiveness and even a touch of love, Ashes draws the reader deep into the lives of those who watched their owners and masters fight for freedom, even as they themselves were not free.