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The Patriot Army was shaped and strengthened by the desperate circumstances of the Valley Forge winter. This is where Curzon the boy becomes Curzon the young man. In addition to the hardships of soldiering, he lives with the fear of discovery, for he is an escaped slave passing for free. And then there is Isabel, who is also at Valley Forge—against her will. She and Curzon have to sort out the tangled threads of their friendship while figuring out what stands between the two of them and true freedom.
Writer Laurie Halse Anderson on her book FORGE and the inspiring American Revolution
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Tuesday, October 7, 1777
“BEGIN THE GAME.”
—GENERAL HORATIO GATES’S ORDER TO START
THE SECOND BATTLE OF SARATOGA
THE MEMORY OF OUR ESCAPE STILL tormented me nine months later.
It did not matter that I’d found us shelter and work in Jersey or that I’d kept us safe. Isabel was ungrateful, peevish, and vexatious. We argued about going after Ruth, then we fought about it, and finally, in May, she ran away from me, taking all of our money.
I twisted my ear so hard, it was near torn from my head.
No thoughts of Isabel, I... see more
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Reading Group Guide
A Discussion Guide
“We have it in our power to begin the world over again . . . The birthday of a new world is at hand.” —From Common Sense by Thomas Paine
Discuss the outcome of the French and Indian War. How did Britain’s victory over France give the thirteen American colonies cause to seek independence?
Explain what Curzon means when he says that “the freedom could kill us.” (p. 5) How does freedom separate Isabel and Curzon? Curzon makes references to Isabel throughout the novel. When does he miss her the most?
Valley Forge wasn’t a battlefield. Instead, it was a winter encampment for Washington’s army. What types of personal battles did the soldiers endure at Valley Forge? Why is Valley Forge considered the turning point in the American Revolution? Discuss the symbolism of Valley Forge.
Eben is a mere boy when he enlists in the Continental Army. How is his inexperience obvious when he kills the British soldier? Curzon saves Eben’s life by throwing a rock at the British soldier. Discuss why Curzon allows Eben to think that he is a soldier. Why does Curzon feel guilty about lying to Eben?
What other times in the novel is Curzon forced to live a lie because the truth is simply too dangerous? Stealing is the only way that Curzon can survive in fr see more