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Forge

Forge

For Ages: 10 - 14
  • reading group guide
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In this compelling sequel to Chains, a National Book Award Finalist and winner of the Scott O’Dell Award for Historical Fiction, acclaimed author Laurie Halse Anderson shifts perspective from Isabel to Curzon and brings to the page the tale of what it takes for runaway slaves to forge their own paths in a world of obstacles—and in the midst of the American Revolution.

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.
Choose a format:
  • Atheneum Books for Young Readers | 
  • 304 pages | 
  • ISBN 9781416961444 | 
  • October 2010 | 
  • Grades 5 - 9
List Price $21.99

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Forge
CHAPTER I



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.... see more

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Reading Group Guide

Forge by Laurie Halse Anderson
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


PREREADING ACTIVITY
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?

CLASSROOM DISCUSSION
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

More Books from this Author

About the Author

Laurie Halse Anderson
photograph courtesy of the author

Laurie Halse Anderson

Laurie Halse Anderson is the New York Times bestselling author who writes for kids of all ages. Known for tackling tough subjects with humor and sensitivity, her work has earned numerous ALA and state awards. Two of her books, Speak and Chains, were National Book Award finalists. Chains also received the 2009 Scott O’Dell Award for Historical Fiction, and Laurie was chosen for the 2009 Margaret A. Edwards Award. Mother of four and wife of one, Laurie lives in Northern New York, where she likes to watch the snow fall as she writes. You can follow her adventures on Twitter @HalseAnderson, or visit her at MadWomanInTheForest.com.

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