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Product description

Weighed like a lump of meat. Sold like a bundle of straw. It’s time for this slave girl to fight. New York, 1776. The American War of Independence is raging. But Isabel and her sister, Ruth, have their own battles to fight. They’re slaves: the value of their lives measured in money, traded from one pair of hands to the next. It’s always been bad. But now it’s got worse. They’ve been sold to a pair of New Yorkers, the Locktons, whose sadistic cruelty shocks even the girls. (You’d think they’d seen it all.) Isabel vows to protect her little sister and hold on to hope. But when a barbaric act shatters her world, can she finally break the chains that bind her?

  • An unforgettable story of slavery, shortlisted for the Carnegie Medal
  • Beautifully written – poignant and lyrical, yet direct and unflinching
  • Laurie Halse Anderson’s many books include Wintergirls and Prom
  • Vivid historical storytelling with powerful themes of courage and freedom

“One of the most moving and striking books I have read in a long time… Anyone reading this brilliant book will be left beguiled.” Waterstones Books Quarterly

“This is a lovely novel – about big issues and big stories, but never losing its focus on individual people. Isabel is a captivating central character.” Bookbag

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Other details

  • 320 pages




Laurie Halse Anderson


  1. Book-Club-Review-Team
    on 24 February 2011

    Absolutely loved it

    Chains is an incredible story of a girl who longs to be free. Her life is filled with hardship and pain, but she never gives up hope. I couldn't put this book down until it was finished, and when it was finished I wanted to read it over again! I loved the way that the author expresses just how the characters feel. I really don't think you can read Chains without tears coming to your eyes. I absolutely loved it.

    Hannah, age 13

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