In English class, we just finished reading a book called Chains, by Laurie Halse Anderson. While reading this book, we have had a few tasks to go along with it. At the beginning of each chapter, there is a quote. We have had to read the quote, talk about what it means and figure out why it was placed at this point in the book. We have had to look for new vocabulary words like wharf, barracks and mewl. There are many deep similes and metaphors in this book too such as, “The thought washed over me like a river, sweeping away the dead bees that had filled my brain pan with confusion.” -page 174, and “Folks said that Hessians were fire breathing monsters who walked about with swords drawn and blood on their chins.”- page 188. We are doing some projects to go along with the reading of Chains as well. We are also doing two large mural paintings. They are going to be of scenes from the book or something to do with the book. We have had several weeks to write, a blogpost, a historical fiction that fits into the story of Chains somehow, (mine was about the main characters life before the story in the book) and write a sonnet poem. Here is my poem:
Chains isolate the lives of innocents,
Their silent cries are loud screams for liberty.
The slave owners consist of wickedness.
The British soldiers fight for victory.
Do your master well, you will live again.
No one is able to see the cruelty.
Too poor, no food, they are eating horse grain.
Husbands go to fight, it is their duty.
Though miserable, slaves still fight the chains.
They fight for freedom, they fight for justice.
Sold, beaten, hurt, hungry, killed, the death flames.
How do they live? How do they stay? Loveless.
No one sees no one cares no one is there.
They run they fall they stay and wait for prayer.
Chains is a historical fiction placed in the 1700’s. Isabel is a young slave who lives a good slave life with her mother and sister, learning to read and write. Her mother passes, and then her master, and her and her sister are shipped off from Rhode Island to New York Harbor. There, a husband and wife wait. In the American Revolution, there are loyalists and rebels, and some people like to switch back and forth, to hide the truth. The Lockton’s Isabel’s new “Family” are loyalists, which means they fight with the british crown.
Working for the Locktons is not what Isabel thought it would be. She was yelled at all the time. A simple, middle aged, white servant woman named Becky works for the Locktons as well, though she has her own house. Becky teaches Isabel that when she was a slave in Rhode Island, she had it really good. Isabel does secret work with another slave boy in town. Isabel goes through more than can be explained here, but she gets hit, and branded, separated from her sister, and overworked. Read Chains by Laurie Halse Anderson to find out Isabel’s whole story and go on adventures, even learn a little bit about slave life and the Revolution. Also, don’t forget to read the appendix, to learn a bit more.