Parents' Guide to

Ashes: The Seeds of America Trilogy, Book 3

By Andrea Beach, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 10+

Exciting, hopeful end to U.S. Revolutionary War saga.

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Laurie Halse Anderson's riveting trilogy comes to a gripping conclusion that's as hopeful and frightening as the end of the Revolutionary War must have been to those who lived through it. Isabel returns to narrate the last installment of The Seeds of America trilogy, and she's admirable and relatable as a young woman struggling to find her place in strange, new circumstances, where nothing is guaranteed and nothing can be taken for granted -- not even bonds of family, love, and friendship.

Tweens and middle schoolers will relate to messages about knowing how and when to choose a side, or when to follow your own path, and about how to open yourself up to the risks that come with loving someone. The plot keeps the pages turning, and the story is richly embroidered with fascinating details about both everyday life and the larger events of the Revolutionary War as it comes to an end. There's also plenty of food for thought about slavery's effect on the very beginnings of the United States, and kids can be encouraged to think about how those beginnings continue to reverberate today.

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