Parents' Guide to

Chains: The Seeds of America Trilogy, Book 1

By Common Sense Media, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 11+

Powerful story of slavery in 1776 New York.

Chains: The Seeds of America Trilogy, Book 1 Poster Image

A Lot or a Little?

What you will—and won't—find in this book.

Community Reviews

age 12+

Based on 6 parent reviews

age 14+

5th Graders may not be ready for the abuse on a child that is detailed in this book

My 5th grader reads out loud to me after school so we can work on her homework together. I had to stop her several times as my stomach turned and my eyes teared, until I actually had to excuse myself to keep from getting ill during several descriptions in the book of physical abuse, as the story is written very vividly. I do not know if it is appropriate for every 5th grader and wish I had know the content of this book prior to the class starting it together. As a family, we try to limit exposure to violent movies, books and to us, this is a very unsettling book that is REQUIRED as part of a common-core reading program and I would not, on my own, find this appropriate for children under the minimum age of 14.
age 18+

A Bad Book

It is sad and very gruesome. I read it myself and I do not approve. The language is bad and the plot is just horrible. Many gruesome things happened like the main character getting branded on the cheek with a red hot iron book

Is It Any Good?

Our review:
Parents say (6 ):
Kids say (17 ):

Laurie Halse Anderson's brutally realistic novel will move and educate readers about slavery in late 18th century New York. Isabel is courageous and bright, and devoted to her little sister. Youngsters will respond to her pain and the unfairness of her situation, and they will get a sense of the incredible physical and emotional hardships that enslaved children endured. This novel also uniquely sets the crime of slavery within the context of the American Revolutionary War, inviting children to examine the concept of "freedom" in relation to the colonists vs. the enslaved.

The appendix -- which is offered in a question-and-answer format -- provides further context and historical facts. It explains which events in the novel were real and which are fiction, and helps readers make sense of a story that may challenge their previous ideas about "good guys and bad guys" in the Revolutionary War. This engaging novel will entertain readers while encouraging a deeper understanding of the brutality of slavery and war.

Book Details

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