Directions: This page will be your home page and must include the title and author of the book as well as a literary response to the
book. A literary response includes an interpretation of the book based on careful reading and insight.Students should draw inferences about the effects of the literary work on its audience and describe their own responses to the writer’s techniques and specific portions of the text. Students should support their references using citations or evidence from the text to the text, other works, other authors, or to personal knowledge.

Literary Response-Example
Chains is the first in a series of young adult novels by Laurie Halse Anderson. The main character of the book is Isabel Finch, a thirteen year-old slave living during the time of the American Revolution. Readers first meet Isabel and her sister, Ruth, as they accompany a wagon carrying the coffin of their former mistress, Mrs. Mary Finch.

As Isabel and Ruth near the cemetery, Isabel asks the pastor if she can run ahead to visit her mother's grave. Isabel’s mother, who was also one of Mrs. Finch’s slaves, died earlier that year from Small Pox. The story is written in the first-person perspective, and readers learn the tragic events of Isabel’s life not only through events that take place during the story, but also through her thoughts and memories. When thinking back about her father, Isabel recalls: “Poppa fought like a lion when they came for him, the strongest lion, roaring; it took five of them with hickory clubs, and then Momma fainted, and I caught baby Ruth just in time and there was lion’s blood on the ground mixed with the dust like the earth was bleeding” (Anderson Ch.2, location 152, par. 1). While Isabel is a fictional character, the inhumane treatment of slaves was real. While reading the novel, readers lament Isabel’s suffering, but also gain a broader understanding of the cruel institution that was slavery in the America.

The battles fought in New York during the American Revolution in 1776 construct the setting for Chains. Isabel finds herself caught in the middle of this conflict and must contend with soldiers, prisoners, and the malice of war that rages around her. True to history, the British were victorious in the majority of battles where the fictional Isabel would have been living. The characters that Anderson created for Chains demonstrate their personality and grit by how they manage to survive while this violent conflict takes place all around them. Chains poignantly portrays the painful irony of life for slaves living during the American Revolution. Isabel illustrates her understanding of this by stating, “I’m just fighting for me and Ruth. You can keep your rebellion” (Anderson Ch.6, location 494, par. 8). Anderson’s novel leaves readers with a taste of the cruel irony that slaves faced during this time in American history. While the war for freedom raged on around them, slaves lived with the harsh reality that regardless of the outcome of the American Revolution, they may never be free.