Wednesday, August 29, 2012
Sophia's War by Avi
You’ve probably heard of the famous spy Nathan Hale, but have you ever heard of Sophia Calderwood? When Sophia witnesses the execution of Hale, she finds herself horrified by it. So horrified, in fact, that she makes a pledge to help the American cause in the Revolution. Soon Sophia becomes a spy and discovers a plot involving a traitor in the American army. Will she succeed in thwarting the plot, or will she end up being executed herself?
With so many novels written about the American Revolution already, I worried that Avi’s latest effort wouldn’t bring anything new to the table. Instead, Sophia’s War turned out to be a breath of fresh air in a crowded genre. The book strikes a perfect balance between factual and fictional characters. Sophia is a courageous and resourceful character that we truly care about. Meanwhile, the supporting characters, whose names you may recognize from history textbooks, are just as interesting and multilayered. The antagonist is especially memorable, and is skillfully portrayed as a human, rather than just another one-dimensional villain. The historical background is full of detail; it’s clear that Avi did his research when he wrote this book. The plot is the part of the book I enjoyed the most, and perhaps the best aspect of the book. It’s both believable and suspenseful, and nearly every chapter ends with a cliffhanger. I simply did not want to put the book down; in fact, I finished it in a day! Fans of Laurie Halse Anderson’s Chains or just books about the American Revolution in general will enjoy this book, and Avi’s fans will certainly not be disappointed. Even ten years after his Newbery Medal winner was published, and over seventy books later since he was first published, Avi is still going strong.
Reviewer City, State and Country: Great Neck, New York United States