I just finished it yesterday afternoon.
Chains, by Laurie Halse Anderson, is the story of a young slave girl, Isabel, who lives at the time of the Revoluationary War. Her mother has died; she has promised to care for her five-year-old sister; her owner's will stated that she be freed, but the lawyer and her owner's nephew ignore the will and go ahead and sell her anyway. Her new owners are British loyalists.
But she is drawn to the Patriot's cause, and their words about liberty. She yearns for freedom, for herself and for her sister.
This wonderful book is both a meditation on freedom and an exciting adventure story. The historical detail is fascinating; the story is compelling. Most of all, Isabel is courageous, thoughtful, intelligent. This book is heartbreaking.