Come Together

Alternate title: “Break Those Chains That Bind You”

I’m now reading my tenth book since school started, a book that was published in 2008. It’s a book by my favorite author, but I haven’t read it until now because 1. it’s historical fiction (not a genre I am usually drawn to) and 2. the target audience is middle-grade kids. Let’s go ahead and bust those myths: I do like historical fiction, and this book does not read like any middle school book I’ve ever encountered! The book? Chains by Laurie Halse Anderson.

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Chains cover

Chains is set in New York during the American Revolution. The book follows Isabel, a 13-year-old slave, through trials of betrayal, loss, and punishment. There may be some redemption in the end, but I can only predict that because I just started Part II.

On the day of the signing of the Declaration of Independence, Isabel witnesses the celebration in the streets. When the crowd surrounds and lassos the statue of King George III on the Bowling Green, “Common folk stood froze at the sight of a king being pulled down by the strength of the men working together” (125). This quote neatly sums up the entire revolution. It took people working for a common goal to overthrow their opposition.

This lesson is still relevant today, especially when our country feels so divided. We’re so quick to sort out the red and the blue, the white and the not white, the haves and the have nots that we forget that we all are striving for the same ideals that Thomas Jefferson and others sought 240 years ago: “Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of Happiness.” Even the Pledge of Allegiance calls for us to be “indivisible” as a nation, “with liberty and justice for all,” not just some. The sooner we realize that this common bond can unify us, the sooner we can divert ourselves from the path of discord that we appear to be on.

 

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3 thoughts on “Come Together

  1. Jeanette Rooks October 28, 2016 / 12:18 pm

    Hey, a song reference in the title! I love it! And I loved seeing Laurie Halse Anderson. Can’t wait to read this series. I AM a fan of historical fiction, especially well-researched historical fiction that lets you use stories to learn the truth.

  2. Ezekiel November 10, 2016 / 8:47 am

    Really like how profound you were in the last paragraph Ms.Mayo. Like you stated in the blog, that this matter is very pertinent in today society with the election being over now. But great blog loved it.

    • k8mayo November 10, 2016 / 9:25 am

      Thanks, Ezekiel! I think it proves that we should continue reading about history so we don’t begin repeating the same mistakes.

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