Reading/Interest Level: Primary, Intermediate, Young Adult
Publisher: Beach Lane Books
When Sophia Calderwood witnesses the execution of Nathan Hale in 1776, it cements her determination to support the American cause. But living in British-occupied New York City leaves little opportunity for rebellion. When her brother is taken prisoner, she begs the officer boarded at her home to help secure his release, but he refuses, and her brother dies. Sophia redoubles her efforts for the revolution and is recruited to work as a spy in General Clinton’s headquarters. She learns of a plot that could end the war in British favor: an American is switching sides, but Sophia must take it into her own hands to sabotage the fateful meeting. Her determination and tenacity ultimately serve to expose Benedict Arnold, an act that proves a crucial contribution to the Americans’ success.
Through extensive research and great skill, Avi has expertly constructed and inserted a fictional narrative into historical fact which not only brings it to life, but sheds light on details commonly forgotten or ignored about this frequently studied time period in our nation’s history. Masterfully written, Sophia’s War would be an excellent choice for the classroom as the story will surreptitiously educate even the most reluctant student. Sophia’s voice is relatable and sympathetic, without shying away from many of the very real horrors of the time period. Loyalty to family, country, and self are strong themes that Sophia has to weigh and fight for throughout the book.
*Contains mild violence.