Chains was written by Laurie Halse Anderson, a New York Times bestselling author of children's literature. This historical fiction novel was published during 2008 by Atheneum. Furthermore, it is the first installment of her Seeds of America series, which includes two other titles: Forge and Ashes.
Readers uncover a riveting, inspirational story about Isabel, a thirteen-year-old American slave who endures a harsh journey fighting for her own freedom, while surrounded by the noise of the Revolutionary War.
Many Goodreads reviewers are impressed with the complex characterization of Isabel as well as other characters. For example, the challenge of unfolding the dynamic nature of Isabel, as she pushes through her seemingly helpless state with intelligence and courage, is one of many things readers find compelling. On the other hand, other reviewers are not as impressed with Anderson's novel, citing issues with the perceived predictability of its plot and perceived bias of its historical context.
Chains earned Anderson multiple literary awards, such as the 2009 Scott O'Dell Award and the 2009 Cybils Award for Middle Grade Fiction.