Youth Fiction Review: Sophia's War by Avi

Posted by: TracieP | Posted on: Jan 28 2013

In 1776, 12-year-old Sophia Calderwood witnesses the execution of Nathan Hale and vows to do all she can to support the patriot cause--a desire that is intensified by the death of her older brother at the hands of the British Army, and a desire that is complicated by her feelings for a charming young British soldier named John Andre. Three years later, Sophia lands a position as a maid in the home of the General Clinton, commander of the British forces in America, and is recruited to spy for the American army. Sophia soon uncovers a treacherous plot that would place the patriot fighters--and all of America--in peril...but is she willing to risk her own life to save an entire nation?

This expertly-researched and richly detailed account is firmly rooted in fascinating historical fact. While Sophia and her family are fictional, Avi skillfully places their story within a solid historical context by drawing heavily upon real events and John Andre's documented correspondence with Benedict Arnold. The inclusion of 18th-century terminology (neatly defined in a post-script glossary) further adds to the authenticity, making this an excellent choice for classroom use. Short chapters and plenty of action also make Sophia's War a good title to share as a read-aloud.