Sophia’s War: A Tale of the Revolution

Brief Description: 12 yo Patriot girl searches for her brother who goes missing after Battle of Brooklyn. She later becomes a spy and uncovers Benedict Arnold’s plot.

Geographical Setting: , , ,

Historical Era:

Date Range: 1776-1780

Keywords: , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Original Publication: 2012

Suitable for Grades: 4-8th

Target Audience: Middle Grade

Librarian's Review

As told from the perspective of a twelve-year-old girl, whose passionate patriot views mirror those of her family, life in occupied New York City is tough.  She witnesses the hanging of Nathan Hale, which deeply impresses upon her the brutality of the British.  When her family is forced to quarter the officer John Andre, she is at first indignant but soon falls for his chivalrous charms.  After her beloved older brother, who had taught her how to read and write, fails to return from battle, she spots him being cruelly marched through the streets as a prisoner of war.  In her efforts to find and help him, she sees firsthand the deplorable conditions of his sugar house prison only to learn he has been transferred to an infamous prison “hulk.”  (In the author’s note we learn that more than twice as many Patriot men died in prison than on the battlefield.)  All of the while she wrestles between her infatuation with Andre and her desire to help her brother.  Can she trust Andre to help her and not risk betraying the family?

Three years later her chance to avenge the price her brother paid is presented by an offer to join the Patriot spy network.  The second half of the novel details her efforts after she is hired as a maid in the British headquarters of General Clinton and (surprise!) re-encounters John Andre.  The exciting denouement has her trekking up the Hudson River to try to warn the American fighters of the collusion between Andre and Benedict Arnold.

Avi states in his author note that all of the people in the book are real people except for Sophia and her family members.  He has packed a lot of historical material into such an exciting story!  Indeed, if I can fault the book in any way, it would be that the wealth of historical information sometimes crowds out the story and character development.  In addition to the author’s note, the back matter includes a glossary of words, and a bibliography.  There are two helpful maps at the front of the book.  The author also has a teachers’ guide at

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