13-year-old Isabel was promised her freedom on the death of her owner, but the old lady's heir sells her and her sister Ruth to an awful New York couple who are selfish. Set during the American revolution, Isabel gets hooked up in the fight for the country's freedom to gain her own freedom. Isabel has such mixed feelings about her involvement with the revolutionaries - she gets betrayed by them and the British.
Chains (Simon and Schuster, 2008) by Laurie Halse Anderson is really good--of course. The sequel, Forge, has recently come out and is on my to be read list. I heard Laurie talk about the research she does for her books when she visited Kansas City* in October. One fact for Chains that she used was about women of the time wanting bushy eyebrows and used mouse fur!
Last week I also finished another of Laurie's historical thrillers (as she calls her historicals) set not that much later. Fever 1793 (Simon and Schuster, 2000) is about the yellow fever epidemic in Philadelphia. We often don't appreciate how fortunate we are. This fascinating story reminds us.
Laurie's site has extra information about both time periods, teacher resources, material aimed directly at students, and more.