Book Review: Sophia’s War by Avi


I read this book for my Literature & Media for Children class. I am using it for the Treasure Hunt (a girl’s name), Goodreads 2013 Reading Challenge, 52 Books in 52 Weeks, and Literary Friday.

Summary from Goodreads: Lives hang in the balance in this gripping Revolutionary War adventure from a beloved Newbery medalist. In 1776, young Sophia Calderwood witnesses the execution of Nathan Hale in New York City, which is newly occupied by the British army. Sophia is horrified by the event and resolves to do all she can to help the American cause. Recruited as a spy, she becomes a maid in the home of General Clinton, the supreme commander of the British forces in America. Through her work she becomes aware that someone in the American army might be switching sides, and she uncovers a plot that will grievously damage the Americans if it succeeds. But the identity of the would-be traitor is so shocking that no one believes her, and so Sophia decides to stop the treacherous plot herself, at great personal peril: She’s young, she’s a girl, and she’s running out of time. And if she fails, she’s facing an execution of her own. Master storyteller Avi shows exactly how personal politics can be in this riveting novel that is rich in historical detail and rife with action.

My review for my class: Sophia’s War follows the title character as she matures from from a twelve-year-old who witnesses the hanging of Nathan Hale to a fifteen-year old who becomes a spy for the Patriots. Readers of all ages will be able to relate to Sophia’s inner turmoil as she plots to destroy the man she thought she loved. Set during the Revolutionary War, readers will learn much about this period in time and notable historical figures such as Benedict Arnold. Author Avi also intended to portray the shocking treatment of American prisoners during this war in a realistic manner. A glossary is included to further educate readers on eighteenth-century words.

Verdict: 3 out of 5 stars. I didn’t like the “voice” the author used. I guess it was supposed to be authentically eighteenth-century, but it just seemed too formal and fake to me. Also a twelve-year-old falling in love with an adult who flirts with her was kind of creepy.




  1. 😀 You and I have the exact same goal for our reading challenge! This does book does sound good, but I agree with you that an adult flirting with a 12 year old is creepy. I love historical fiction meant to encourage kids to learn more about history. Wonderful review, and I appreciate your linking-up to Literary Friday!

  2. Pingback: Sophia’s War | Kid Lit About Politics

  3. Pingback: Books Read in 2013 | I Like Big Books

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