Sophia’s War by Avi

Genre: Historical Fiction
Reading level: grades 5-7

12 Year old Sophia is, above all, a patriot. As a young girl, she witnessed the hanging of Nathan Hale as a spy. She and her parents live in Manhattan in 1776 when the British have occupied it. Forced to house British Lieutenant Andre, she and her parents must keep quiet that her brother is fighting for America. When her brother dies she swears vengeance against the British. 4 years later, she gets her chance. She is offered the opportunity to spy in the house where now Major Andre resides. She uncovers the plot between Andre and Benedict Arnold regarding the overthrow of West Point and, therefore, the war. Who will believe a 15 year old maid? She understands well what will happen to her if she is caught.

Avi is a Newbery medal recipient for the True Confessions of Charlotte Doyle. This is a very well written account of an area of the war that I had always been interested in. I always wondered what it would have been like to be living in British occupied New York City during the Revolutionary War. That it was told through a young woman’s eyes made it even more interesting. As Sophia’s spy contact remarks, no one would suspect a young maid. Maids during this time are invisible, hear nothing, and most can’t read. But as we have learned from Downton Abbey, they miss nothing!

Avi (2012). Sophia’s war: A tale of the Revolution. New York: Beach Lane Books.