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Sophia's War

Sophia's War

A Tale of the Revolution

By Avi
For Ages: 8 - 12
  • reading group guide
  • 1award
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 “nail-biting thriller” (Publishers Weekly) that is rich in historical detail and rife with action.
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  • Beach Lane Books | 
  • 336 pages | 
  • ISBN 9781442414426 | 
  • September 2013 | 
  • Grades 3 - 7
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Read an Excerpt


IN THE MOMENTOUS year of 1776, on the twenty-second of September, my mother and I were rushing back to the city of New York. New York was where I was born, and where I had lived peacefully until just a few weeks before, when we had fled in fear for our lives. The war for our country’s independence had come to our door.

First, my brother, William, along with thousands of other patriot soldiers, ferried across the East River to the village of Brooklyn to defend the city from a British attack. Alarmed by the danger, my father warned us we might have to leave. And indeed, the Americans lost that battle and retreated through... see more

Reading Group Guide

A Reading Group Guide for

Sophia’s War: A Tale of the Revolution
By Avi

About the Book

In 1776, the War of Independence comes to New York City and to twelve-year-old Sophia Calderwood’s family. William, her older soldier brother, has been missing since the defeat of George Washington’s Army at the Battle of Brooklyn.

When the British occupy the city, Lieutenant John André of the English Army is boarded at the Calderwood home. He and Sophia develop a flirtatious friendship, which is tested when the girl discovers that William is being held in the Sugarhouse, a notorious British prison. She hopes André can help. When he chooses not to, Sophia struggles to save her brother herself.

Three years later, Sophia becomes a spy in the headquarters of the British Army. There she finds André, now a major, working to enable a highly placed American general to become a traitor, a treason that will endanger the whole American war effort. Deciding to stop the treason—and motivated by personal revenge—Sophia becomes desperate. However, as Sophia learns, desperation’s other name is deception. Indeed, the desperate characters in this thrilling tale of spies and counterspies act out many acts of deception, not least by Sophia herself. Based on true tales of the Revolution, carefully researched, this story will shock and enthrall even those who think see more

About the Author

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Avi is the author of more than fifty books for children and young adults, including the 2003 Newbery medal winner Crispin: The Cross of Lead. He has won two Newbery Honors and many other awards for his fiction. He lives with his family in Denver, Colorado. Visit him at




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