This story begins in May of 1776 when the mistress of two young slave girls dies. They were to be freed in her will, but a nefarious relative shows up and claims them. They travel to New York where the earliest days of the American Revolution play out while Isabel, the older girl, tries to make sense of their lives. Her younger sister is physiclly and mentally impaired. Her new owners are harsh and cruel. They are also Tories. Isabel agrees to spy on them for the Patriot cause and helps uncover an assassination plot against George Washington. The plight of slaves in the early days of our history is clearly exposed here. Many details of daily life are described. The initial defeats of the Patriot army and nightmarish conditions in the British-run prisons are also graphically detailed. The book is well written and does what all good historical fiction should: it puts meat on the factual bones of the past. Highly recommended for grades 6-8.