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Transcript of Sophia's War
Under British Occupation
Sophia Calderwood: In the beginning of the book, Sophia is 12 years old. She can read and write. She greatly admires her older brother, and has a strong belief in patriotism. She is very brave, like most in tis time period had to be. She believes in standing up for what is right, and is willing to fight for her country.
William Calderwood: Sophia's older brother, who taught her to read and write. He was a very active in the partiot community and joined the rebel army at 17 under General George Washington. He was later taken prisoner, and died on a British prison ship.
Sophia's parents: Her mother, like most women of that time, looked over the house and children rather than having her a job. Her father was a well-respected editor for various newspapers. While both believe in patriotism, they must pretend to be loyalists to stay safe in the Britain-controlled New York City.
John Andre: Major Andre is a respected red coat who comes to board with Sophia's family. He is nothing short of a gentlemen, even paying them for his stay. However, he has a very cruel side for those who oppose his cause. Despite knowing this, Sophia develops a strong crush on him. Later, however, she comes to hate him for not being willing to help her brother.
Rising Action: Part 1
Sophia and her parents must flee New York due to British invasion
Making their way back home, Sophia and her mother witness the hanging of Nathan Hale. His crime was spying.
Sophia's family claims to be loyalists and are allowed to stay in their home.
John Andre comes to live with Sophia's family.
Sophia locates her brother in a British prison and visits him.
John Andre leaves and refuses to help Sophia's brother.
Sophia discovers her brother has died on a British war ship and pledges to help the patriot cause.
Rising Action: Part 2
(note: part 2 begins 2 years after the end of part 1. Sophia is now 15 years old)
Sophia works at her father's publisher to help earn money.
Robert Townsend, a man who visits her work often, takes a special interest in her.
Townsend asks Sophia to work as a patriot spy for him, and Sophia agrees.
Sophia is stationed as a maid in the house of a British general where John Andre works.
She intercepts letters between two unknowns- they are disguised by fake pen names.
She determines that one man is John Andre himself.
After reading through several letters, she discovers that the other man could only be Benedict Arnold, beloved American General.
Sophia discovers the time and date Arnold plans to turn over war plans to the British Army and goes to attempt intercept it.
(note: in this portion of the book, the narrator switches between the meeting of Arnold and Andre and Sophia's attempt to stop them)
Sophia flees to the meeting place of Andre and Arnold.
She finds a ride up the Hudson River with a fisherman and his wife, but is later kicked off and has to walk the rest of the way.
Meanwhile, a British ship upstream is going to meet General Arnold.
She finds American soldiers and convinces them to open fire on the British ship.
Major Andre is abandoned by his ship and Arnold returns to the American Fort at Westpoint. He has war plans to help attack the Fort, which would most likely end in Britain winning the war.
She goes back to New York to intercept Andre on his way back with the war plans.
With the help of her brother's friend, James Paulding, she sets a trap for Andre. While Paulding agrees to help her, he does not entirely believes her- neither does anyone else.
John Andre is caught by Paulding and his fellow soldiers.
Major John Andre is caught and put on trial by Patriots. After being held as prisoner, he is hung for his action.
War hero General Benedict Arnold is caught and hung with the penalty of spying.
Sophia has many reserves about the outcome. Especially since she knew Andre personally, she takes it hard on her self to be responsible for a man's death. This also ties back to her witnessing the hanging of Nathaniel Hale in the beginning of the novel.
Reading this story made the situations more cruel and real to me. Much of this is because of the first person view and relatedness I had to the main character. Also, it helps me understand why the patriots fought so hard. The harsh reality that they living made british control something they would rather die than have to go back to.
1) This book definitely enhanced my understanding of the Revolution. It helps me realize the horrible conditions and circumstances they were going through and their willingness to fight back. A lot of this enhanced the idea of the American Spirit for me. Also, I learned a lot about the network of spies throughout both sides.
2) I was really able to relate to Sophia, the main character, mostly because she is my age and we share many traits, but she comes from a different time period with much more severe consequences and I can appreciate and understand many of her internal conflicts and decisions
3) I felt the storyline was very believable. many of the characters seemed real, and all their talk and actions were what was expected of that time period. Also, nothing was sugarcoated. The author gave details that no one would consider making up because they were so horrible. Finally, the author's note tells the readers that all the characters in the story except for Sophia and her immediate family were real and were researched before the story was written.
4) The book was able to keep my attention because of the details and action towards the end, and I really enjoyed the story line.
5) There wasn't really anything I didn't like during the book, though I was disappointed that Sophia's brother died. However, it made the book seem more accurate and realistic.
6) I would and have already recommended this book to a friend. It has a strong main character, and the author makes it really interesting. I was able to enjoy it with out being bored or feeling like I had to for a school project. It was educational without being boring.