Sarah helps her father and brother run their small farm on Long Island, just before the outbreak of the Revolutionary War.
The tensions between the Patriots and the Loyalists in her neighborhood come between her father and brother. When her father tears up the Common Sense pamphlet by Thomas Paine, the local Patriots come hunting. They burn down the Bishop’s barn and home, kill their horse and milk cows, and tar and feather Sarah’s father.
Her father dies from his treatment. Her brother, Chad, is away fighting the war, and fifteen-year-old Sarah is left to fend for herself. Her father has buried silver, but refused to tell her before his death, so she is left destitute.
Sarah finds work in an inn and, determined to find her brother, tries to keep her head down and her ears open.
Unfortunately, she runs afoul of the local British Provost, who frames her for a crime she did not commit. Sarah escapes to the wilderness, and makes her home in a cave.
But even in the wilderness, evil finds her.
Scott O’Dell based his novel Sarah Bishop on the real-life story of the young woman who carved a life for herself in the wilderness of New York. This is a good story to supplement study of the Revolutionary War.
Recommended for ages 11 and up.
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