Loyalty (Paperback)

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By Avi
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Staff Reviews

It's 1774 in Massachusetts, the eve of the American Revolution. Thirteen-year-old Noah Cope has just watched his minister father get tarred and feathered because he's loyal to the Church of England and to the King. His father will die from the burns within days. Noah's hatred for the rebel Sons of Liberty and his loyalty to his father's memory are powerful, but events on the horizon will challenge all of that. He'll need to work for his family, and he has a lot to learn. He'll get help from his boss, a young freed Black man who becomes a true friend, and he'll learn about the hypocrisy of both sides as they talk about Liberty while acting like tyrants and keeping slaves. Will he ever find someone worthy of his loyalty? Avi has written about early America and great moral dilemmas many times (The Fighting Ground, The True Confessions of Charlotte Doyle, Something Upstairs), but the struggle over what loyalty means to us has never seemed more timely. His ability to show us American crisis so deeply and clearly through the eyes of a boy becoming a man proves once again what I’ve long believed. Avi is among our most gifted writers for kids.

— Tim McCarthy


Newbery Medalist Avi explores the American Revolution from a fresh perspective in the story of a young Loyalist turned British spy navigating patriotism and personal responsibility during the lead-up to the War of Independence.

When his father is killed by rebel vigilantes, Noah flees with his family to Boston. Intent on avenging his father, Noah becomes a spy for the British and firsthand witness to the power of partisan rumor to distort facts, the hypocrisy of men who demand freedom while enslaving others, and the human connections that bind people together regardless of stated allegiances.

Awash in contradictory information and participating in key events leading to the American Revolution, Noah must forge his own understanding of right and wrong and determine for himself where his loyalty truly lies.

About the Author

Avi's many acclaimed books for young readers include the Newbery Medal-winning Crispin: The Cross of Lead and the Newbery Honor books Nothing But the Truth: A Documentary Novel and The True Confessions of Charlotte Doyle as well as The Fighting Ground, Poppy, and The Secret School. He lives in Colorado.           

Praise For…

"[A] novel that challenges [young readers'] ideas of American history and their notions of loyalty and patriotism." (Alan Gratz) — New York Times Book Review

"A fascinating, complex and rarely seen view of the ­American Revolutionary War." — School Library Journal (starred review)

"With his trademark eye for detail, Avi brings readers into the story's time and place, not sparing the realities of war, and dealing authentically with Noah's emotions. Inclusive and objective, the work delivers historical food for thought and a great read." — Booklist

“Avi’s narrative, told through dated entries, ebbs and flows with the tides of war, gaining intensity as the Battles of Lexington and Concord loom. The story is spiked with lively dialogue.” — Horn Book Magazine

Product Details
ISBN: 9780358672531
ISBN-10: 0358672538
Publisher: Clarion Books
Publication Date: June 20th, 2023
Pages: 352
Language: English