Letter Essay Seven // Matt T

I recently finished a book called Sophia’s war by world-renowned author, Avi. This book has won several awards because of it’s inspiring message of courage and hope to readers all over the world. Avi, the author is very well known for his incredibly mysterious stories that always keep the reader hooked;   Avi has a gift of being able to tell these stories in such intriguing ways for readers of all backgrounds.

I chose to read this book because I started reading it a year or so earlier and never got the chance to finish it, so I restarted the book and it was a great decision. It was also intriguing to me because it didn’t seem like a very long book and because of the reviews on the book flap which claim that it was a “must read” type of book.

In this book, Sophia, is a 12 year old girl living in British-American torn Manhattan with her mother, and father. Sophia must try to effectively use the advantages and disadvantages of living in a British occupation and having soldiers moving in and out of her house to try and get her brother out of prison and save the United States of America from a British-American treason deal. On a typically ordinary work day, a man visits her printing shop and offers her a deal to spy for the Americans. Sophia soon comes to with the terrible ideals of war and learns that her very own hero will soon be responsible for the loss of a war if she doesn’t step into action.

I’m not so sure I liked the structure of this book because it had many of the events not exactly in chronological order, and there were significant periods of time that were skipped without indication. I also did not like when the author chose to move the story ahead not one, not two, but five years ahead. I didn’t like this especially because he did not ‘catch up’ on anything that happened between then. I saw how Avi used a lot of Old English from the 1700’s and combined it with Dutch and German dialects from other parts of New York depending on the scene. I really liked this because it gave the book almost a cultural feel.Finally, I did not like when Avi did not give much closure on many sensitive topics in the book. For example, when Sophia’s brother died, he did not say much about it at all. Or when Sophia’s spy boss left, he did not say anything about him for the rest of the book.

A quote I really liked in this book was “Only a man who can esteem of Sophia’s intelligence is worthy of her beauty”. I liked this quote because it brings up a sensitive topic that is still very hot today. Many men do not value a lot of the things on the inside of people and only want the outside. This can make people feel very upset or unworthy and this quote shines light on that issue and provides a good example in it’s context.


I would rate this book a 9 out of 10. I think this book had a lot of amazing intricate details and was very, very addictive and I did not want it to end. The only reason I took off a point is because I feel the author jumped from one point to another without much detail at times. However, I would definitely recommend this book to a friend who was looking for a historical fiction book or just something to have fun with.



Matt Tortorelli

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1 thought on “Letter Essay Seven // Matt T

  1. Matthew,
    Avi is a great writer and you should try two other books of his: The True Confessions of Charlotte Doyle and Crispin: The Cross of Lead. Regarding your letter-essay, you did a nice job summarizing, but you need to work on your elaboration in your Reflection. For example, in each paragraph in your Reflection (and there should be three in response to those sentence starters), you should write 4-5 sentences, including textual evidence. And I’d like for you to include a quoted passage of writing, not just a quote. You can do it.
    Mr. Jockers

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