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Chase Hardcover – April 3, 2007


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Product Details

  • Age Range: 8 - 12 years
  • Grade Level: 5 - 9
  • Hardcover: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Greenwillow Books; First Edition edition (April 3, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0061128503
  • ISBN-13: 978-0061128509
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.9 x 8.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,490,897 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

Grade 5–9—Pennsylvania coal country is the setting for this post-Civil War adventure in which an orphan witnesses a murder and runs for his life. For stable boy Phin Chase, being in the wrong place at the wrong time makes him a suspect, and his dilemma is compounded when he comes into possession of the killer's wallet. Now he knows Ned Plume is one of the "Sleepers," a secret society of Irishmen causing trouble over mining jobs, and townspeople are not certain who can be trusted. As Phin flees into the countryside, first by foot and then by train, someone is tracking him on a stallion, and the stranger seems to have a sixth sense about his whereabouts. The story moves at the same fast pace as the horse and unknown rider who chase Phin through farmland and forest. The boy's survival skills work to his advantage and he cleverly turns the tables on his pursuer, who is injured when he is felled. Dialogue and characterization are tops here, and the backstory about rural life following the war and about Irish miners, better known as Molly Maguires, is accurately woven into the novel with some explanation for their violent ways. The book may be tagged as a historical adventure but it has plenty of appeal for horse lovers as well.—Vicki Reutter, Cazenovia High School, NY
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

From Booklist

Set in Pennsylvania coal-mining country about 10 years after the Civil War, this exciting story is soaked in historical detail and psychological credibility. Phin, who has been spared life in the mines, finds himself in a different kind of danger when he witnesses the murder of a mine boss. Running from the scene and from the only home he knows, he is pursued by the murderer and also by a mysterious man called Fraser. Fraser is a mule trader, but Phin thinks he's somehow related to the mines or the law or both. Whatever the truth, Fraser uses his remarkable stallion to track Phin as the teen flees through the countryside. Haas writes gracefully and evocatively of boy, horse, and desperate men, and the topics she folds into her story--including labor disputes and terrorism--can easily be connected to contemporary political and social issues. A thrilling tale with many opportunities for discussion. Francisca Goldsmith
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved

More About the Author

Jessie Haas was born in Westminster, Vermont, and lives next door to the small farm where she grew up. She has written over 35 books for children and adults, including Unbroken, Chase, Runaway Radish, the Bramble and Maggie books, and Saige and Saige Paints the Sky, the books accompanying American Girl's Doll of the Year 2013, Saige. A serially monogamous horse trainer--one horse at a time, till death do us part--and a passionate reader, cook and knitter, she shares home with fellow writer Michael J. Daley, two cats, a dog, and a willful and beautiful Morgan mare named Robin.

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

5 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Andra H. Horton on April 4, 2007
Format: Hardcover
Chase -by Jessie Haas gr 4-9

Set in a Pennsylvania coal mining town in the 1870's, young Phin Chase has just witnessed a murder. He's reading a borrowed book on Englebright's front porch when several men from the mine who have a grievance with Englebright, kill him.. Instead of killing Phin too, they decide to pin the murder on him. He can't stay in town. If he does, he will be tried and convicted, because who will believe the story of an orphaned boy against respectable men from the town? So he runs.

On the way, a friend gives him the killer's wallet to return to him, but Phin can't do that. He knows he'll be caught and brought to the jail. So he runs, with the wallet. It has enough money to help him get far away. If only he can.

He manages to hop a train out of town, but there is a mysterious stranger hot on his trail; a mule trader who keeps showing up in town. Really a mule trader? And if not, then who is this man and his magnificient black stallion who never seem to be more than a stone's throw from Phin and his hiding places. Phin ends up leaving town in the same car as the mule trader and the killer, Ned Plume, who is also looking for the boy, because he wants his wallet back.

Phin leads them on an intense chase, suffering all manner of ills and chills, hunger and bruises while running for his life. Eventually, a regretful confrontation comes to bear bewteen Phin and the mule trader, exposing the man's true identity and his reasons for hunting Phin. But these reasons are not the same as Ned Plumes, and Phin still has one more person to face before he can think about ending his flight.

This books is a real page turner.
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By S. Beckhorn on April 29, 2008
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I wish I had written this book! It grabbed me from page one and kept me breathless throughout. The story, a boy caught in an Irish Union workerss' intrigue in post-Civil War coal country, hunted by a man on a scent tracking horse, is original and gripping. The development and growth of the character, Phin, is great.

Susan Williams Beckhorn
Wind Rider, Harper Collins 2006
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Format: Hardcover
It's the 1870's. Phin Chase, an orphan in a coal-mining town, just witnessed a murder. Bad men try toi pin the murder on him. He's got the killer's wallet; it has money to help him get away, but also has papers that the killer wants back. Phin runs for his life, pursued by the killer.He hops a train out of town, but there now is a mysterious stranger hot on his trail. Who is this man and his magnificient black stallion?
Phin runs for his life in an intense chase.
Beautifully written terse prose keeps the tension high and the questions present until the last moments. It's the great kind of historical fiction that makes you want to know more about the time period, and it also makes you want to stay with Phin, keeps you rooting for him all the way. It does not disappoint in the end, except perhaps that there is no sequel.
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful By TeensReadToo on January 4, 2008
Format: Hardcover
Phin Chase has gone from being an orphan that no one really wants to being someone that a lot of dangerous people want to find.

Phin has witnessed a murder by the Sleepers, otherwise known as the Molly Maguires or the Ancient Order of Hibernians. Whatever you call them, they run most Irish immigrant towns, and you don't want to be on their bad side. In fact, most people try to avoid them all together.

Now they're looking for Phin. And the more he finds out about them, the more he realizes there is no one he can trust. He's never missed his mother so much or felt so very alone. The only logical thing Phin can think of to do is run. So run he does. But he seems to keep running directly into the hands of two men. Both men are definitely dangerous -- one wants to hurt Phin, but the other is debatable. Sometimes Phin thinks he could trust him, even be helped by him, but then there are times that Phin is sure he's at least as dangerous as the first man.

How long can one young boy hold out against an entire underground militia and a horse that can track his scent? CHASE is a great adventure story, set in the midst of real history. It's exciting and interesting and fully believable. Phin Chase is a great hero; he's unsure, he makes mistakes, he has a multitude of narrow escapes. Right up until the very end you're not sure if or how he'll escape. Page-turning, edge-of-your-seat adventure with an interesting cast of characters, set during a real time in the history of our country. Definitely a great choice for a good regular read, or a way to make a book report more interesting!

Reviewed by: Carrie Spellman
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