How does the author create suspense during the final chapters of the novel?

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litteacher8 | High School Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

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Suspense is when a book is so interesting you can’t wait to see what happens next.  Since most readers of this book are already familiar with the American Revolution, they know what will happen.  What they don’t know is what will happen to Johnny.  The main way the author creates suspense toward the end of the book is by having the war start.  We wonder if Johnny will fight, and if he will die or Rab will die. 

At the very end of the book, the suspense is increased when Johnny meets a doctor who thinks he can heal his hand.  The main thing keeping Johnny from being successful is his injury.  It also keeps him from fully fighting in the war.  We can’t wait to find out if Johnny will gain full use of his hand.  Of course, the author also creates suspense by not telling us exactly how the story ends.  She leaves Johnny’s hand and his exact role in the Revolution to our imagination.