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Dear Austin: Letters from the Underground Railroad

( 12 )

Overview

Now in paperback! In this companion novel to Dear Levi, told in letters,11-year-old Levi helps a young African American in a harrowing flight for freedom along the Underground Railroad.

In 1853, in letters to his older brother, eleven-year-old Levi describes his adventures in the Pennsylvania countryside with his black friend Jupiter and his experiences with the Underground Railroad.

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Dear Austin: Letters from the Underground Railroad

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Overview

Now in paperback! In this companion novel to Dear Levi, told in letters,11-year-old Levi helps a young African American in a harrowing flight for freedom along the Underground Railroad.

In 1853, in letters to his older brother, eleven-year-old Levi describes his adventures in the Pennsylvania countryside with his black friend Jupiter and his experiences with the Underground Railroad.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"Set in 1853, this sequel to Dear Levi consists of letters written by 11-year-old Levi Ives to his older brother Austin. . . . [He] describes his escapades in the Pennsylvania countryside with his friend, Jupiter, the son of a former slave. When Jupiter's sister is captured by slave traders, the two boys undertake a dangerous journey south to try and free her. While hiding in the woods, they meet Harriet Tubman, and Levi realizes that some of his neighbors are part of the Underground Railroad. Rich in adventure, mystery, and suspense, the succinctly written narrative depicts Levi's struggle to understand the prejudicial attitudes of others. This carefully researched and vividly imagined novel presents the emotional and gripping tale of one boy's confrontation with the issue of slavery and its significance in American history."        --School Library Journal

"Woodruff combines swift pacing, historical detail, humor, suffering, depth, and precise characterizations, for a wholly satisfying page turner." --Kirkus Reviews

Children's Literature - Gisela Jernigan
In this fast moving sequel to Dear Levi: Letters from the Overland Trail, eleven year old Levi now writes letters to his claim-settling brother about his trials and adventures at home in Pennsylvania. At first. the letters humorously recount mishaps at dreaded dancing lessons and pranks of the Daredevil Club, with his friends Possum and escaped slave Jupiter. But, this is 1853, and soon Levi and Jupiter risk their lives and become involved with the Underground Railroad, after Jupiter's sister, Darcy is kidnapped by slave-catchers. The author resists a happy, pat ending, but the more realistic ending is all the more powerful because of its poignancy. The large print, letter format and fast action make this historical novel appropriate for readers just beginning to read or listen to chapter books. Some of the dialect, especially that of the African-American characters seems rather overdone.
School Library Journal
Gr 3-6-Set in 1853, this sequel to Dear Levi Knopf, 1994 consists of letters written by 11-year-old Levi Ives to his older brother Austin. Remaining with his guardian, Miss Amelia, until he is able to join Austin on the family claim in Oregon, Levi describes his escapades in the Pennsylvania countryside with his friend, Jupiter, the son of a former slave. When Jupiter's sister is captured by slave traders, the two boys undertake a dangerous journey south to try and free her. While hiding in the woods, they meet Harriet Tubman, and Levi realizes that Miss Amelia and some of his neighbors are part of the Underground Railroad. Rich in adventure, mystery, and suspense, the succinctly written narrative depicts Levi's struggle to understand the prejudicial attitudes of others. The boy's life of freedom is beautifully juxtaposed against Jupiter's life and his constant fear of capture. The plot advances through Levi's letters, which also speak about his feelings for his guardian, his friends, and his brother. Each character is an individual whose actions are believable in the context of the story. This carefully researched and vividly imagined novel presents the emotional and gripping tale of one boy's confrontation with the issue of slavery and its significance in American history.-Janet Gillen, Great Neck Public Library, NY
Kirkus Reviews
Readers don't have to have read Dear Levi (not reviewed) to enjoy this sequel, a gripping historical novel that covers two boys' journeys from innocence to manhood. In 1853, young Levi and his buddies, Possum and Jupiter, create a daredevil's club, through which they attempt to outrun bulls, jump off cliffs, and investigate strange occurrences in their small Pennsylvania town. The tone shifts from the humor of boyhood scrapes to tragedy when Jupiter's little sister, Darcy, is captured by slave traders. Jupiter and Levi head south to find her, a journey that is particularly eye-opening for naive Levi. The action unfolds through his letters to his brother Austin; these range from laugh-out-loud funny to poignant. Powerful emotions are subtly and expertly conveyed, from Levi's amusing embarrassment in dancing class, to his guilt for Darcy's kidnapping, to his horror at the slave auction. Woodruff combines swift pacing, historical detail (Harriet Tubman makes an appearance), humor, suffering, depth, and precise characterizations, for wholly satisfying page turner. (Fiction. 8-12)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780375803567
  • Publisher: Random House Children's Books
  • Publication date: 8/28/2000
  • Edition description: Reprint
  • Pages: 144
  • Sales rank: 296,254
  • Age range: 8 - 12 Years
  • Product dimensions: 5.36 (w) x 7.58 (h) x 0.36 (d)

Meet the Author

Elvira Woodruff is the author of more than a dozen picture books and novels for young readers.
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 12 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(9)

4 Star

(0)

3 Star

(1)

2 Star

(1)

1 Star

(1)

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Sort by: Showing all of 12 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 16, 2012

    Out of the dump

    It is a very good book you would like this book if you wanted to know about guatemala

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted July 9, 2013

    Rm

    Hey im back

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted February 28, 2013

    Lace

    Um hi

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 10, 2013

    Gc to Austin xD

    Hey Austin!!!!!!! Its been a loooong time! I missed you! :C

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 12, 2012

    Devon

    :)

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 12, 2012

    Jessica

    U still there??????

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 15, 2012

    Zoie

    Hey

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 25, 2012

    Who

    Who is darcy i was reading reviews not the book i was forced to give it a two star the review didnt help me atol

    0 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 11, 2011

    great

    darcy gets stolen

    0 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 18, 2011

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted March 21, 2011

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted December 22, 2013

    No text was provided for this review.

Sort by: Showing all of 12 Customer Reviews

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