Flying Free: Corey's Underground Railroad Diary

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Overview

Corey and his family have escaped from slavery and the South and are now living in Canada. They own their own land, and Corey gets to go to school. But danger still remains across the river in Ohio, where slavecatchers lurk, waiting to capture escaped salves and bring them back to their former masters. Corey, however, outsmarts them, and brings his friend Mingo to safety in Canada.

In 1858, nine-year-old Corey Birdsong and his family, fugitive slaves from Kentucky, ...

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Overview

Corey and his family have escaped from slavery and the South and are now living in Canada. They own their own land, and Corey gets to go to school. But danger still remains across the river in Ohio, where slavecatchers lurk, waiting to capture escaped salves and bring them back to their former masters. Corey, however, outsmarts them, and brings his friend Mingo to safety in Canada.

In 1858, nine-year-old Corey Birdsong and his family, fugitive slaves from Kentucky, build a new life in Amherstburg, Canada, while still hoping to help those they left behind.

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Editorial Reviews

Children's Literature
Part of the "My America" series, this is the continuation of former slave Corey Birdsong's story, set in Amherstburg, Canada, in 1858. The Birdsong family--Corey, his parents Roland and Angel, and his baby sister StarĀ¾have escaped from Kentucky via the Underground Railroad. They are given a home in the AME Nazrey Church, which was built by people of color. Slowly, the family makes friends and finds work in their new town, and Corey is sent to school. Not only is he lucky enough to be able to read and write, but his father has excellent grammar and spelling as well, and he helps Corey keep a diary to both preserve history and improve Corey's writing. Although Corey is grateful to live in a place where he can, as he says, walk where he pleases, all is not perfect. There are slave owners across the river in Ohio, and several of them are sending slave catchers into Amherstburg to retrieve their property. He also misses Mingo, the friend he left behind in Kentucky. They communicate and plan Mingo's escape using codes, indicating, for example, that Mingo should follow the North Star. In the end, this becomes a story of triumph and hope as Mingo finds his way to Canada and freedom and Corey aspires to become a teacher. Seven pages of historical notes from the author appear at the end of the diary, giving the reader some information about the Underground Railroad and life in Canada as a slave refugee. 2002, Scholastic, $8.95 and $4.99. Ages 8 to 11. Reviewer: Carlie Kraft
Kirkus Reviews
Corey Birdsong and his family have reached freedom in Canada in this sequel to Freedom's Wings (not reviewed). His journal relates the last harrowing days of their flight from slavery, their feelings of rapture upon arrival, and the steps they take to forge a new, independent life. They are welcomed in a community that is made up largely of other former slaves. Here they dare to dream of owning their own farm, of proper schooling, of making their mark. Corey is fascinated by the people around him, and makes special note of the black people who have responsible, respected places in society. But they must always be aware that there are slave-catchers just over the water who are waiting for a chance to recapture the runaways and return them to slavery. And always in their hearts are the people they left behind, like Corey's best friend Mingo. Wyeth breathes full life into Corey. His voice is true and clear. He is loving, curious, intelligent, brave, and determined. He's thrilled by all the new sights, sounds, and experiences, and describes everything and everyone with delightful and insightful enthusiasm. There are many well-written works for children concerning daring and dangerous escapes along the Underground Railroad, but most end with the first steps into Canada. Here, finally, is a glimpse of what came next. Besides weaving many historically accurate facts within the story, Wyeth provides an interesting, informative afterword that includes period photographs. Fascinating. (Historical fiction. 7-12)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780613455879
  • Publisher: San Val, Incorporated
  • Publication date: 5/28/2002
  • Series: My America Ser.
  • Age range: 8 - 11 Years
  • Product dimensions: 4.92 (w) x 7.86 (h) x 0.52 (d)

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Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted April 3, 2007

    A reviewer

    Hi my name is Keenan and I'm writing a review for Flying Free.I loved this book because of how when they were free and no longer have to be a slave.But it was sort of sad when Mingo had to have two toes cut off.Corey was a nice gentle men who was smart,adventurous,and kind to people.He loved to learn things like spelling and how to grow crops.His parents were busy and friendly like Corey was.I got scared when Corey could have got caught by slave catchers when he walked across the icy river.It was when he took his mom to his school on her birthday.Thank you for writing this wonderful book.

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