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Freedom Roads: Searching for the Underground Railroad (Marcato Book Series)
     

Freedom Roads: Searching for the Underground Railroad (Marcato Book Series)

by Joyce Hansen, Gary McGowan, James Ransome (Illustrator)
 

The Underground Railroad was meant to be a set of secret pathways, and its traces have been obscured by time. But Joyce Hansen and Gary McGowan, who won a Coretta Scott King Honor for their previous book, show how archaeologists and historians sift through corn cobs and root cellars, study songs and quilts, and use the latest technology to reconstruct those heroic

Overview

The Underground Railroad was meant to be a set of secret pathways, and its traces have been obscured by time. But Joyce Hansen and Gary McGowan, who won a Coretta Scott King Honor for their previous book, show how archaeologists and historians sift through corn cobs and root cellars, study songs and quilts, and use the latest technology to reconstruct those heroic journeys. Freedom Roads offers both a fresh look at the escape routes from slavery and an introduction to the tools, methods, and insights of archaeology, anthropology, and historical conservation. Here is a modern-day detective story that uncovers the traces of a time in American history when courageous slaves and idealistic abolitionists defied the law and saved lives.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
The Underground Railroad and one woman's fight for equality are the subjects of two nonfiction volumes. Joyce Hansen and Gary McGowan explore the ways historians have traced the path of the enslaved as they traveled northward to freedom in Freedom Roads: Searching for the Underground Railroad. Opening with archeologists' discovery of Fort Mose, "the first settlement of freed men and women in America," the authors demonstrate how the study of artifacts, laws, slave narratives and more contribute to an understanding of how this crucial chapter of American history evolved. Reproductions of period photographs and documents extend the value of this well-researched volume, and James Ransome's half-tone watercolor paintings open each chapter. Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information.
Children's Literature
Hansen and McGowan have collaborated to create a unique and thought-provoking text for use in the social studies classroom. In their exploration of the Underground Railroad, they raise questions of historical authenticity, interpretation, and truth, noting that "there may be some questions that [they] cannot answer completely" due to the difficulty of gathering information about people who were "purposely hidden." The book is organized around a description and discussion of several artifacts that researchers have used as possible source evidence of events related to the Underground Railroad. Chapters feature such artifacts as physical buildings (Fort Mose in St. Augustine, Florida), information contained in a ship's log, early-American laws, Works Progress Administration slave narratives, spirituals, stories maintained through the oral tradition, and anecdotes and memories, among others. Where appropriate, photographs of original sources, including maps, proclamations, certificates of freedom, and hand-written notes, are provided, thus giving readers authenticity via primary documents. Although the book avoids an oversimplification of history, it utilizes a "detective approach" to make the process of historical recreation more accessible and compelling for young readers; the authors attempt to uncover truth by following a trail of clues. 2003, Cricket Books,
— Wendy Glenn
School Library Journal
Gr 5-9-By investigating written documents, oral accounts, and related archaeological artifacts, a children's author and noted conservator uncover the mysteries of this historic route. Illustrations include poignant black-and-white paintings as well as period photos and reproductions. Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information.
Kirkus Reviews
Silent stone faces on a tunnel wall in Syracuse. Ruins of the first settlement of freed men and women discovered under a saltwater marsh in Florida. Family stories leading archaeologists to an upstairs room in a Brooklyn house, where slaves were hidden. These and other archaeological sites are examined in this study of the Underground Railroad. In addition, WPA slave narratives, spirituals, quilts, a ship's logs, diaries, eyewitness accounts, and letters all demonstrate the ways historians learn about the past-from old-fashioned studies of 17th-century church records to the space-age technology of thermal imaging. An important point made here is that the Underground Railroad was not, as often portrayed, an organized network of routes delivering escaping slaves directly to freedom in the North. There were many "freedom roads" and many people with the courage to break the law and put their lives at risk in the name of liberty and democracy. The authors portray historians as detectives, solving mysteries when history keeps a secret, and point out that this is a "living" history, "waiting for a new generation of historians, archaeologists, and researchers to continue to tell this fascinating story." Discussions of the Kansas-Nebraska Act, the Dred Scott decision, John Brown, and the 1850 Fugitive Slave Law provide additional historical context. Well-written, well-documented, imaginatively arranged, this is a fascinating offering. Handsomely organized with ten black-and-white illustrations, maps, sidebars, photographs, and other archival material, this covers much ground while saying a great deal about the historian's craft. An important addition to library collections and classroom units.(foreword, bibliography, index) (Nonfiction. 10-14)

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780812626735
Publisher:
Cricket Books
Publication date:
03/28/2003
Series:
Marcato Book Series
Pages:
164
Product dimensions:
7.94(w) x 9.38(h) x 0.69(d)
Age Range:
9 - 12 Years

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