North by Night: A Story of the Underground Railroad

( 13 )

Overview

It's 1851 and Lucy Spencer's family is keeping a secret. Their Ohio home is a station on the Underground Railroad, the network of people and places that helps fugitive slaves escape to freedom in Canada. Lucy believes in what she and her family do to help the fugitives, even if it means putting herself in danger.

So Lucy doesn't hesitate when she is asked to stay with the Widow Aurelia Mercer and help her with a family of runaway slaves hiding in her attic. And she learns so ...

See more details below
Paperback (Reprint)
$6.99
BN.com price

Pick Up In Store

Reserve and pick up in 60 minutes at your local store

Other sellers (Paperback)
  • All (70) from $1.99   
  • New (8) from $3.68   
  • Used (62) from $1.99   
North by Night: A Story of the Underground Railroad

Available on NOOK devices and apps  
  • NOOK Devices
  • NOOK HD/HD+ Tablet
  • NOOK
  • NOOK Color
  • NOOK Tablet
  • Tablet/Phone
  • NOOK for Windows 8 Tablet
  • NOOK for iOS
  • NOOK for Android
  • NOOK Kids for iPad
  • PC/Mac
  • NOOK for Windows 8
  • NOOK for PC
  • NOOK for Mac
  • NOOK Study
  • NOOK for Web

Want a NOOK? Explore Now

NOOK Book (eBook)
$6.99
BN.com price
Note: Kids' Club Eligible. See More Details.

Overview

It's 1851 and Lucy Spencer's family is keeping a secret. Their Ohio home is a station on the Underground Railroad, the network of people and places that helps fugitive slaves escape to freedom in Canada. Lucy believes in what she and her family do to help the fugitives, even if it means putting herself in danger.

So Lucy doesn't hesitate when she is asked to stay with the Widow Aurelia Mercer and help her with a family of runaway slaves hiding in her attic. And she learns so much from her experience—about growing up, love, and standing on her own. But what will Lucy do when she is asked to make the ultimate sacrifice and leave all she loves behind?

Presents the journal of a sixteen-year-old girl whose family operates a stop on the Underground Railroad.

Read More Show Less

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Told through journal entries and letters, this historical novel underscores the cruel consequences of the 1850 Fugitive Slave Act and the dangerous choices forced on Americans both black and white in the tense years leading to the Civil War. At 16, Lucinda Spenser has already helped slaves escape, as her family's Ohio farm forms part of the Underground Railroad route to Canada. On the eve of a party at the home of Lucinda's beau, Jonathan Clark, the Quaker Jeremiah Strong asks Lucinda to play a key role in a daring plot to protect 10 escapees, mostly children but also one pregnant woman. The plan involves a prolonged stay at the home of the unconventional Widow Aurelia Mercer, who shares her feminist notions with Lucinda. While Lucinda spends some time debating which of her two suitors, Jonathan or Jeremiah, she prefers, the friendships she forges with Miss Aurelia and the fugitive slaves transform the plot from predictable romance to a tale of bravery and sacrifice: Lucinda's passions shift from flirtation to an even deeper commitment to free slaves. Ayres's Family Tree plotting is not always plausible for example, the ruse by which Lucinda goes to stay at Miss Aurelia's--a faked case of measles--works improbably long at keeping outsiders at bay. While there is more action here than in the similarly themed Bright Freedom's Song reviewed below, it also seems more of a '90s novel, in which the heroine's dramatic self-actualization is at least as important as the period setting. Ages 10-up. Oct.
VOYA - Hillary Theyer
Both of these new novels would make good choices for middle school readers just reaching for longer, more serious fiction about slavery and the Underground Railroad. They fit in nicely with works by Patricia Beatty, Joyce Hansen, and Patricia McKissack, and would make good curriculum reading in school units on the subject. The characters are teenagers, and the issues both young women face are serious. Neither book has a clean, triumphant ending with complete assurance that all will turn out right-instead, the reader is left to ponder the fate of the characters and hope for their future. In North by Night, sixteen-year-old Lucy helps her family hide runaway slaves on their farm in Ohio. The biggest conflict in her life is that she is loved by two men, one an upstanding local citizen who has no idea of her activities, and the other a Quaker who also helps slaves. One winter, Lucy is called upon to help a widow hide and care for nine slaves, including a pregnant woman. When she cannot travel on, the woman stays behind and becomes Lucy's friend as she waits to have her baby. Three days after the baby is born, the woman dies, and Lucy is left with the task of getting the baby to relatives in Canada. In doing so Lucy risks her reputation, her life, and the people she loves. Bright Freedom's Song is the story of young Bright Cameron, whose family lives in the Appalachian Mountains of North Carolina. When Bright stumbles upon her family's secret cellar for hiding slaves, she learns of her father's past as an abused indentured servant. She also meets her father's friend Marcus, a former slave who helps guide others to freedom. As Bright sorts out her feelings about living in the South and having friends who own slaves, she is called upon to take her father's place driving a wagon to the next station when her father is ill. Both books are enjoyable reading for historical fiction fans. North by Night is for older readers due to its discussions of slaves bearing children by their masters, the role of a single woman in society, and the conflicts over slavery between religions. Both titles are highly recommended purchases for school libraries with Underground Railroad units of study.
Note: This review was written and published to address two titles-North by Night: A Story of the Underground Railroad, and Bright Freedom's Song: A Story of the Underground Railroad. VOYA Codes: 4Q 3P J (Better than most, marred only by occasional lapses, Will appeal with pushing, Junior High-defined as grades 7 to 9).
School Library Journal
Gr 5-9-In January, 1851, Lucinda Spencer, age 16, writes her second entry of the new year from the free state of Ohio. In answer to God's call and as a matter of personal conscience, her father has made the family farm a station on the Underground Railroad. Lucinda has grown up with this charge but also believes it to be her own. She leaves her home to help a neighbor protect nine fugitives (mostly children) on the woman's farm and, in the end, shepherds a newborn to freedom in Canada after the mother dies, thus never seeing her own family again. Through Lucinda's diary, spanning approximately three months, Ayres explains and condemns the Fugitive Slave Act, argues politics, touches on Southern laws preventing the teaching of reading to slaves, and builds a plot that culminates in freedom for the runaways and the coming of age of a young woman. There are steady references to budding romance (Lucinda has two wooers) and to God's plan and God's peoples. The author's obvious research is demonstrated and so, at times, is her descriptive voice. She handles most of the story gracefully; but there is a lot going on-bits of antislavery tracts, Quaker philosophy, rights of women/peoples. It will take a careful and skillful reader to get it all. There has been a growing body of literature that addresses slavery for this audience. Margaret Goff Clark's Freedom Crossing (Scholastic, 1991) is still one of the best for its suspense, ideals, and characterizations. Also recommend Gary Paulsen's Nightjohn (Delacorte, 1993) and, of course, Paula Fox's classic The Slave Dancer (Bradbury, 1973).-Harriett Fargnoli, Great Neck Library, NY
Kirkus Reviews
An Ohio teenager abandons family and home to bring an escaped slave's baby to freedom in this handwringer—-told in letters and diary entries—-from Ayres (Family Tree).
Read More Show Less

Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780440227472
  • Publisher: Random House Children's Books
  • Publication date: 1/28/2000
  • Edition description: Reprint
  • Pages: 192
  • Sales rank: 430,401
  • Age range: 8 - 12 Years
  • Product dimensions: 5.59 (w) x 7.70 (h) x 0.49 (d)

Meet the Author

Katherine Ayres is the author of Family Tree, which has been named to several state award lists, and North by Night: A Story of the Underground Railroad. She is a founding member of the Playwright’s Lab at the Pittsburgh Public Theater. She teaches writing at Chatham College, where she also coordinates the Master of Arts program in children’s and adolescent writing.

Read More Show Less

Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 13 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(8)

4 Star

(5)

3 Star

(0)

2 Star

(0)

1 Star

(0)

Your Rating:

Your Name: Create a Pen Name or

Barnes & Noble.com Review Rules

Our reader reviews allow you to share your comments on titles you liked, or didn't, with others. By submitting an online review, you are representing to Barnes & Noble.com that all information contained in your review is original and accurate in all respects, and that the submission of such content by you and the posting of such content by Barnes & Noble.com does not and will not violate the rights of any third party. Please follow the rules below to help ensure that your review can be posted.

Reviews by Our Customers Under the Age of 13

We highly value and respect everyone's opinion concerning the titles we offer. However, we cannot allow persons under the age of 13 to have accounts at BN.com or to post customer reviews. Please see our Terms of Use for more details.

What to exclude from your review:

Please do not write about reviews, commentary, or information posted on the product page. If you see any errors in the information on the product page, please send us an email.

Reviews should not contain any of the following:

  • - HTML tags, profanity, obscenities, vulgarities, or comments that defame anyone
  • - Time-sensitive information such as tour dates, signings, lectures, etc.
  • - Single-word reviews. Other people will read your review to discover why you liked or didn't like the title. Be descriptive.
  • - Comments focusing on the author or that may ruin the ending for others
  • - Phone numbers, addresses, URLs
  • - Pricing and availability information or alternative ordering information
  • - Advertisements or commercial solicitation

Reminder:

  • - By submitting a review, you grant to Barnes & Noble.com and its sublicensees the royalty-free, perpetual, irrevocable right and license to use the review in accordance with the Barnes & Noble.com Terms of Use.
  • - Barnes & Noble.com reserves the right not to post any review -- particularly those that do not follow the terms and conditions of these Rules. Barnes & Noble.com also reserves the right to remove any review at any time without notice.
  • - See Terms of Use for other conditions and disclaimers.
Search for Products You'd Like to Recommend

Recommend other products that relate to your review. Just search for them below and share!

Create a Pen Name

Your Pen Name is your unique identity on BN.com. It will appear on the reviews you write and other website activities. Your Pen Name cannot be edited, changed or deleted once submitted.

 
Your Pen Name can be any combination of alphanumeric characters (plus - and _), and must be at least two characters long.

Continue Anonymously
Sort by: Showing all of 13 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted February 2, 2002

    Just a Tad Different

    This was a rather enjoyable book, and it shows how stupid the whole slavery thing was¿I mean, if a chair ran away, would you chase after it? I doubt a you'd go after a chair, even if it's your property. I thought the book could've been a little more descriptive on introducing the characters, but otherwise, I liked reading it and couldn't put it down. ^_^

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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

    Posted May 16, 2010

    :DDD

    This was farrrr better than Stealing South.
    Truly enjoyable. ;D

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

    Posted January 25, 2004

    It was the best book ive read in a long time!!!

    North by Night is a great book. its about a girl, Lucy Spencer whose family was part of an underground Railroad to help fugitive slaves escape from their owners to go to Canada to become free. one night while at a party of her lovers house a Quaker named Jerimiah Strong asked her to help hide a group of runaway slaves hide from their owner the escape to canada. she decides to help at that point they were staying at widow Aurelia Mercers hous in the attic. it was quit a large group and one of the mothers was pregnant. lucy learns about responsibility love and how to grow up. near the end lucy has to make a hard decision. leaving the ones she loves or helping people live happily which will she choose? read the book to find out.

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

    Posted May 29, 2002

    A real page turner...

    I loved this book! I like historical fiction and thought the characters were excellent. I love that the hero of the book is a girl. History can be a bit dry but this book really hooks its reader's.

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

    Posted October 28, 2001

    ''The Story of the Underground Railroad untold!''

    this Book was exciting !I couldn't it down. This book really explains how hard slavery was and how BLACKS had to survie.

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

    Posted June 4, 2001

    BEST BOOK WITH FACTS

    This is a great book and im in 7th grade it has facts and a love story. ur eyes r glued to each page i could read it a millon times and keep on goin

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

    Posted June 19, 2001

    I couldn't put it down!

    This book was so good I read it in two days! If you haven't read it, you should! It's about a girl named Lucy who helps to get runaway slaves to Canada. It has adventure, romance, and much, much more!

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

    Posted April 4, 2001

    Excellent Story of the Underground Railroad!

    This is an amazing story about a young girl helping runaway slaves escape to Canada. This is one of those storys that gives you the personal efects of war rather than being on the battle front itself.

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

    Posted May 10, 2001

    Convincing and heart breaking...

    This story has parts that could leave you stunned for days. Heartbreaking and leave-you-on-the-edge-of-your-seat like ! A story that anyone with a heart for adventure should read.

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

    Posted February 25, 2000

    A great Underground Railroad book

    A woman and her unborn child go through the Underground Railroad

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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

    Posted August 7, 2010

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted March 19, 2011

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted July 24, 2012

    No text was provided for this review.

Sort by: Showing all of 13 Customer Reviews

If you find inappropriate content, please report it to Barnes & Noble
Why is this product inappropriate?
Comments (optional)