President of the Underground Railroad: A Story about Levi Coffin

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Editorial Reviews

Children's Literature
Growing up in North Carolina, young Levi Coffin witnessed many examples of the cruelty of slavery. It tore his heart to see men beaten and families separated. As a member of the Society of Friends, or Quakers, Coffin did not believe in the ownership of people. At great risk to himself and his family, Levi began to help runaway slaves. Along with many of his fellow Quakers, he left the South, relocating to Newport, Indiana, and later to Cincinnati, Ohio, where his home was known as a "safe" house along the Underground Railroad. There were no cars, no engine, no caboose, on the Underground Railroad—only a series of safe harbors for slaves attempting to escape bondage in the South for a final destination called freedom. Part of the "Creative Minds" biography series, this book relates in simple yet effective words the bravery and heroism of Levi Coffin and others like him. Over several decades, Levi Coffin and his wife, Katy, helped over 3000 men, women and children to freedom. 2001, Carolrhoda Books/Lerner Publishing Group, $21.27 and $5.95. Ages 8 to 12. Reviewer: Christopher Moning
School Library Journal
Gr 3-6-As a child in North Carolina, Coffin saw coffles of slaves on their way to be sold to plantation owners. As Quakers, his family did not approve of slavery; by the age of 15, the young man was aiding runaway slaves. However, it wasn't until some years later when he had an income that he could afford to give them food, clothing, shelter, and transport. When he moved to Indiana, his home became part of the Underground Railroad. For years, Coffin made major contributions to abolitionist causes and eventually founded the Western Freedmen's Aid Commission. This is an accessible account (although one must wonder why the author felt it necessary to include details of Coffin's wife's brief affair for this audience), and the brutality and horrors of slavery are not watered down. The one or two black-and-white line drawings per chapter, reminiscent of woodcuts, add to the text. This biography of a little-known hero will supplement studies of the period.-Kate Kohlbeck, Randall School, Waukesha, WI Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781575055527
  • Publisher: Lerner Classroom
  • Publication date: 1/28/2001
  • Series: Creative Minds Biographies Series
  • Pages: 64
  • Age range: 8 - 11 Years
  • Lexile: 930L (what's this?)
  • Product dimensions: 5.90 (w) x 8.52 (h) x 0.22 (d)

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