Children's LiteratureFor decades leading up to the Civil War, an escape network operated in America that allowed slaves to flee from their bondage and find freedom in the North. This network was staffed by volunteers who held strong moral beliefs hinging upon an essential rejection of the legitimacy of slavery. Men, women, and children assisted escaped slaves as they made the perilous journey up from the South and toward freedom. That network was called the Underground Railroad and it is the subject of this illustrated chapter of the six-book "Slavery in the Americas" series. In The Underground Railroad, Michael Burgan presents the stories of some of the keynote members and passengers of the Underground Railroad. Readers will encounter Henry "Box" Brown, an African American who made his way to safety in the North by being nailed into a packing crate and shipped to freedom. The story of Harriet Tubman is well told and reveals the grit and steely-eyed courage of an African-American conductor who brought over 200 of her brethren to freedom. The tale of Thomas Garrett is also presented; a heroic story of a Quaker who helped over 2,000 slaves achieve their emancipation. All in all, The Underground Railroad is a solid historical work that affords its readers a combination of relevant facts with human interest of the first order. 2006, Facts on File/Chelsea House, Ages 10 to 14.
Greg M. Romaneck