The Underground Railroad Adventure of Allen Jay, Antislavery Activistby Marlene Targ Brill, Ted Hammond, Richard Pimentel Carbajal
Randolph, Ohio, 1842. Allen Jay and his family are Quakers, members of a religion that opposes slavery. Allen's home is a stop on the Underground Railroad, and his family helps escaping slaves reach freedom. When Henry appears in the Jays' yard, Allen must help him reach the next safe house. But can they escape the slave catchers? See more details below
Randolph, Ohio, 1842. Allen Jay and his family are Quakers, members of a religion that opposes slavery. Allen's home is a stop on the Underground Railroad, and his family helps escaping slaves reach freedom. When Henry appears in the Jays' yard, Allen must help him reach the next safe house. But can they escape the slave catchers?
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Allen Jay had one last article of clothing to hang on the line and then was considering going fishing. In 1842 boys had lots of chores to do, and that included doing things like laundry. Just as he was getting ready to leave the farm, the doctor swiftly galloped on his horse toward Allen and his father, Isaac. It was obvious that his unspoken message was urgent, but when he claimed "A runaway slave is hiding in the woods," Allen knew they had to do something. The slave's owner was not far behind and they had to save him. No one ever told Allen about what went on, but somehow he knew that day he would be called on to help. Friends, or Quakers, often helped those in need, but the consequences could be steep. Allen's father began to give him instructions and told him to hide the dark-skinned man in the cornfield. More importantly, his father told him "if thee does this, thee must not tell anyone--even me." Allen soon found a frightened man with sweat running down his furrowed brow. Eleven-year-old Allen was a boy who would soon turn into a man. By helping Henry James, he would do just that. He hid Henry in the cornfield and swished a cornstalk along the ground as he backed out in an attempt to erase their footsteps. He rushed home only to peer into the stern face of his mother, Rhoda. Would Allen be able to help save Henry? How could he help him escape when the slave catchers weren't far behind? This is an exciting tale of Allen Jay, a young man who grew to be an antislavery activist. Based on Allen's true life encounter with a runaway slave, this tale is an excellent introduction to the Quaker lifestyle and the Underground Railroad. Written in the graphic novel format it is perfect for the younger reader or the reluctant one. In the introduction there is a brief overview of the Quaker lifestyle, beliefs, the Underground Railroad, and Allen Jay's fateful encounter with a runaway slave. The dialogue follows that used by the Quakers in Randolph, Ohio in the 1840s. For example, when Allen asks, "Father? Will the men harm us if thou hides the runaway?" is not difficult to follow. The artwork meshes well with the text and adds to the tension of the situation. In the back of the book is a brief discussion of Allen's life and that of the slaves who used the Underground Railroad, and additional recommended book and website resources to explore. This book courtesy of the publisher.