Gr 4–6—Divided into four or five chapters, each colorful, attractive volume includes an introduction titled "Setting the Scene," short biographical profiles of key individuals, a living-history page that directs readers to pertinent websites that provide primary-source materials, and a section that traces each subject's legacy. Appomattox sketches the events of the Battle of the Wilderness and the capture of Richmond as well as the meeting between Grant and Lee on April 9, 1865. Gettysburg recounts events of the battle, military commanders including Generals Lee and Meade, and Lincoln's address at the battlefield. Underground Railroad explains how the system worked, the journey, and important people who guided slaves such as Harriet Tubman and Levi and Catherine White Coffin of Indiana, who helped about 2,000 slaves reach freedom. Each volume is richly illustrated with historical reproductions. The books can be utilized for reports, for general reading, and as springboards to more in-depth research.—Patricia Ann Owens, Illinois Eastern Community Colleges
- Greg M. Romaneck
Henry Brown was an enterprising man. He lived in Virginia in the antebellum South as a slave. Brown knew that he had to escape bondage and came up with an ingenious, albeit potentially lethal, plan. Henry Brown had a freedman friend of his build a box that could barely hold a man. Brown then had himself mailed to The Pennsylvania Anti-Slavery Society in Philadelphia. With air holes drilled in his box and a meager supply of food and water, Henry Brown survived his trip north. The crate Brown was in was received by Lucretia Mott, a noted abolitionist, who greeted him and welcomed him to his new found freedom. For his exploits Henry "Box" Brown gained a nickname and his liberty as part of what has come down through the ages as the Underground Railroad. In this volume of the "Cornerstones of Freedom" series Raatma provides readers with an informative and engaging look back at a time in American history when dedicated advocates of freedom strove to help African-Americans escape slavery. Raatma does a fine job of outlining the general manner in which the members of the Underground Railroad worked together to form a network of civil disobedience supported by abolitionist thinking. Keynote individuals such as Harriet Tubman, Frederick Douglas and William Lloyd Garrison are highlighted in ways that let readers better understand their impact and dedication. As is the case with the parent series, The Underground Railroad combines excellent writing, strong research, and colorful period imagery to produce a solid look back at a movement that supported freedom through personal sacrifice.