Virginia History for Kids

This is a non-fiction list.

Songs and Stories of the Civil War

By Jerry Silverman

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Provides a history of the music and lyrics of a dozen Civil War songs, describing the circumstances under which they were created and performed.

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Show Way

By Jacqueline Woodson

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The making of "Show ways," or quilts which once served as secret maps for freedom-seeking slaves, is a tradition passed from mother to daughter in the author's family.

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The Underground Railroad For Kids: From Slavery to Freedom with 21 Activities

By Mary Kay Carson

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Provides twenty-one activities that kids can do to learn about the Underground Railroad.

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Up Before Daybreak: Cotton and People in America

By Deborah Hopkinson

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Read about the importance of cotton in America's history and learn about the lives of people who picked it and worked with it.
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5,000 Miles to Freedom: Ellen and William Craft's Flight from Slavery

By Judith Bloom Fradin and Dennis Brindell Fradin

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Ellen and William Craft were two of the few slaves to ever escape from the Deep South. Their first escape took them to Philadelphia, then on to Boston pursued by slave hunters, and finally 5000 miles across the ocean to England, where they were able to settle peacefully.
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Ain't Nobody a Stranger to Me

By Ann Grifalconi; illustrated by Jerry Pinkney

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Two Caldecott Honor recipients join to bring you the incredible journey of one man, as he recounts the story of his passage on the Underground Railroad to his granddaughter. His message is one of cheer, for although he and his family found troubles during their escape, he found that folks, black and white, "helped lift us up when we was down." How, then, could he ever turn his back on another human being?
(From the publisher's description)

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Henry's Freedom Box

By Ellen Levine

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A fictionalized account of how in 1849 a Virginia slave, Henry "Box" Brown, escapes to freedom by shipping himself in a wooden crate from Richmond to Philadelphia.

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Elijah of Buxton

By Christopher Paul Curtis

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In 1859, eleven-year-old Elijah Freeman, the first free-born child in Buxton, Canada, which is a haven for slaves fleeing the American south, uses his wits and skills to try to bring to justice the lying preacher who has stolen money that was to be used to buy a family's freedom.
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Night Running: How James Escaped with the Help of His Faithful Dog: Based on a True Story

By Elisa Carbone

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A runaway slave makes a daring escape to freedom with the help of his faithful hunting dog, Zeus. Based on the true story of James Smith's journey from Virginia to Ohio in the mid-1800s.

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January's Sparrow

By Patricia Polacco

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After a fellow slave is beaten to death, Sadie and her family flee the plantation for freedom through the Underground Railroad.

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