Underground Railroad -- fiction

Virginia Hamilton: Writer of “Liberation Literature”

Virginia Hamilton, self-described writer of "Liberation Literature,"* was born in Yellow Springs, Ohio, the same place where her grandfather was brought to freedom as an infant through the Underground Railroad. Yellow Springs has a connection to our area because it was here that Moncure Daniel Conway brought his newly-freed slaves from Stafford County to settle in the days just before the Civil War.

Unspoken: A Story from the Underground Railroad by Henry Cole

Unspoken: A Story from the Underground Railroad by Henry Cole

On a Southern farm during the Civil War, a young girl finds a runaway slave hiding in the family's barn. She is frightened but must make a difficult decision. What does she owe to the runaway with frightened eyes? Unspoken, by Henry Cole, is the story of a choice she makes and the bond that forms between the two of them.

Throughout the book, the reader never sees the runaway slave's face, just an eye peering fearfully from among the stored corn stalks. The girl and the slave never speak. In fact, there are no words in the book. But though all communication is unspoken, the message remains powerful. Detailed graphite drawings convey the tension and emotions, as well as the strong connection that grows between the girl and the runaway.

The Price of a Child

By Lorene Cary

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Philadelphia: 1855
A Virginia planter is on his way to assume a diplomatic post in Nicaragua, accompanied by his cook, Ginnie, and two of her children (one of whom is his). Temporarily stranded when they miss their steamboat, Ginnie makes a thrilling leap of the imagination: it is the moment she has been desperately waiting for, the moment she decides to be free. In broad daylight, under the furious gaze of her master, she walks straight out of slavery into a new life -- and into a whole new set of compromising positions. We follow Ginnie as she settles with a respectable and rambunctious black family, as she reinvents herself, christens herself Mercer Gray, dodges slave catchers, lectures far and wide in the cause of abolition, and falls in love with a man whose own ties are a formidable barrier to their happiness.

 

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The River Jordan: A True Story of the Underground Railroad

By Henry Burke and Dick Croy

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A fictionalized account of an actual escape in 1843 of a slave and her seven children from a western Virginia tobacco plantation on the Ohio River, and their harrowing flight across Ohio to Canada on the Underground Railroad. This vivid, inspiring chronicle of a family's ordeal is also a compelling history of the Underground Railroad, in which all the major characters and events are real.

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Freedom's Wings

By Sharon Dennis Wyeth

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A nine-year-old slave keeps a diary of his journey to freedom along the Underground Railroad in 1857.

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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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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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Most Loved in All the World

By Tonya Cherie Hegamin

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Even though Mama is an agent on the Underground Railroad, in order to help others she must remain a slave, but she teaches her daughter the value of freedom through a gift of love and sacrifice. A picture book.

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