Friday, December 10, 2010

Eliza's Freedom Road by Jerdine Nolan

Eliza's mother went away one day, and never came back.  The Master had sold her.  And now he was looking at Eliza in a strange way.  She was scared of him, but what could she do?

This is a Paula Wiseman book being published by Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers.  It will be on sale in January and is for ages 8-12.  I was provided an egalley for review (thank you).  The subtitle of the book is:  An Underground Railroad Diary.

This book is fiction, but it is based on facts.  Much of the history of the underground railroad is still carried on in stories without much proof because it was all hidden.  If your child has not had occasion to read about the underground railroad, the author has done an excellent job of putting together a story that in a form that will entertain them and help them learn without even realizing it.

Eliza sneaks out to a negro meeting and accidentally meets Harriet Tubman.  She's sure if she returns home, her master will sell her and she'll never see her mother again.  So she does all she thinks she can do and runs away...

The story is written in a diary form which I really liked.  It was like you were there each day with Eliza.  She carries the quilt her mother made with her, the one with the storyteller blocks.  And on her journey, she shares the stories with the others.  They are traditional folk tales that are often in children's picture books.

There is an excellent bibliographic resource at the back of the book. If your child has to do a book report or needs to enact a scene from a book, this story would be perfect. There is lots of additional information that could be gathered to go with the report.I was impressed by this book and Ms. Nolan's unique approach to history.  I'd highly recommend this book.  Check it out at your local bookstore next month.  And happy reading!

No comments: