The stars of the Big Dipper have led a runaway slave family to Deacon Fuller's house, a stop on the Underground Railroad. Will Tommy Fuller be able to hide the runaways from a search party—or will the secret passengers be discovered and their hope for freedom destroyed?
This Level 3 I Can Read book is a captivating first-person historical fiction account of the Underground Railroad, narrated by Tommy, a ten year-old Quaker boy,. With beautiful, simple prose that folds in historical facts about slavery and the Civil War, this book makes this important period of American history accessible to beginning readers. Includes an afterword from the author F.N. Monjo that explains the historical context of the Fugitive Slave Law.
Supports the Common Core Learning Standards
About the Author
The late F. N. Monjo, author of The Drinking Gourd, wrote two other popular I Can Read Books: Indian Summer, illustrated by Anita Lobel, and The One Bad Thing About Father, illustrated by Rocco Negri.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
Sometime during the first half of the 19th century, a little boy named Tommy meets a family of escaped slaves traveling on the Underground Railroad and helps them to escape a group of US Marshalls. This chapter book, published in 1970, tells an inspiring story of a troublemaking boy who redeems himself through a selfless act. The African-American slaves in the story, while depicted sympathetically, still suffer from the stereotypes of the time when the book was written. Referred to as ¿Negroes¿ in the story, they speak in a uneducated southern patois that today might be considered borderline racist. Tommy¿s father, a noble abolitionist, introduces a moral quandary that many elementary school children might struggle to understand. ¿I believe in obeying the law,¿ he says, ¿but you and I broke the law tonight...I can¿t obey that law... It¿s wrong!¿ Monjo works up to this ethical question by painting a picture of an era much different from our own. Children sit in church for hours, segregated by sex and separated from their parents. Corporal punishment is accepted as part of daily life. To many kids this will be a completely unfamiliar world where the unnamed father's speech on human dignity is the only point of commonality with modern thought. The line-heavy illustrations are typical of the 70s but not ridiculously dated. Recommended for grades 3-5.