What was the Underground Railroad? By Yona Zeldis McDonough – Books for Kids to Read

It’s Felicia! Today’s review is of What Was the Underground Railroad? by Yona Zeldis McDonough.

So I love this series published by Grosset and Dunlap. Secretly sometimes before a date with my husband I read a couple articles online and one of these books to have something more to talk about, besides the kids and their daily shenanigans.

They are quick reads, packed full of facts and are interesting which also works to keeps my older daughter busy flipping pages.

The book immediately captures the audience by telling the tale of Henry Brown, an escaping slave, who mailed himself to Virginia hoping to reach Philadelphia, a place where slavery was illegal.

He used the Underground Railroad to reach freedom. No one exactly knows where the term Underground Railroad comes from but the book explains how the “conductors” helped the “passengers” avoid bounty hunters, provided food, shelter and avoid precarious situations along their escape route.

The book also included stories of ingenious ways that slaves escaped. My daughter’s favorite story is of Ellen Craft and her husband William, a couple who travelled in plain sight disguised as a slave owner and slave. My other daughter’s favorite story is about a sixteen year old brave girl who hid in a sugar barrel on her path down the Underground Railroad.

This book also includes how slaves came to America but really focuses on the hope that African Americans had for a better life and that change does come even though sometimes it may move to slowly.

Bonus! There is a sixteen page black and white photo insert including pictures of slaves that found freedom, houses that were stops along the Underground Railroad, and famous abolitionists that help bring this story alive.

I cannot wait to add more of these books to my kid’s collection soon!

Go HERE to get it on Amazon. Or better yet, shop local and head to Brazos Bookstore!


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