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The Diary of the Strawbridge Place by Helen…

The Diary of the Strawbridge Place

by Helen Pierce Jacob

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A prequel to Jacob's The Secret of the Strawbridge Place, in which two Depression-era children investigate the legend that the Strawbridge Place was a stop on the Underground Railroad, this novel relates the story of the Quaker family who originally owned the farm, and who used its secret cave as a hiding place for runaway slaves. Narrated by Victory Strawbridge, who, together with her twin sister Faith, is almost thirteen years old, it opens in 1852, and follows the family for a few months, as they shelter a number of "shipments" of fugitives.

Although I enjoyed The Diary of the Strawbridge Place, I did not find it quite as involving as the first title. I appreciated Jacob's sensitive depiction of the ambiguous feelings of the Strawbridge children, who were proud of their family's courageous activities, but also tired of always being different, and set apart from the other people of Ashtabula. It may be that the fact that this was a prequel, and the reader therefore already knows that the "Secret" will remain undisclosed, robs the story of some suspense. Or it may be that the distance of the narrative from the slaves themselves - who seem to appear and disappear - lessens the emotional impact.

Whatever its flaws, this was still an enjoyable read, and well worth the time of young readers interested in the Underground Railroad, or anyone who liked the original. ( )
  AbigailAdams26 | Jul 15, 2013 |
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0689306199, Hardcover)

A family of Quakers operating a station on the Underground Railroad spirits slaves from Ashtabula, Ohio, across Lake Erie to freedom.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:00:51 -0400)

A family of Quakers operating a station on the Underground Railroad spirits slaves from Ashtabula, Ohio, across Lake Erie to freedom.

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