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Freedom Crossing (Apple Paperbacks) by…
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Freedom Crossing (Apple Paperbacks) (edition 1991)

by Margaret Goff Clark

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344331,845 (3.59)2
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Part C/historical fiction

The story is about Laura a southerner who, along with her family, is against slavery, and tries to assist runaway slaves to Canada. The story takes place in Lewiston, New York, which is the final destination for slaves who escape from the South. This particular spot, Lewiston, is a stop on the Underground Railground. One day, Laura discovers that her brother, Bert, and a childhood friend, have become conductors to help slaves escape into Canada. Although Laura is against slavery, she feels that her brother and his friend are breaking the law. It is not until she meets Paige, a 12-year-old runaway slave who rather dies than be sent to the South and into bondage. She becomes a conductor and helps Paige and Martin, another runaway slave, escape into Canada.

Clark uses fictional characters such as Laura and Martin to help readers comprehend how the slaves are hidden, how slave catches tried to catch them, and how local citizens, like Laura, assist the slaves escape to freedom across the river in Canada.

Everything in the book is very close to being the real thing. For one Lewiston in New York is a real town and is located 7 miles north of Niagara Falls, New York. In addition, a place called Tryon's Folly is real, although in the book, Clark refers to it as the House with 4 Cellars. Furthermore, Ridge Road, the street that Laura's house is on, is real and is known as Route 104. Although it is uncertain whether Laura's home is factual. Many of the old homes on Ridge Road still exist; theycould have been ideal hideways for the slaves. Thus, the story has some basis of truth. Additionally, Josiah Tryon was mentioned in the book. Josiah Tryon, Jr. was a real person who was a secret volunteer "station master" for Lewiston's part in the Underground Railroad. Tryon and other citizens tooks hundreds, probably thousands, of slaves across the river to Canada in row boats in the middle of the nights. But even before they arrived at the river, the slaves were concealed in area homes, similiar to how Laura hid Martin in her home in the book. Additionally, the story mentions the Presbyterian Church as a hiding place for slaves. This place is real, is still standing, and is still owned by the Presbyterians. In the story, Laura and her brother, it is at the Presbyterian Church that they notice their carriage has been stolen when they see it being used to take a slave away. Finally, similar to Laura and Bert being conductors of the Underground Railroad in the story, there were countless brave and fearless men and women of the Underground Railroad conductors who historically led slaves to freedom.

The target audience is ages 9-12. I connected with Laura and other slaves because I hold the same beliefs as them: no human being is a property to another human being. In addition, I learned a lot about the struggles these slaves go through to gain freedom.
  ptnguyen | Jul 23, 2010 |
This is a good book for someone in Middle School, or someone who enjoys historical stuff and mystery. It was a little predictable; you knew that Joel and Laura were going to be friends again. The book is well written and enjoyable. ( )
  kthclark | Aug 4, 2009 |
Lexile: 720
Reading Recovery: 24
DRA: 38
Fountas Pinnel Guided Reading: Q
  mr.crunkleton | Aug 24, 2007 |
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