Middle Grade Read: North Star To Freedom


North Star to Freedom by Gena K. Gorrell; history.

This is a great book that details a brief history of slavery in early times to the beginning of massive transportation of slaves by ship by the Portuguese in the 1500s, to the present with emphasis on the life of the slaves in North America including Canada, which is often overlooked and less known.

The foreward by Rosemary Brown (1930 – 2003), a Jamaican-born Canadian politician who was the first black woman ever to run for the leadership of a federal political party, finishing a strong second to Ed Broadbent, finishes with:

The quest for freedom is not over.  The story of the Underground Railroad allows us to honor those who came before it, while it inspires us to address injustices in our own troubled times.

Harriet Tubman

Harriet Tubman

This is not a dry retelling of facts and figures but a riveting account with many true, personal stories, particularly of ex-slaves, many of whom participated in liberating other slaves via the Underground Railway.  There are many pictures of documents such as handbills advertising the sale of slaves, offering rewards for runaway slaves, others warning slaves not to talk to police who might be agents trying to get rewards for betraying runaways, and a map showing various Underground Railroad routes.  There are reproductions of plates from early history books, and portraits as well as photos of paintings including the colour photo on the cover of the painting by Eastman Johnson entitled, A Ride for Liberty.

This would be a wonderful resource in a classroom, or for help with a school project, or just a really interesting read for anyone wanting to know more about the history of slavery and some of the incredibly brave men and women who risked real dangers with dire consequences, even death, by trying to help others.  Dedicated To all those whose names have been forgotten, this book includes a complete chronology and a list of source notes at the back, along with an afterword about important 20th century events.  * * * * *

North Star to Freedom is available from Amazon
and other fine book sellers.


Harriet Tubman and the Underground Railroad


About mysm2000

Having taught elementary school for more than 25 years and been involved in many amazing technology and curriculum projects, I find I've developed a myriad of interests based on literature I've read and music I've heard. I've followed The Wright Three to Chicago, Ansel Adams to Colorado, The Kon Tiki Expedition to Easter Island, Simon & Garfunkel lyrics to New York City, Frank Lloyd Wright to Fallingwater, Pennsylvania, and have only just begun.
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