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I CAME AS A STRANGER,
Author: Bryan Prince
Prior to abolition in 1865, as many as 40,000 men, women, and children made the perilous trip north to freedom in Canada with the help of the Underground Railroad. It was neither underground nor was it a railroad, and was most remarkable for its lack of formal organization, so cloaked in secrecy that few facts were recorded while it “ran.”
The story of the Underground Railroad is one of suffering and of bravery, and is not only one of escape from slavery but of beginnings: of people who carved out a new life for themselves in perilous, difficult circumstances. In I Came as a Stranger, Bryan Prince, a descendent of slaves, describes the people who made their way to Canada and the life that awaited them.
Elijah of Buxton,
Author: Christopher Paul Curtis
Master storyteller Christopher Paul Curtis lends his trademark humour and vibrant narrative style to the gripping tale of eleven-year-old Elijah Freeman. The first child born into freedom in Buxton, Ontario, a settlement of runaway slaves just over the border from Detroit. Elijah discovers firsthand the unimaginable horrors of the life his parents have fled. A life from which he’ll always be free, if he can find the courage to get back home. Exciting yet evocative, heart-wrenching yet hilarious, Elijah of Buxton is Christopher Paul Curtis at his very best and it’s an unforgettable testament to the power of hope.
The Last Safe House,
Author: Barbara Greenwood
This unique weaving of historical fact and fiction offers readers a wonderful mix of intrigue, drama, and history, as well as related activities to do at home. Greenwood's compelling story introduces readers to the Underground Railroad in an accessible and original way, allowing them to get an up-close-and-personal look at this amazing and troubling period of history. Throughout the book, Greenwood has placed maps, drawings, and relevant facts about — among other things — Harriet Tubman, the North Star, and what life on a plantation was like. Sensitive to putting readers in touch with the narrative's historical world, she even provides instructions for making gingerbread cookies and a lantern from a tin can. Vivid and realistic pencil sketches round out this ingenious book. Not only is this an interesting read, it is a comprehensive, all-in-one resource that is satisfying, hearty, and valuable for its look into the past.
Look to the North Star, Author: Gena K. Gorrel
Meet some of the men and women who planned daring and ingenious ways to escape slavery, such as the resourceful Henry “Box” Brown, who mailed himself to Philadelphia’s Anti-Slavery Society in a box, and the strong-willed Harriet Tubman, who fled with nothing more than a scrap of bread and the clothes on her back, and then returned to the south year after year to help others find their way to freedom.
North Star to Freedom draws on the stories of the Underground Railroad’s courageous “passengers,” whose extraordinary spirit broke their own chains, and the brave “conductors,” who risked their lives to help others simply because they believed that every person had the right to live free. More than just a book about the worst injustices of slavery, North Star to Freedom is ultimately about resourcefulness, compassion, and hope.
Period posters, photographs, and paintings help to make North Star to Freedom a living history for readers of all ages from 11+, (Grades 5+).
Many Thousand Gone,
Author: Virginia Hamilton
Unavailable for several years, Virginia Hamilton’s award-winning companion to The People Could Fly traces the history of slavery in America in the voices and stories of those who lived it. Leo and Diane Dillon’s brilliant black-and-white illustrations echo the stories’ subtlety and power, making this book as stunning to look at as it is to read.
“There is probably no better way to convey the meaning of the institution of slavery as it existed in the United States to young readers than by using, as a text to share and discuss, Many Thousand Gone.” - The New York Times Book Review
Baby Steps To Freedom, Author: Joyce Shadd Middleton
Illustrator: by Kara Evelyn
This is a true story about the childhood of John Riley who came to Canada as a toddler with his parents, escaping from slavery in Missouri. John and his family moved to Buxton where John was educated at the Mission School. John grew up to become a minister after graduating from Knox College in Toronto.
This book is included in the Follow The Underground Railroad educational packages (Primary & Junior levels).
$20.00 soft-cover, coil bound
The Community That Hope Built,
Author: Joyce Shadd Middleton
Fashioned after the poem ‘The House That Jack Built’, this is a delightful story teaching children at the Primary level about the history of the Buxton Settlement.
This book is included in the Follow The Underground Railroad educational packages (Primary level).
$8.00 soft-cover, coil bound
Author: Joyce Shadd Middleton
Is a story about life in the Buxton Settlement as told by Henry Colbert an escaped slave who arrived in Buxton in 1851, having come from New Orleans. The book tells of what life was like in the new settlement and of the people who were Henry's friends and neighbours.
This book is included in the A Day in an Early African Canadian Settlement educational package (Primary level).
$15.00 soft-cover, coil bound
To Stand & Fight Together,
Author: Steven Pitt
For ages 8-13. In 1812, a 67 year old black United Empire loyalist (Pierpoint) helped raise a corps of coloured men to stand against an American invasion in Upper Canada. This fighting unit saw service on many fronts and went on to police clashes between Irish immigrants during the construction of the Welland Canal. The book also details the rise and fall of slavery and explains how Scottish pineapples are connected to the American Declaration of Independence.