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THE LAST SAFE HOUSE by Barbara Greenwood


A Story of the Underground Railroad

by Barbara Greenwood & illustrated by Heather Collins

Age Range: 8 - 12

Pub Date: Dec. 1st, 1998
ISBN: 1-55074-507-7
Publisher: Kids Can

In short chapters, the story of fictional escaped slave Eliza Jackson and her family unfold, paralleling the effect on and courage of Canadian Johanna Reid and her family, who hide Eliza and her brother Ben until they can safely reunite with their mother. The narrative introduces the points of view of Johanna, who must cope with the changes the “midnight visitors” bring, and Eliza and Ben, who recount their adventures traveling north to Canada from Virginia. Smoothly sandwiched in are maps, drawings, and factual passages that give background details of the time, such as life on Southern plantations, profiles of important figures in the history of abolitionism, and activities, which nicely break up the information. The clean, approachable design presents all of these elements in a clear, organized manner and the black-and-white illustrations complement both fictional and historical elements. While no more dramatic or emotional than entries in the American Girls series, the book authentically examines the people and logistics of the Underground Railroad in an accessible and unusual way. (glossary, bibliography) (Fiction. 8-12)