RUNNING FOR OUR LIVES by Glenette Tilley Turner


by & illustrated by
Age Range: 9 - 12
Email this review


 In 1855, a black family seizes a rare opportunity to head north from Missouri. After waiting for Papa (who was recently sold), Luther, Carrie, their parents, and toddler Dilly begin a journey punctuated by narrow escapes and lucky encounters. People on the Underground Railroad hide them or carry them a day's journey; they meet such notables as Frederick Douglass and John Brown. Near Chicago, the older children are separated from the rest lest they be recognized as a wanted family of five; all make for London, Ontario. Carrie and Luther meet a woman who turns out to be an aunt--fortunately, since they don't find their parents for several years. Except for this and Dilly's death, the good luck here is so reliable that, despite offstage dangers, there's not much suspense. The aunt and her husband even buy a farm and harvest a successful crop their first year in an unfamiliar climate. A framing device--Luther, at 101, is telling the story to his grandchildren (!)--provides a possible reason for the lack of real anguish that undermines the story's plausibility. Still, the easily read narrative is an inviting setting for the authentic details, while the reunion makes a heartwarming conclusion. Realistic soft-pencil illustrations make for unusually inviting format. Historical note. (Fiction. 9-12)

Pub Date: April 15th, 1994
ISBN: 0-8234-1121-4
Page count: 198pp
Publisher: Holiday House
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 15th, 1994


ChildrenLET FREEDOM RING by Myra Cohn Livingston
by Myra Cohn Livingston
ChildrenDANCING WITH THE INDIANS by Angela Shelf Medearis
by Angela Shelf Medearis