A= Title also available on audiobook
J FICTION (Grades 2-3)
The Ballad of Belle Dorcas by William H. Hooks
This is a story of true love and the troubles borne by slaves who had no power over their lives. 38 pgs.
Henry’s Freedom Box by Ellen Levine
In 1849, Henry “Box” Brown escaped from slavery in Virginia by mailing himself in a wooden box to Philadelphia. Unpaged.
Almost to Freedom by Vaunda Micheaux Nelson
A beloved rag doll tells the story of how Lindy and her family escape north on the Underground Railroad. Unpaged.
Night Boat to Freedom by Margot Theis Raven
Twelve-year-old Christmas John rows slaves across the river to freedom, and finally he and Granny Judith make their escape. Unpaged.
Aunt Harriet’s Underground Railroad in the Sky by Faith Ringgold
With Harriet Tubman as her guide, Cassie retraces the steps escaping slaves took on the Underground Railroad in order to reunite with her younger brother. 32 pgs.
J FICTION (Grades 3-6)
The House of Dies Drear by Virginia Hamilton A
A history professor and his young son investigate their rented house, formerly a station on the Underground Railroad, unlocking secrets and dangers from attitudes dating back to the Civil War. 246 pgs. (Also look for The Mystery of Drear House.)
The Old African by Julius Lester
Based on a legend where a group of slaves walk into the ocean on their way back to Africa, the Old African uses his powers to take his people home. 79 pgs.
Letters from a Slave Girl : A Story of Harriet Jacobs by Mary E. Lyons
This is a fictionalized version of the life of Harriet Jacobs, told with letters that she might have written during her slavery in North Carolina and as she prepared to escape to the North in 1842. 175 pgs. (Also see Letters from a Slave Boy)
January’s Sparrow by Patricia Polacco
The Crosswhites escape from Kentucky to safety in Michigan, but what does it mean when Sadie’s precious carved wooden sparrow is sent to them with a mysterious note? 94 pgs.
A School for Pompey Walker by Michael J. Rosen
At the dedication of a school named after him, an old former slave tells the story of his life and how his white friend helped him earn the money for the school by repeatedly selling him into slavery, after which he always escaped. Unpaged.
Running For Our Lives by Glennette Tilley Turner
A family of fugitive slaves becomes separated while traveling to freedom aboard the Underground Railroad. 198 pgs.
Dear Austin by Elvira Woodruff
In letters to his older brother Austin, Levi describes the dangerous journey into the Deep South that he and his friend Jupiter undertake to rescue Jupiter’s sister Darcy from slave catchers. 137 pgs. (Also look for: Dear Levi)
Freedom’s Wings : Corey’s Diary by Sharon Dennis Wyeth (J MY)
Nine-year-old Corey keeps a diary as he and his mother follow his father north along the Underground Railroad. 108 pgs. (Look for other titles in the My America series)
JH FICTION (Grades 6-8)
Steal Away by Jennifer Armstrong
In 1855, two 13-year-old girls, one white and one black, run away from a Southern farm and make the difficult journey north to freedom, living to recount their story 41 years later to two similar young girls. 206 pgs.
Who Comes With Cannons? by Patricia Beatty
In 1861, twelve-year-old Truth, a Quaker girl from Indiana, is staying with relatives who run a North Carolina station of the Underground Railroad, when her world is changed by the beginning of the Civil War. 186 pgs.
Jump Ship to Freedom by James Lincoln Collier
In 1787, a 14-year-old slave escapes from his dishonest master and tries to find help in cashing the soldier’s notes received by his father for fighting in the Revolution. 198 pgs.
Elijah of Buxton by Christopher Paul Curtis A
Eleven-year-old Elijah is the first free-born child in Buxton, Canada, but he undertakes a dangerous journey to the U.S. to try to retrieve some stolen money and sees firsthand the horrors of slavery. 341 pgs.
Story of Jonas by Maurine F. Dahlberg
Jonas has grown up as a slave in Missouri, but sees a different part of the world when he is taken on an expedition to Kansas Territory to look for gold. 148 pgs.
A Picture of Freedom : The Diary of Clotee, a Slave Girl by Pat McKissack (JH DEA)
In 1859 12-year-old Clotee, a house slave who must conceal the fact that she can read and write, records in her diary her struggle to decide whether to escape to freedom. 192 pgs.
(Look for other titles in the Dear America series.)
Slave Dancer : A Novel by Paula Fox A
Kidnapped by the crew of an Africa-bound ship, a 13-year-old boy discovers to his horror that he is on a slave ship and his job is to play music for the exercise periods of the human cargo. 176 pgs.
Breaking Free by LouAnn Bigge Gaeddert
In 1800, shortly before his 12th birthday, Richard is sent to live with his uncle on a farm in upper New York State, where he teaches a young slave to read and encourages her to dream of freedom. 136 pgs.
Come Morning by Leslie D. Guccione
Twelve-year-old Freedom, the son of a freed slave
in Delaware, takes over his father’s work on the Underground Railroad when his father disappears. 120 pgs.
The Captive by Joyce Hansen
Inspired by a journal written in the 1700’s, this is the story of a young African boy sold into slavery in Massachusetts and how he eventually escaped. 195 pgs.
Nightjohn by Gary Paulsen A
Twelve-year-old Sarny’s brutal life as a slave becomes even more dangerous when a newly arrived slave offers to teach her how to read. 92 pgs. (Also look for the sequel: Sarny.)
Come Juneteenth by Ann Rinaldi
Sis is horrified when Union soldiers arrive on a Texas plantation to announce that slaves have been declared free for almost two years, and this knowledge has been kept from her and her fellow slaves. 246 pgs.
Steal Away Home by Lois Ruby
In two parallel stories, a Quaker family in the 1850’s operates a station on the Underground Railroad, while almost 150 years later 12-year-old Dana moves into the same house to discover the skeleton of a black woman who helped them. 192 pgs.