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A Desperate Road to Freedom: The Underground Railroad Diary of Julia May Jackson

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Julia May and her family have done the unthinkable. They have fled from their life of slavery on a tobacco plantation in Virginia and are making their way north, on foot, where they have heard that slaves can be free. The journey takes them through swamps, travelling by night and hiding by day. The diary that Julia May keeps is another act of bravery. Learning to read and Julia May and her family have done the unthinkable. They have fled from their life of slavery on a tobacco plantation in Virginia and are making their way north, on foot, where they have heard that slaves can be free. The journey takes them through swamps, travelling by night and hiding by day. The diary that Julia May keeps is another act of bravery. Learning to read and write alongside her mistress at the plantation was her own secret and forbidden as a slave. Julia May’s diary records her fears and the extraordinary things she sees during her voyage and keeps her going through the hard times until they are finally free.


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Julia May and her family have done the unthinkable. They have fled from their life of slavery on a tobacco plantation in Virginia and are making their way north, on foot, where they have heard that slaves can be free. The journey takes them through swamps, travelling by night and hiding by day. The diary that Julia May keeps is another act of bravery. Learning to read and Julia May and her family have done the unthinkable. They have fled from their life of slavery on a tobacco plantation in Virginia and are making their way north, on foot, where they have heard that slaves can be free. The journey takes them through swamps, travelling by night and hiding by day. The diary that Julia May keeps is another act of bravery. Learning to read and write alongside her mistress at the plantation was her own secret and forbidden as a slave. Julia May’s diary records her fears and the extraordinary things she sees during her voyage and keeps her going through the hard times until they are finally free.

30 review for A Desperate Road to Freedom: The Underground Railroad Diary of Julia May Jackson

  1. 5 out of 5

    Manybooks

    While I certainly have felt that main protagonist and first person narrator Julia May Jackson's fictional diarist voice has a slight tendency to sometimes feel and read a trifle inauthentically (and thus very rarely but still at those times a bit frustratingly sounding at least somewhat more like a Caucasian eleven year old than an enslaved and later ex-enslaved African American eleven year old), I do have to admit that with regard to Julia's literacy (with her fictional diaries in A Desperate R While I certainly have felt that main protagonist and first person narrator Julia May Jackson's fictional diarist voice has a slight tendency to sometimes feel and read a trifle inauthentically (and thus very rarely but still at those times a bit frustratingly sounding at least somewhat more like a Caucasian eleven year old than an enslaved and later ex-enslaved African American eleven year old), I do have to admit that with regard to Julia's literacy (with her fictional diaries in A Desperate Road to Freedom: The Underground Railroad Diary of Julia May Jackson sounding and feeling like they are actually being penned by Julia May Jackson herself and not by someone else writing for her) I am very very happy and appreciative that author Karleen Bradford has indeed shown how Julia learns her letters as something that would totally make actual historical sense and not be fantastical and wishful thinking. For Julia clearly points out in A Desperate Road to Freedom: The Underground Railroad Diary of Julia May Jackson how she has learned reading and writing on the sly and in secret by simply being in the same room with Marissa, whose personal slave Julia is (as no, slaves were of course not legally allowed to be taught how to read and write in antebellum Confederate USA, and if author Karleen Bradford had made Julia's literacy come from her actually being actively and deliberately taught by anyone, such as Marissa or Marissa's tutor, that whole "learning to read and write" scenario would have been both historically anachronistic and as such totally unbelievable). Combined with the appreciated fact that with and in A Desperate Road to Freedom: The Underground Railroad Diary of Julia May Jackson Karleen Bradford (with her narrative mouthpiece Julia May Jackson) never ONCE makes light of slavery or tries to make it appear as though slavery was somehow either necessary of part of Confederate USA culture, I have for the most part very much enjoyed reading and also learning much from A Desperate Road to Freedom: The Underground Railroad Diary of Julia May Jackson (even though and of course that the thematics and featured content are often heartbreaking and infuriating, but well, this is bien sûr also how it should be, as I certainly would have been totally furious, had Julia Jackson's fictional diaries sounded as though she were downplaying the horrors of slavery, which most thankfully never once in my opinion does occur in A Desperate Road to Freedom: The Underground Railroad Diary of Julia May Jackson). And indeed, the only reason that my final star rating for A Desperate Road to Freedom: The Underground Railroad Diary of Julia May Jackson (which I do think is a very decent and educational instalment in the Dear Canada series of fictional diaries) is three and not yet four stars is that for one, I do tend to find the actual account of the Jackson family's escape from Virginia to Canada via the so-called Underground Railroad a bit lacking in length and detail (and especially if compared to Julia's journal entries post arrival) and for two, that albeit I do appreciate Julia's voice, I also sometimes seem to feel as though her narration is a bit on the surface and not really nuanced enough for me to personally and deeply enough get to know either Julia May Jackson or her family (leaving A Desperate Road to Freedom: The Underground Railroad Diary of Julia May Jackson an engaging and enlightening enough reading experience which also though kind of hovers on a sometimes bit superficial and lacking in narrative depth level).

  2. 5 out of 5

    Student Symmes

    Review by: Melissa Murphy (SPOILER!!!) What was your least favourite part in the book? My least favourite part was the beginning. It was very boring. Even when they where running from their masters. When she was writing her diary entries they where short and with no date on them. She continuing on like that for until they got to the safe place. They where also short because she was not supposed to know how to read or write. Did the book fulfil your expectation? The book indeed fulfilled my expect Review by: Melissa Murphy (SPOILER!!!) What was your least favourite part in the book? My least favourite part was the beginning. It was very boring. Even when they where running from their masters. When she was writing her diary entries they where short and with no date on them. She continuing on like that for until they got to the safe place. They where also short because she was not supposed to know how to read or write. Did the book fulfil your expectation? The book indeed fulfilled my expectation. It was very fun and page-turning! When they got to Canada and found their masters wife and daughter, thought they would have been forced back to Virginia. It fulfilled my expectation a lot. How did the book compare? ‘Orphan at my door’ was very different despite them both taking place in Canada. One was about a home girl and another was a run-away slave. Did the book end the way you wanted? Yes, well mostly. It ended with Julia’s mother giving birth to her sister. She always wanted to be the best big sister like Sarah was to her before she was sold. How would the book have been different if it had taken place in a different place? If this book had taken place in a different time like 35 years before Julia would not have even been allowed in Canada. If anyone knew she was a run-away they would have sent her back to Virginia. What was your favourite part? My favourite part was when Sarah returned. She ran with her husband and daughter it was so sweet I just about died!! Rate the book 1-5? I will rate the book a 3. I will rate it a three because it was not very descriptive. She did not really talk about the characters. It was also boring at some parts. What was the book about? It was about a run-away slave named Julia. Julia’s sister, Sarah and her bothers Caleb and Daniel where sold to other slave owners. At the end of the book, Sarah is reunited with her family. The book is mainly about them getting to Canada and trying to stay safe!! Did you enjoy the book? I did enjoy the book very much. It was full of page-turning excitement! Would you recommend this book? Yes I would. This book was very exciting. A story of backstabbing friend’s racist masters and a railroad to safety. This book would be very fun to read and I recommend it to everyone!(10) What did I learn? The one main thing I learnt was that there is always room for mistakes in friendship but there is always room for forgiveness. When Julia’s white friend is racist she has room for forgiveness in her heart! What about the plot? I did not have to force myself to read it at all. It was one of the best books I've ever read. I can easily say that it was better than twilight. The plot sucked me in and just when I thought it would be boring it just got better!! It is a must read! Where the characters realistic? They were very realistic. It was also very detailed in the actions of the characters. Like how Thomas wanted revenge on the slave masters so he went to war against them. Lots of coloured men did that. The author obviously based it on historical facts. Witch characters would you like to meet? I would like to meet Sarah and ask her about how she felt when she was taken from her family. I would also ask her how she found out that her family would be in Toronto. I would like to also meet Thomas to get more information on why he went to war and how he got wounded! Did the actions seem plausible? I think the actions where plausible but not now a day. The main family had to travel on foot from Virginia to Canada. Our population now is way too lazy to walk from Virginia to Canada

  3. 5 out of 5

    Jocelyn

    Slaves are seen as objects that are used and owned by the white, but why does it have to be that way? We live being scared everyday and the un aware of were our brothers and sisters were sold too. With the heavy labor upon our backs. Being not aloud to read or write, learn, go to school, or be independent and have our own lives. That’s why we are running, but scared we will be caught. Panicking and shivers run up my spine, where will we land next? The book is very realistic, and keeps you wan Slaves are seen as objects that are used and owned by the white, but why does it have to be that way? We live being scared everyday and the un aware of were our brothers and sisters were sold too. With the heavy labor upon our backs. Being not aloud to read or write, learn, go to school, or be independent and have our own lives. That’s why we are running, but scared we will be caught. Panicking and shivers run up my spine, where will we land next? The book is very realistic, and keeps you wanting to read more. When I’m reading this book I feel like I am watching a movie because of how descriptive the writing is. The author makes it so realistic by how the layout of the sentences are put. I personally think that the book gets boring where they are in the wagon, because nothing interesting happens at this time. Since the family runs for a while it gets confusing on what is happening, for example, when they end up staying with the longs. Sometimes I need to read back to figure that out who is who because the story introduces so many characters. I like how the book is put into a diary format. I enjoy this story, because it is very interesting to read how our history was like. The story has lots of emotion and paints a picture in your head of how it was back then. I cannot relate to this story because I have never experienced it before. But I can tell it must of been very hard for her and her family to have had to experience such trauma. This story connects with present day because unfortunately we still deal with color stereotypes and racism. In my opinion, the book can be a bit bias at times, by the way it is written shows that the majority of white people are racist. But I do understand that it is in her point of view. People who like true events or learning about black history might enjoy this book. That is why I find this book very interesting.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Nicola Mansfield

    Karleen Bradford is a well-known and talented Canadian historical fiction writer for youth and teens. Needless to say, this is an entertaining and interesting addition the Dear Canada series. This particular book could be best suited to the younger end of the 8-12 age range as it is a basic story of American slaves escaping using the Underground railroad, then the troubles and successes they experience settling down in a community in Canada. The majority of the book takes place in Owen Sound, On Karleen Bradford is a well-known and talented Canadian historical fiction writer for youth and teens. Needless to say, this is an entertaining and interesting addition the Dear Canada series. This particular book could be best suited to the younger end of the 8-12 age range as it is a basic story of American slaves escaping using the Underground railroad, then the troubles and successes they experience settling down in a community in Canada. The majority of the book takes place in Owen Sound, Ontario. The only weakness is that this story only barely touches upon the horrors the slaves endured and the 'escape'/Underground Railroad part of the story is over by page 25. The rest of the book deals with their Canadian experience. Bradford does manage to cover many topics in this presupposing book: the eldest brother joins the Union army once he reaches freedom, the family had three older children sold off and that effect on the family is pursued, the blacks are welcomed seemingly so open-armed at first but later a white attitude of jobs being lost to them starts to prevail, friendships between white and black children, integration between the races in general but only to a point of "knowing their place and limitations" and also the kidnapping of free slaves by bounty hunters because of the US Fugitive Slave Law. The historical note is a simple history of the Civil War, the underground railroad and the black communities in Toronto and Owen Sound. A good, well-written, atmospheric, introduction to the topic.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Rebecca

    Eleven-year-old Julia May is more fortunate than most slaves in the southern states during the Civil War. As a young girl, her owner assigned her to be the personal slave and companion of his young daughter, Miss Marissa, and so Julia May didn‘t have to endure working in the fields of the plantation. Julia May learned to read and write while listening to Marissa’s lessons. Marissa didn’t care that her slave was educated, and kept Julia May's secret so that Julia May could help her with her schoo Eleven-year-old Julia May is more fortunate than most slaves in the southern states during the Civil War. As a young girl, her owner assigned her to be the personal slave and companion of his young daughter, Miss Marissa, and so Julia May didn‘t have to endure working in the fields of the plantation. Julia May learned to read and write while listening to Marissa’s lessons. Marissa didn’t care that her slave was educated, and kept Julia May's secret so that Julia May could help her with her schoolwork, and even gave her scraps of paper to practice writing on. Julia May uses these precious pieces of paper to start a diary of her life. In January 1863, after learning Julia May’s older brother, Thomas, might be sold to another plantation, Julia May’s parents decide the family will escape to freedom. Three of Julia May’s older siblings were already sold, and her mother can’t bear to lose another one of her children. In the dead of winter the family makes a dangerous escape, and takes refuge at a Union Army fort. However, to ensure their freedom no matter what the outcome of the war is, her parents decide they will continue north to Canada, where slavery has been completely outlawed and runaway slaves cannot be returned to their owners. Julia May writes in her diary about her family’s dangerous journey north as well as the first year of their new, free life in Canada as she makes new friends, goes to school for the first time in her life, and worries about her brother Thomas, who has gone back to fight in the war. This was another good book from the Dear Canada series that should be enjoyed by fans of the series as well as the similar Dear America series. I really enjoyed reading Julia May's diary, she was a likeable character, the historical setting and details were really interesting, and the story kept me interested at all times. Although this book was not one of my most favorite books from the Dear Canada series, I did really enjoy it and I recommend it to all fans of the series.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Cheriee Weichel

    Julia May Jackson was born a slave in Virginia just before the American Civil War. She is slave to the masters daughter and unbeknownst to anyone, has learned to read and write. Three older siblings have been sold, and there are rumors that her older brother, Thomas, will soon be next. Late one dark night her parents wake her, tell her to grab her things and keep quiet. It is the beginning of the family’s journey along the Underground Railroad to freedom in Canada. Julia May keeps a journal of t Julia May Jackson was born a slave in Virginia just before the American Civil War. She is slave to the masters daughter and unbeknownst to anyone, has learned to read and write. Three older siblings have been sold, and there are rumors that her older brother, Thomas, will soon be next. Late one dark night her parents wake her, tell her to grab her things and keep quiet. It is the beginning of the family’s journey along the Underground Railroad to freedom in Canada. Julia May keeps a journal of their experiences – a journal that could cause serious repercussions should it fall into the wrong hands. This book had a strong beginning that grabbed my attention and pulled me into the story. Julia May is a spunky spirited girl who I liked a lot. I desperately wanted her family’s journey to be successful. They make it to Toronto, but while free, are still in danger of being kidnapped by slave hunters. Eventually they move to Owen Sound where they put down roots. I really liked how this book portrayed history in an exciting format. I knew something about the underground railway of course, but this book helps us to understand more about what it was like once these people made it to Canada. They may have been ‘free,’ but they still faced considerable prejudice once they arrived. This is a great addition to the Dear Canada series!

  7. 4 out of 5

    Meghan

    Julia May’s voice did not sound very authentic, either for someone from the South or someone with minimal formal schooling. I didn’t think it likely that they would have known when their birthdays were and was surprised that Julia May never found out about the Emancipation Proclamation. The historical note did an okay job explaining the Civil War and the events leading up to it, though there was no mention of other countries where slavery lasted longer. I wish that those who designed the book co Julia May’s voice did not sound very authentic, either for someone from the South or someone with minimal formal schooling. I didn’t think it likely that they would have known when their birthdays were and was surprised that Julia May never found out about the Emancipation Proclamation. The historical note did an okay job explaining the Civil War and the events leading up to it, though there was no mention of other countries where slavery lasted longer. I wish that those who designed the book cover had chosen a background image that had not already been used in Dear America, just for the sake of uniqueness.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Renae

    Not bad. Not as much focus on the Underground Railroad as the title would have you believe, however. They were off that part by p. 46. I was expecting more emphasis on that.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Sha

    Nice book, with a few lovely moments. I do like slice of life/survival stories. No other book in the Dear America/Canada series so far has managed to capture the sheer Emotional Impact of A Picture of Freedom: The Diary of Clotee, a Slave Girl, Belmont Plantation, Virginia 1859, though. So everything is rated realtive to that. Nice book, with a few lovely moments. I do like slice of life/survival stories. No other book in the Dear America/Canada series so far has managed to capture the sheer Emotional Impact of A Picture of Freedom: The Diary of Clotee, a Slave Girl, Belmont Plantation, Virginia 1859, though. So everything is rated realtive to that.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Young Adult Historical Vault

    Karleen Bradford gives us a wonderful story that's half adventure story and half settler's narrative. The characters are all interesting and complex in their own ways, and she deals with era-appropriate racism in an age-appropriate way. A great entry into the Dear Canada series. For my full review including spoilers, check out Young Adult Historical Vault. https://yahistoricalvault.com/2017/05... Karleen Bradford gives us a wonderful story that's half adventure story and half settler's narrative. The characters are all interesting and complex in their own ways, and she deals with era-appropriate racism in an age-appropriate way. A great entry into the Dear Canada series. For my full review including spoilers, check out Young Adult Historical Vault. https://yahistoricalvault.com/2017/05...

  11. 4 out of 5

    Sarah Lonsdale

    I don't usually like reading diary material.... But reading about her hard life and her extraordinary experience made me reflect on my life..... I just finished learning about the slaves in school so this just topped it all off.... It was the best book ever... I loved learning about how they ran away and how so many people helped them.... I wish I was alive back then to help them... They were such a loving family and u am so very glad that they found Sarah and Tomous came home from the war

  12. 4 out of 5

    Shanelle

    I really enjoyed reading this book and since the first time that I had read it, my overall opinion of the story has changed. I loved reading about all of the changes that occurred in Julia May's life as it had kept myself engaged throughout the story. I definitely recommend this book to anyone who enjoys reading about history, as well as the history of Canada.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Twyla

    In this book Julia May Jackson travels to Canada to escape slavery and the war. My favourite part in this book was when they all were happy at the end. The worst part was when the family was still in Toronto and they ran into their old master from when they were still slaves

  14. 5 out of 5

    Teri Pre

    This seems like it will be a good series. It's written for young readers, maybe 3rd or 4th graders, and will give students a better understanding of history since the books are written from a young person's perspective.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Shanelle

    Another book from the Dear Canada series, A Desperate Road to Freedom focusses on the Underground Railroad that helped save many lives. This book follows the story of Julia May Jackson and her family as they escaped from their past lives as slaves to the new world, Canada.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Callie

    loved it!!!!!de

  17. 5 out of 5

    Sara

    Not bad. A light read and a good one to introduce younger generations to the Underground Railroad and Slavery.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Meaghan Steeves

    Wonderful story, my only regret is that it took me so long to read it!

  19. 4 out of 5

    Emma

    Good, I enjoyed it. Read it through overdrive e-book

  20. 4 out of 5

    Shalayne

    It gives you a real life prsepteve of the horiblle slaveriy that had had happened. What a child feels esacaping the slaverliy

  21. 4 out of 5

    Jess

    My favourite dear Canada book

  22. 5 out of 5

    Georgia

    Review to come!

  23. 5 out of 5

    Aine

    Really depressing but really interesting.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Darlene Otet

    Enjoyed this book, lots of history!

  25. 5 out of 5

    Sarah

    Actual rating is 2.5, but I bumped the star rating. So, this book is about Julia May, her mother, father, younger brother and older brother. Runaway slaves who manage to make it to Canada. Julia May has two more older brothers and an older sister, but the three of them were sold. No one in the family knows where they were forced to go. Now obviously there are several things right off the bat that are historically wrong with this book. The main one being that Julia May can read and write. She says Actual rating is 2.5, but I bumped the star rating. So, this book is about Julia May, her mother, father, younger brother and older brother. Runaway slaves who manage to make it to Canada. Julia May has two more older brothers and an older sister, but the three of them were sold. No one in the family knows where they were forced to go. Now obviously there are several things right off the bat that are historically wrong with this book. The main one being that Julia May can read and write. She says it's because her missus has her accompany her to all her classes and doesn't seem to mind, suspecting/knowing that Julia May can read and write. She even gives her scrap pieces of paper she doesn't want/need anymore. Julia May even says she believes the tutor knows that she can read and write and makes a point of making sure she's paying attention to certain content. Now, having a tutor come in and be fine with a slave learning to read and write seems far more believable to me than a child of a slave owner being okay with her personal slave being able to read and write. But maybe that's because there are known cases of some people coming in to tutor helping slaves to start their escape to freedom. Anyhow, you'd think the escape from the plantation in Virginia, up through to Canada (Toronto) would be pretty exciting for the reader, but unfortunately it lacks any true impact. It's more like a 'we did this this and this' type situation. Even the conductor breaking his legs is a 'meh' moment due to how it's written. They travel at night, through swamps, bushes, forests, etc. Conductors guide them and give them places to hide by day. But it's all...meh feeling. I have read many a book that has similar set up for how the journey went, but this one by far is the least invoking of any emotion. Once they got to Toronto it was a little more interesting. Her older brother (Thomas?) decides to return to America to fight in the civil war in one of the segregated coloured brigades to free all slaves in the south. Julia May and her mother bump into their old Missus in Toronto, who is staying at the hotel they wash sheets for in order to escape the war. As a result the family flees even further north and resettles again, Julia May's mother getting work as a washing woman and her father getting a job at the stables. Julia May attends an integrated school, one of only two coloured students in her class, soon to be the only one. She makes friends with a white girl who seems to defy all the expected racist behavior the white adults and even parent's show, which is another thing that bothered me. This friend is incredibly self assured and out of her time period to openly have a coloured friend that she even takes to her white person only church. Her mother is kind to Julia May, but only to a point and then even she falls into the racist trenches. How is it her friend never does and continues not to right through her life (epilogue says so). Anyhow, all in all this book is okay. I wouldn't put it up there with the Dear Canada's like All Fall Down as it is pretty generic about just following the events of the time period and lacks something that allows the reader to truly feel a connection to Julia May that would allow some emotion to come into play whenever she is peril. It's not a terrible read, but it's not completely accurate and it never really makes you feel anxious or worried for or on behalf of our narrator. I might recommend it to a student or child who has already read most everything else fiction on this historical time period. But I certainly wouldn't use it as the introductory book as I know several other similar books that do a better job of connecting the reader to the narrator on an emotional level.

  26. 4 out of 5

    Danielle

    Title: The Desperate Road to Freedom Author: Karleen Bradford Series: Dear Canada Format: ebook Length: 359 pages (iPhone) Rating: 3 stars Synopsis: A riveting tale of a brave family's last bid for freedom, and the price they pay to find it. Julia May and her family have done the unthinkable. They have fled from their life of slavery on a tobacco plantation in Virginia, and are making their way north, on foot, where they have heard that slaves can live free. Their story, told through Julia May's journal Title: The Desperate Road to Freedom Author: Karleen Bradford Series: Dear Canada Format: ebook Length: 359 pages (iPhone) Rating: 3 stars Synopsis: A riveting tale of a brave family's last bid for freedom, and the price they pay to find it. Julia May and her family have done the unthinkable. They have fled from their life of slavery on a tobacco plantation in Virginia, and are making their way north, on foot, where they have heard that slaves can live free. Their story, told through Julia May's journal entries, is gruelling. Their journey takes them through swamps, travelling by night and hiding by day. It is a harrowing, terrifying experience, but determination to find a new life in Canada keeps them going. The diary that Julia May keeps is another act of bravery. Learning to read and write alongside her mistress at the plantation was her own secret, and strictly forbidden for a slave girl. Now as she records her fears and the extraordinary things she sees during her journey, she is deeply afraid that she'll be found out and suffer the consequences. But her journal keeps her going through the hard times until they are finally free. Readers will be moved as they follow her family's trek north . . . but even here old prejudices die hard. Mini-review: This was a cute book, set in a town near me and so that was awesome to read about, because now when I go back there I'll see it with new eyes. Also like no books are set in my area, so I'm very excited right now. What Julia May went through due to racism was disgusting and I felt for her throughout the whole book.

  27. 5 out of 5

    Kristal

    3.5 stars I liked the mix of Julia May’s escape and then settling into “normal life” while still fighting prejudice. I didn’t know about the black community in southern Ontario- that’s really interesting that 10% of Owen Sound’s population in 1872 was black! Im a little disappointed this book wasn’t written by someone who is black (it’s important that these topics are written from a similar perspective as their subjects) but I was glad to read the author did her research and it’s so neat that sh 3.5 stars I liked the mix of Julia May’s escape and then settling into “normal life” while still fighting prejudice. I didn’t know about the black community in southern Ontario- that’s really interesting that 10% of Owen Sound’s population in 1872 was black! Im a little disappointed this book wasn’t written by someone who is black (it’s important that these topics are written from a similar perspective as their subjects) but I was glad to read the author did her research and it’s so neat that she got into contact with someone whose ancestors knew her ancestor!

  28. 5 out of 5

    Edna

    I read this for the 2019 book riot read harder challenge, and also because I love this series. The Dear Canada books are a series written by different authors, for young readers. Each book is written in the form of a diary, and is about an important part of Canadian history. This one is about the journey of a family of escaped slaves, who travel from Virginia to freedom in Canada. It is an excellent addition to the series. The subject matter is difficult, of course, but written in such a way that I read this for the 2019 book riot read harder challenge, and also because I love this series. The Dear Canada books are a series written by different authors, for young readers. Each book is written in the form of a diary, and is about an important part of Canadian history. This one is about the journey of a family of escaped slaves, who travel from Virginia to freedom in Canada. It is an excellent addition to the series. The subject matter is difficult, of course, but written in such a way that a young person could read this and learn about history without being overwhelmed by the suffering. The voice of Julia May is so real; her family's life in slavery was heartbreaking, and the journey incredibly difficult. I recommend this book to anyone, not just young readers, who want to learn about our history.

  29. 5 out of 5

    Azra Benić

    Love this book so much

  30. 5 out of 5

    Jessie

    This is an excellent series to get younger readers interested in history!

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