“A children's story that can only be enjoyed by children is not a good children's story in the slightest.” ~C.S. Lewis
Bibliographic Information: Evans, S. W. (2011). Underground: Finding the light to freedom. New York, NY: Roaring Brook Press.
Reading Level: Adult Directed/ .6
Synopsis: This powerful picture book captures the experiences slaves endured while traveling the Underground Railroad in the 1800’s. The dark colored black and blue toned illustrations portray the fearful emotions of hiding, traveling, and trusting strangers along the journey. As the traveler’s get closer towards their destination, the illustrator begins using the color yellow in the background to represent freedom. At last, they are free!
Rationale for Classroom Use: This book could be used in a K-3 classroom to introduce the history of slavery and the influential people who helped change America. The illustrations are so detailed that students can use them to describe the emotions and experiences the slaves in the story encountered. With limited words, this book would be useful to model how to determine the author’s message or lesson, which in this book would be to never give up on your dreams despite the hardships it takes to get them.
Common Core Connection:
RL.1.2 Retell stories, including key details, and demonstrate understanding of their central message or lesson.
RL.1.7 Use illustrations and details in a story to describe its characters, setting, or events.