The Underground Railroad by Raymond BialThe Underground Railroad by Raymond Bial

The Underground Railroad

byRaymond Bial

Paperback | August 1, 2003

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By ones, twos, and threes, in the years before the Civil War thousands of enslaved people slipped through the night on their way to freedom, riding the Underground Railroad. Hidden and hunted, the escape of southern slaves to the North remains a compelling event in American history. Within the pages of this book are documented, in prose and elegantly articulate photographs, examples of stations" on the Railroad, along with images of the routes, lives, and hardships of both the "passengers"and "conductors.""
Raymond Bial is an acclaimed photoessayist for children. Four of his books were chosen as Notable Books in the Field of Social Studies by the NCSS. He lives in Urbana, Illinois, with his wife and children.
Title:The Underground RailroadFormat:PaperbackDimensions:48 pages, 10 × 8 × 0.19 inPublished:August 1, 2003Publisher:Houghton Mifflin Harcourt

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0395979153

ISBN - 13:9780395979150

Appropriate for ages: 10


From Our Editors

While it is popularly referred to as the Underground Railroad, the route taken by slaves towards freedom went well beyond a tunnel. It was composed of a vast network of people and places, cutting through waterways and cornfields that were all protected or "safe." In The Underground Railroad, photographer Raymond Bial turns his camera to the station routes in a photo essay that recreates the experiences of the runaways and conductors. Accompanied by essays and accounts that put the pictures into context, this harrowing collection maps out the path to freedom.

Editorial Reviews

Advantageously reproducing first-hand accounts and his own arresting photographs, Bial effectively evokes the era of slavery and its divisive effects on the United States." -Publishers Weekly, Starred"As Bial says in his introduction, photography was not yet invented when many of the daring escapes on the Underground Railroad occurred, and because everything had to be kept so secret, few documentary records have survived. In his simple photo-essay, he tries to re-create the experience of the brave runaways and conductors. He has photographed the places and objects that tell the story: the rivers the people crossed, the plantations they ran from, the homes that sheltered them with a lit window to signal a safe haven, the secret passages and trapdoors, and the courthouse yard where the slave auctions took place. He also includes drawings and prints from the times and a wanted poster for runaway "property." The text provides a brief historical overview, with quotes from some of the leaders, such as Tubman and Douglass. The book design is handsome, with thick paper, clear type, and fine reproductions; there's also a chronology and bibliography. Like a museum exhibit, the stirring photographs help us imagine what it must have been like for those who found the courage to run and to help others." -April 1, 1995 Booklist, ALA"Judicious use of first-person accounts and historical documents evokes the hardships that black people experienced under slavery and that eventually led them to seek out conductors who could guide them to freedom. Bial's well-composed, dramatically lit color photographs add life to the book, which is much more than a standard history. A map of the Railroad routes and an antislavery chronology are included." -Horn Book"