Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Underground to Canada

As a writer, my A to Z challenge is going to be about books, characters, TV shows and movies that have impacted me somehow. Enjoy! Be sure to check out Lee’s blog to find more bloggers taking on this challenge!
Underground to Canada

Barbara Smucker wrote this fabulous book. This is another one I read aloud frequently to my students. If they read it themselves, they usually don’t have the background knowledge required to love the book. When I read it, we can discuss as we go – and, boy!, do we discuss. They find the whole situation incomprehensible. How could people think they could own people? How could they treat people like that? How could they be so cruel? How could they...
This is another book where I have kids cheering at some points and with tears in their eyes at others. Powerful emotions. If the kids in my classes are any indication, we’ll never have to worry about this horrific chapter of human history being repeated. Trust me, there is wonderful hope for the future.
What's your favourite historical book?

36 comments:

  1. I'm not familiar with this book. I should go look into it.

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  2. It sounds a great book, Love the title.

    Yvonne.

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  3. It sounds a great book, Love the title.

    Yvonne.

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  4. Love that the kids are so into it and it engenders constructive debate! Yay! Take care
    x

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  5. Is this the one about the Underground Railroad and Harriet Tubman? I remember reading about her but not sure it's the same book.

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  6. Lynda - it's a well written, powerful book!

    Yvonne - me too. It's based on the idea of the underground railroad from the deep south of the US to Canada. So well done.

    Old Kitty - my kids are so horrified by the thought of slavery - it's a really strong story.

    Alex - I don't think it is - it's about the railway, but Harriet only has a short cameo in it. Such an amazing lady!

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  7. You are wonderful to read books like this in your classroom.

    I just read Jane Smiley's The All True Adventures of Lidie Newton which takes place in Kansas before it became a state with the confrontations between Missouri (a slave state) and the abolistionists of Kansas who want it to be a free state. It is incomprehensible, that people could "own" people,like their horses and their dogs, sell their babies and send "catchers" after them should they dare to escape. It's a terrible part of our history I fear we'll never get over.

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  8. Yvonne - it's such an overwhelming period of history - absolutely unbelievable. But it happened. I really hope continuing to read about it and talk about it will ensure nothing like this happens ever again!

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  9. I've never read this book! I love stories that inspire discussion. I read a lot of historical books about the Vietnam War to get a sense of what my family went through, and it's so overwhelming in the best of ways.

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  10. I know I am not supposed to judge a book by its cover but I sure love the cover... definitely wanna read it!

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  11. One of the nice things about teaching - getting through to the kids!

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  12. I'd never heard of this book, but it sounds like a good read. Working in the schools, I've read a lot of historical books like this, and I always end up liking them way more than I thought I would. :)

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  13. I had a literature teacher like you, who read books aloud and let us discuss; she gave us the insight our youth denied us and she made a big impact on my life. She is one of the reasons I love books so much and I'm sure you're making a big difference in those kids live's too.

    From Diary of a Writer in Progress

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  14. My favorite historical novel was always the Endless Steppe.

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  15. I love that it's historical. My favorite is the crime novel, In Cold Blood by Capote.

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  16. I just read another post about the Underground Railroad. Popular - and important - subject.

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  17. The acreage where I work used to be part of the Underground Railroad (St. Mary-of-the-Woods, Ind.) We've had re-enactments in previous years but not for the last few. I'll check out your book. Thanks for the recommendation! If you get a chance, visit my blog at www.dianeweidenbenner.com Happy blogging!

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  18. Julie - I can imagine. My parents grew up in WWII and it's hard to even imagine some parts of our history!

    Agnes - I do that all the time! This is favourite cover for this book :)

    Harvee - exactly. That's what it's all about - and when you see the kids get it, it's a special feeling! :)

    Shelley - me too. I don't think I like historicals, but there are so many I've read and loved! :)

    Gina - what a lovely thing to say - thank you! Reading aloud with the kids is usually my favourite part of the day!

    Lynn - it is!

    SL - I don't know that one. My TBR pile is getting longer...

    Clarissa - I don't know that one either - but I've heard of it, and I probably would :)

    Diane - awesome! It really is important to think about our history - to make sure we're always improving!!

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  19. Diane - that's so cool to live in an area with such history! The reenactments must be intense. And, of course, I'll stop by!

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  20. I don't know this one - jackpot. The students are always drawn to Harriet Tubman and the Underground Railroad. This looks like a terrific concept extender.

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  21. Leslie - it really would be! It's such a powerful story of hope, loss, love, courage, family and determination. Great story :)

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  22. I didn't know this one. I'll have to look it up.

    I remember reading Kaffir Boy in college. The cover struck me in the bookstore. It was about apartheid.

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  23. Theresa - it's a really good one. I dont' know Kaffir Boy - I'll be looking it up too! :)

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  24. I haven't read this one either. You're adding a lot to my TBR list, Jemi.

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  25. Pat - I'd say I'm sorry... but I love sharing all these great books, so I don't know if I really am!!! :)

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  26. Thank you for introducing me to this book. I wasn't aware of it.

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  27. Sounds like a good book and it has a cool title! Thanks for the introduction!

    Riya

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  28. Medeia - it's a powerful one!

    Riya - it really does. It's a wonderful story.

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  29. As a teacher, there are lots of reasons I feel hopeful for the future. Thanks to teachers like you and some awesome parents, we have some wonderful young people.

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  30. Susan - awww, thanks, Susan! We do have some awesome kids - they really make me have high hopes for the future!

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  31. I've got to get that book! It sounds great. I love historical fiction. Bread and Roses Too is one of my all time favorites.

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  32. Sharon - I'm not a huge historical fiction fan - but I love this one! I'll have to check out B&R Too to see what it's about :)

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  33. Oh wow. Sounds like a really compelling read.

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  34. Hi Jemi! Sounds like an interesting book. I'll have to check it out.

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  35. Cherie - compelling is the perfect word for it! :)

    Susanne - it's great - the kids get so involved in the story!

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