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Eliza's Freedom Road

Eliza's Freedom Road

An Underground Railroad Diary

Illustrated by: Shadra Strickland
For Ages: 8 - 12
  • 2awards
It is 1852 in Alexandria, Virginia. Eliza’s mother has been sent away and it is Abbey, the cook, who looks after Eliza, when Eliza isn’t taking care of the Mistress. Eliza has the quilt her mother left her and the memory of the stories she told to keep her close. When her Mistress’s health begins to fail and Eliza overhears the Master talk of Eliza being traded, Eliza takes to the night. She follows the path and the words of the farmhand Old Joe, “ … travel the night … sleep the day. Go East. Your back to the set of the sun until you come to the safe house where the candlelight lights the window.” All the while, Eliza recites the stories her mother taught her along her Freedom Road from Maryland to St. Catherine’s, Canada.

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ELIZA'S FREEDOM ROAD

Through her research Jerdine Nolen creates a diary of the underground railroad and a young girl's pilgrimage.

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About the Author

Jerdine Nolen
Photo credit: Pat Cummings

Jerdine Nolen

Jerdine Nolen is the author of many award-winning books for children, including Eliza’s Freedom Road, illustrated by Shadra Strickland; Raising Dragons, illustrated by Elise Primavera, which received the Christopher Award; and Harvey Potter’s Balloon Farm, illustrated by Mark Buehner, which won the Kentucky Bluegrass Award. She and Kadir Nelson collaborated on Thunder Rose, which School Library Journal called “a wonderful tale of joy and love”; and Hewitt Anderson’s Great Big Life, which received the Society of Illustrators’ Gold Medal. Jerdine Nolen lives with her family in Ellicott City, Maryland.

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