Eliza's Freedom Road

An Underground Railroad Diary

Eliza's Freedom Road

Illustrated by: Shadra Strickland
For Ages: 8 - 12
  • 2
It is 1852 in Alexandria, Virginia. An orphaned slave, twelve-year-old Eliza has only the quilt her mother left her and the memory of the stories she told. Stories become Eliza’s lifeline to freedom after she takes to the night upon learning she will soon be traded. “Go East. Your back to the set of the sun until you come to the safe house where the candlelight lights the window.” With the words of Old Joe, the farmhand, in her ears, Eliza travels by night and sleeps by day, keeping her diary along the way.

Thoroughly researched by award-winning author Jerdine Nolin, Eliza’s Freedom Road brings to life a historical period of pain and triumph. Vivid details and the emotional nature of Eliza’s journal make her journey along the Underground Railroad powerful, accessible, and poignant.

Video

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 beloved author of many award-winning books, including Big Jabe, Thunder Rose (a Coretta Scott King Illlustrator Honor Book), and Hewitt Anderson’s Great Big Life (a Bank Street Best Book of the Year), all illustrated by Kadir Nelson. She is also the author of Eliza’s Freedom Road, illustrated by Shadra Strickland, which was an ALA/YALSA Best Fiction Nominee for Young Adults; 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. Her other books include Plantizilla, illustrated by David Catrow, which was a BOOKSENSE 76 Selection, and Irene’s Wish, illustrated by A.G. Ford, which Kirkus Reviews called “delightful and memorable” in a starred review. Ms. Nolen is an educator and lives in Ellicott City, Maryland.

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