Night Boat to Freedom

by Margot Theis Raven and E.B. Lewis

As a child, Granny Judith loved the color red—until strangers in her village... read more

As a child, Granny Judith loved the color red—until strangers in her village used a red swatch of cloth to lure her away from home and into the shackles of slavery. She tells the story to young Christmas John before asking him to take the biggest risk of his life—row another slave across the river and into freedom. Although he’s terrified, John agrees. Soon he is making regular trips ferrying runaways across the river. Each time he returns, Granny Judith adds a square to the quilt she is making. Soon, she tells him, when the quilt is complete, it will be their turn for freedom. But after John’s harrowing escape from patrol dogs, she decides that they can wait no longer in a tense and soaring picture book from Margot Raven Theis featuring dramatic paintings by E. B. Lewis. The author was inspired to write this fictional story after reading slave narratives compiled by the Federal Writers Project during the Depression. (Ages 7–10)

© Cooperative Children's Book Center, Univ. of Wisconsin - Madison, 2007

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