Friday, August 19, 2011

Across the Wide River~Book Review



It’s time for a Kregel book review! This time around I am reviewing the book. Across the Wide River by Stephanie Reed.

About the book

Freedom- Some take it for granted. Others consider it worth dying for.

Lowry Rankin knows all too well the cost of freedom; after all, his family's red brick home is the first stop on the Underground Railroad north of the Ohio River. He's seen friends beaten for the color of their skin. He's watched simple farmers make a difference. He's even risked his own life transporting escaped slaves. But will Lowry be able to conquer his greatest fear when he's called to speak out?

My Thoughts

This is a story of the Rankin family (based on a real family and real events in history)  and the important role they played in the pre-civil war underground railroad. Their brick house is the first stop on the northern side of the underground railroad just across Kentucky and the Ohio river into Ohio.  Slaves from Kentucky would flee to Ohio seeking freedom and safety. The Rankin family helped slaves escape to the north.

In this story we meet young Lowry when he is nine years of age. He witnesses his young friend being beaten just because he is a slave. The story follows Lowry through his elementary years and into his adolescent years. He transports slaves from one safe house to another, faces bullies and most of all faces his own fear of speaking out when he needs to.

Lowry learns he can take a stand for something he truly believes in, freedom for people regardless of the color of their skin.  He overcomes his own fear and insecurity to help others.  He learns that God uses ordinary people to do extraordinary things and that he can make a difference in the lives of many.

Ms. Reed has done a wonderful job in writing this story. It will keep you wanting to know what will happen at the end of the story. It is a wonderful living book about a difficult time in history.

This is a book I will be keeping on my shelves to use school when we study the underground railroad. It will make an excellent go along book!

Ms. Reed has also written a sequel A Light Across the River. You can read more about Stephanie Reed and learn how she came to write this story at her website.

Disclosure: I was given a copy of this book as a member of Kregel Publications Bloggers. No other compensation was received. All opinions in this post and on this blog are my own.

1 comment:

Stephanie Reed said...

Thank you so much for your kind words! I love that you want to share the Rankin family with your sons. It happened after the events in this book, but you may be interested to know that the Rankin family adopted (yes, adopted in the 1850's) an 8 year old girl whose mother was a slave. Her name was Catherine and they called her Kitty. They raised her as one of their own children, way back before the Civil War.

If you or your readers want to read the first two chapters of Wide River or the sequel, The Light Across the River, they can find them here:

Thanks so much for sharing your readers with me!