Monday, December 21, 2020

OVERGROUND RAILROAD by Lesa Cline-Ransome.  Illus. by James Ransome.  Stevens Point, WI:  Holiday House, 2020.  48p.  ISBN 978-082343873-0 hc. $18.99     Gr. 2-5    E PIC

Similar to the Underground Railroad that led slaves to freedom in the 1800’s, the Overground Railroad referred to a railway system that became part of the Great Migration, a movement of blacks from the segregated southern states to the integrated northern states.  Between 1910 and 1970, almost 50% the southern black population moved north for economic opportunity.  This is the journey of Ruth Ellen and her parents, who were fortified with a picnic lunch and a copy of “Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass,” as they boarded the train and rode it to New York City, where a hopeful future awaited them.  As with most Ransome team collaborations, the story reads well and the mixed media illustrations are stunning.
Lynette Suckow, Superiorland Preview Center, Marquette, MI 

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