Underground: Finding the Light to Freedom
- By Shane Evans
- Hardcover: 32 pages
- Ages: 4-8
- Grades: 1-2
A family silently crawls along the ground. They run barefoot through unlit woods, sleep beneath bushes, take shelter in a kind stranger's home. Where are they heading? They are heading for freedom by way of the Underground Railroad.
The darkness. / The escape. / We are quiet. / The fear . . . / We run. / We crawl. With just two or three words on each double-page spread, the minimalist text is intense in this stirring picture book about a family’s escape from slavery. Dramatic, unframed, mixed-media illustrations, rendered in black lines and dark shades of midnight blue, show a child’s view of fleeing and hiding in the night, when the only light is from the starry sky. Then there is the lantern of a safe house, but also of a slave catcher. Finally, freedom comes at last with the glorious color of the sun’s light, and the art extends the wordplay in an image of a joyful family holding up their own son, a baby boy born in freedom. A long appended note offers more historical context.