Robert Nordan The Secret Road

ISBN 13: 9780823415434

The Secret Road

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9780823415434: The Secret Road
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Laura leaves her strict parents' Georgia plantation to spend the summer with her Quaker aunt and uncle, discovers their home is a stop on the Underground Railroad, and hatches a dangerous plan to accompany a pregnant slave to her husband and freedom.

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About the Author:

Robert Nordan is the author of several adult mysteries, including "Death Beneath the Christmas Tree" and "Death on Wheels". This is his first novel for young readers, He lives in Illinois.

From School Library Journal:

Gr 4-6-When Laura leaves her family's Georgia plantation to visit her Quaker relatives, she discovers they are involved in the Underground Railroad. Upon hearing the story of an escaped slave who is just a few years older than she is and pregnant, she is determined to help by accompanying her to the next stop. The slave-catcher Mr. Higgins is a dogged pursuer, and he appears at every turn. On the journey to Philadelphia, Laura and Rosetta are aided, among others, by the mistress of a girls' school on a field trip to a "Traveling Exhibition." This carnival with its freaks and other entertainment brings Laura in contact with a young man who catches her fancy. The story's lack of focus and the improbability of Laura getting help from so many people combine to destroy much of the suspense, and her determination to rescue the young woman never extends to her own family's ownership of slaves. Rosetta's fate is detailed in a letter at the end, which offers some satisfaction, but the outcome of the romance and what actions Laura will take besides irritating her mother by wandering around their plantation are left unanswered. Rather than giving readers a sense of the moral issues and the dangers of the times, this novel succeeds only as a bland rendering of a young girl's gradual awakening to the issues of her world.

Carol A. Edwards, Sonoma County Library, Santa Rosa, CA

Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information, Inc.

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