Lucy is just a young girl when her parents are sold off the plantation where her family lives. Oh, how she wishes things could be different. One day Lucy's older brother, Albert, comes home with something that can make a difference a sack of quilts. The quilts are part of a secret code, and each different pattern gives important information to slaves planning to escape on the Underground Railroad. When Albert is caught one night helping the runaways, he too must flee, leaving Lucy behind. As he disappears into the darkness, Lucy fears she will never see her brother again.
Set during the years before the Civil War, THE SECRET TO FREEDOM is a testament to the enduring bond of family and a celebration of the human spirit. It is a story of triumph over adversity during a difficult chapter in our country's past. An Author's Note further explains the Underground Railroad quilt code.
About the Author
Marcia Vaughan Crews has written numerous books for young readers, including picture books, beginning readers, and both fiction and nonfiction series. She was inspired to tell Irena Sendler's story after reading her obituary in 2008 and discovering more about her through the work of Life in a Jar: The Irena Sendler Project, an organization dedicated to bringing Irena Sendler’s story to the world. Crews lives in Tacoma, Washington.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
Beautiful story that I would definetly share with my students. This touching story is told by a young girls' grandmother about a sentimental quilt, her jouney in slavery, and her long lost brother.
This book is appropriate for the fourth and fifth grades. The book is lengthy and has some violence. Great Aunt Lucy tells her niece about when she was a slave. Lucy and her brother Albert would help slaves get to the Underground Railroad. Lucy would lay out a cetain part of a quilt with a secret message to the slaves. For example the monkey wrench pattern tells the slaves to gather the tools they will need to run away. Worrying for her brother's life, Lucy tells him to run away without her. The war ends and eventually Lucy lives a life of freedom and she is reunited with her brother after years. In the author's note there is a short excerpt about the Civil War and the Undergound Rairoad. Also different patterns that were used on the quilts as a secret message are decoded. Uses in classroom:- Lesson about the Civil War and Underground Railroad.- I would have students come up with their own secret patterns. Then they will explain what their pattern means and why they made it.- We can make class patterns to hang out on the door. For example we can put a picture of a book up when its reading time.
This book is fantastic. The writing style takes the reader into the time and place of the story. Lucy and Albert are real enough to touch. The connection from beginning to end is remarkable. My students have asked me to read it time and time again. It is a treasure.