Sunday, November 16, 2008

The Light Across the River

Author: Stephanie Reed
Publisher: Kregel Publications
ISBN: 978-0-8254-3474-4
Genre: Inspirational/historical

In 1837 the Underground Railroad was very busy. The Rankin home was a beacon of freedom on the Ohio side of the Ohio River. Kentucky slaves would sometimes cross the ice or take a dingy to get to the other side of the river to freedom. Johnny Rankin has never seen a slave, but he knows that his family is a stop on the Underground Railroad. But they never keep the escaped slaves for long, they always sent them quickly on their way north to Canada.

When the ice was beginning to break up that spring, the Rankin family is surprised when a woman carrying a baby crosses over the broken ice. They had no idea how she managed to cross without drowning herself or her baby. Johnny likes to talk, but he has to keep this woman a secret, and this woman’s story is especially hard to keep quiet.

THE LIGHT ACROSS THE RIVER is a true story about the woman who inspired Harriet Beecher Stowe to write her famous story that helped fuel the Civil War. The Rankin family and their house is now a historic landmark in Ohio. It is fascinating to read a book that the characters really existed and the story really happened. It is the sequel to Across the Wide River, but it easily stands alone. I didn’t read the first book, but had no trouble keeping up in this book.

THE LIGHT ACROSS THE RIVER is a great resource for homeschoolers who want to teach their kids about the Underground Railroad and some of the lives it touched. It is also great for church libraries, public and private schools, and your favorite eight to twelve year old. Don’t miss this exciting book. $10.99. 210 pages.

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