The Secret to Freedom
By Marcia Vaughan
Illustrated by Larry Johnson
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 Creators
is an award-winning author of numerous books for children, including Snap!, a Junior Library Guild Selection, Whistling Dixie, an ALA Notable book, and The Secret to Freedom, a Teachers' Choices Award winner published by LEE & LOW BOOKS. A full-time author, Vaughan is a popular speaker at national and regional conferences. She lives in Vashon Island, Washington, with her family.
has illustrated several children's books, including Knoxville, Tennessee by Nikki Giovanni, When Joe Louis Won the Title, and LEE & LOW's The Secret to Freedom, praised by School Library Journal for its "expressive acrylic paintings . . . rich in color and emotion." He also serves as a Youth Minister at a Baptist church and is a cohost of a weekend sports radio show. Johnson and his wife live in Stoughton, Massachusetts. Visit him online at larryjohnsonart.com.
About This Title
International Reading Association (IRA)
Honor Book - Grade K-6 Social Studies
Society of School Librarians International
Interest Level:Grades 1 - 5
Reading Level:Grades 2 - 3
United States History, Slavery, Discrimination, African/African American Interest, Art, Poverty
Part of These Collections
Appendix B Diverse Collection Grades 3-6, Historical Fiction Grades PreK-2, Early Fluent Dual Language, English Guided Reading Level M, Early Fluent English, Black History Collection, Grades K-2, Sibling Collection Grades K-5, Appendix B Diverse Collection Grades K-2, African American English Collection Grades 3-6, Teachers' Choices Collection, Persistence and Determination Collection