Jan 28, 2012


Underground by Shane W. Evans
Illustrated by Shane W. Evans
Published by Roaring Brook Press
Coretta Scott King Award for Illustrator (2012)

     Underground is the story of a family's journey to freedom through the Underground Railroad.  They start in the darkness, literally and metaphorically, and they escape. They run, hide and crawl on their way to the light, to freedom.
     Talk about powerful.  Underground has, on average, just two words per page. But those words combined with the amazing illustrations by Shane W. Evans, makes this a book you won't soon forget.  The tension created by the words and the dark illustrations builds up.  There are few spots of white light in the pages during their escape. Even when they are resting under the night sky, they can't be completely at ease, and we see the whites in the eyes of one of the men who watches over the rest of his sleeping family.  As they get closer and closer to freedom, there is light in the horizon. And finally, there's the sun. "Freedom. I am free. He is free. She is free. We are free."
     There is also an author's note at the end of the book talking about the Underground Railroad.
     Wonderful book. This one should be shared at home and the classroom. Perfect for February, African American History Month.

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