Just what is freedom? And how do you reach it when you’re without a map and finding it involves leaving the only world you’ve ever known, trusting your life to a man you mistook for a devil when he first walked into your life?
Ten-year-old Tommy and his family recognise something special when Peg Leg Joe mysteriously turns up at their home, a small slave settlement on a large estate in Alabama. They decide to risk everything for the promise of a better life, a free life, and set out with their new guide to follow the Underground Railroad – a network of secret routes and safe houses – all the way to Canada.
With a furious overseer on their trail, Tommy and his family face great hardship as they travel across the continent, relying on good will and the skill of their guide, Peg Leg Joe, who uses songs as secret codes to help the fugitives find their way safely.
Packed with fascinating historical detail, D’Adamo’s well constructed novel makes us reflect on what we as humans have done to one other in the past, and asks questions that are all too pertinent today: How far would any of us go to help people fleeing their home in the hope of starting a better life?
For ages 8-12.