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5,000 Miles to Freedom: Ellen and William Craft's Flight from Slavery Hardcover – January 24, 2006

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Product Details

  • Age Range: 10 and up
  • Grade Level: 5 and up
  • Hardcover: 96 pages
  • Publisher: National Geographic Children's Books (January 24, 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0792278852
  • ISBN-13: 978-0792278856
  • Product Dimensions: 8.9 x 0.5 x 11.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #710,148 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

Grade 5-9 In 1848, light-skinned Ellen Craft, dressed in the clothing of a rich, white man, assumed the identity of Mr. William Johnson and, escorted by his black slave, William, traveled by railroad and boat to reach the North. With the passage of a more stringent Fugitive Slave Law in 1850, the couple, whose story was well known as a result of public speeches and accounts in the abolitionist press, decided to travel to England. Here they improved their education, perfected their occupational skills, and continued to cultivate influential friends. In 1869, they returned to the United States, opening a school and operating a farm in Georgia. Their lives were a continuing source of adventure and inspiration. This lively, well-written volume presents the events in their lives in an exciting, page-turner style that's sure to hold readers' attention. Black-and-white photographs, illustrations, and reproductions enhance the text. Relying heavily upon primary sources, including letters, diaries, and newspapers, the story unfolds in a smooth narrative with dialogue based upon the Crafts' own book, Running a Thousand Miles for Freedom. This is an important and well-organized addition to any collection. Patricia Ann Owens, Wabash Valley College, Mt. Carmel, IL
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

From Booklist

Gr. 6-9. Both exciting escape adventure and gripping history, this account of a husband and wife on the run from slavery traces their journey to freedom in the U.S and across the world. Ellen is a light-skinned African American, daughter of the master who raped her mother. Disguised as a wealthy Southern gentleman, she escapes with her husband, William, disguised as her slave, and they travel by train and steamboat to freedom in Boston. When their astonishing story makes the fugitive couple famous, slave catchers come after them, so the Crafts leave for England, where they continue their abolitionist work, until their return home after the Civil War. The Fradins, whose many fine histories include Ida B. Wells (2000), draw heavily on the Crafts' personal accounts to add depth and drama to the carefully documented narrative. The handsome design includes lots of photos, archival artwork, letters, and newspaper accounts. Hazel Rochman
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved

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14 of 14 people found the following review helpful By E. R. Bird HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWER on September 4, 2006
Format: Library Binding
At what point did the National Geographic press for children just decide to whop the competition upside the head and produce book after book after book of fairly fabulous non-fiction like some kind o' history creatin' machine? I was willing to turn a blind eye the first two or three times this year they cranked out marvelous material, but after reading "5,000 Miles To Freedom", I can keep silent no longer. Written by the Fradins, Judith & Dennis respectively, the book is riveting. Mr. Fradin has, on his own, written "almost 150 books" of which I have read zippo. Zilch. Nuthin'. To what, then, do we owe this truly exciting tale of escape, villains, heroism, and more than a touch of cross-dressing? Truly the stars were in alignment when all parties involved decided to work upon this title. Relegated from my "I Don't Want To Read This Book Because I Suspect That It Is Good For Me" pile to my "I Love This Book and You Can Read It After You've Pried It From My Cold Dead Hands" pile, this is the story to hand to kids if you want to inform them about the Underground Railroad and slavery in a manner that is both factual and fascinating. A non-fiction must read, to say the least.

Their story is incredible precisely because it is true. On the morning of December 21, 1848, Ellen and William Craft escaped as slaves from a plantation in Macon, Georgia. Their plan was an original one. Ellen, light-skinned, disguised herself as a young gentleman slave owner. William, darker, was her "slave". Together the two were going to go from Macon to the Altantic coast. From there they would travel, sometimes by boat and sometimes by train to the North. The book follows the two every step of the way, including many of the close calls the two had to suffer.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By joanne t lockard on May 13, 2011
Format: Hardcover
I haven't read book that held my interest like this one. I absolutely loved it and I think it should be read by every school child. When I read this book I could feel the fear of Willian and Ellen Craft as they made their way to be free. It was a book about courage and strength. I am not black so I can't really understand how they really felt, but it gives a better understanding of what they went through and I think every black and white should read this book. Maybe if more people read this maybe they would understand how wrong slavery was. I have told all of my friends, black and white, to get a copy of Running. It a book that should be required reading for all school children. I loved it
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