Review: North by Night
Author: Katherine Ayres
Ages: 10 & up
It’s 1851 and Lucy Spencer’s family is keeping a secret. Their Ohio home is a station on the Underground Railroad, the network of people and places that helps fugitive slaves escape to freedom in Canada. Lucy believes in what she and her family do to help the fugitives, even if it means putting herself in danger.
So Lucy doesn’t hesitate when she is asked to stay with the Widow Aurelia Mercer and help her with a family of runaway slaves hiding in her attic. And she learns so much from her experience–about growing up, love, and standing on her own. But what will Lucy do when she is asked to make the ultimate sacrifice and leave all she loves behind?
This book was really interesting. The diary/journal layout is wonderful. Lucy Spencer is sixteen and a big helper in and supporter of the Underground Railroad. The Canadian Geese, the secret code for runaway slaves, are migrating continually. Though they are never sure when to expect some slaves a their door, they are always ready. One slave Lucy meets is Cass, a pregnant woman. They become close friends as the day draws nearer for Cass to deliver her baby. While they are waiting for the babe to arrive, Lucy is troubled by what she is going through. The age old problem of love. She has to decide between two young men who both want her. A few days after Cass delivers her baby, she dies, leaving a baby in the hands of Lucy. Lucy flees to Canada with the little girl she’s named Hope. She leaves behind her family, a man she has come to love and who loves her in return.