Monday, February 25, 2013


Judith and Dennis Fradin's short, illustrated book tells the story of a group of Ohio residents who thwart the capture of a runaway slave. Kentucky slaves John Price, his cousin Dinah and their friend Frank followed the underground railroad into Ohio in January of 1856. They intended to go to Canada where their freedom would be guaranteed, but they decided to stay in the welcoming town of Oberlin. In October of that year, several slave hunters arrived in Oberlin to find the men. With the help of one of the few local families in support of the Fugitive Slave Law, they are able to grab John Price and take him to Wellington, Ohio. Believing in a "higher law," hundreds of Oberlinians go to Wellington a free John before the slave hunters are able to force him aboard a train back to Kentucky. This event became known as the Oberlin-Wellington Rescue. 

With powerful illustrations, the Fradlins show one of the little known, yet important events that would lead to the Civil War.  Price of Freedom is an excellent classroom novel for studying the Underground Railroad. It can be read aloud in about 10 minutes and would easily fuel discussion and further research.

4 out of 5 stars
Grades 4 and up

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