Monday, August 15, 2011

"across the wide river" by stephanie reed

As the son of an abolitionist minister, Lowry Rankin has always understood that slavery is wrong. He often struggles with the importance his father places on freeing the slaves, though--until he himself becomes involved with the Underground Railroad. Although Lowry finds himself the target of bullies and hates speaking in public, as he grows older, he realizes just how important his father's work is ... but is it important enough for Lowry to risk his life?

In Across the Wide River, author Stephanie Reed weaves historical fact and fictionalized details together into an engaging story surrounding one family's involvement with the Underground Railroad. While the story got off to a quick start, it slowed down for several chapters, and I got a little bored. But once the action picked up again--when Lowry became involved in the Underground Railroad--I could barely put it down! I especially enjoyed the Rankin family's connection to Harriet Beecher Stowe and Henry Ward Beecher. As someone who enjoys American history, I can't believe I didn't know about the Rankin family, and I'm glad Reed wrote this book, which is perfectly geared toward upper elementary and middle school students! (In fact, I've been looking for novels to read in my intermediate-level reading class this year, and this book may just be a perfect choice!) When the book ended, I wanted to know what happened next, so I was pleased to learn that Reed's sequel, The Light Across the River, is also available. I highly recommend this book!

About the author: During her childhood, Stephanie Reed’s family would often pass through Ripley on their way to her grandparents’ home. The signs she read there about the Rankin house were what prompted her to write Across the Wide River and The Light Across the River. After working for nearly a decade with the Dayton Metro Library, Stephanie is now a volunteer spotter for the National Weather Service. She lives with her husband and two children in Dublin, Ohio.

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free for review from Kregel Publications.  I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

1 comment:

  1. Becky, thanks so much for thinking of using Wide River in a classroom setting. I appreciate your kind words and that you gave the Rankins a fair chance to shine through. If you liked Wide River, you will love the sequel, trust me.

    If you and your readers want to read the first two chapters of Across the Wide River and The Light Across the River, they can sample both absolutely free here:

    God is still teaching me how to tell a story. The more I think I know, the more I realize I have to learn. :-)


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