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*Follow the Drinking Gourd* by Jeanette Winter
Also by Jeanette Winter:

Kali's Song

The Watcher: Jane Goodall's Life with the Chimps
Follow the Drinking Gourd
by Jeanette Winter
Ages 4-8 48 pages Dragonfly Books January 1992 Paperback    

The Underground Railroad was a vast network of freed slaves and other abolitionists who helped Southern slaves travel north to freedom. The most famous conductor on the railroad was Harriet Tubman, but there were many other notable people along the escape route. Follow the Drinking Gourd is the story of one of these lesser-known conductors, a man known only as Peg Leg Joe.

Joe was an old sailor who wandered from plantation to plantation taking on odd jobs. While there, he taught the slaves a folk song he wrote. Hidden in the song were directions to follow along the railroad network.

When a slave family is about to be separated by their master, they put Joe’s song to good use. Sleeping by day and traveling by night they follow the Drinking Gourd, also known as the Big Dipper. Across rivers, through woods and over hills with hound dogs on their heels, the words of the song lead them northward.

Author and illustrator Jeanette Winter is known for developing historical fiction picture books for younger audiences based on true people and places. Her books are not only interesting and exciting but are filled with a wealth of educational value. For those who wish to teach as well as entertain, Follow the Drinking Gourd is a must-have.

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  Niki Schoenfeldt/2008 for curled up with a good kid's book  

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