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Book Review: The Light Across the River by Stephanie Reed

In Book 1 Across the Wide River the main character is the oldest Rankin child--Lowry. In The Light Across the River we are introduced to the 7th child in the Rankin's family of 13 children. His name is Johnny. The Rankin family lives in southern Ohio and just across the Ohio River from Kentucky. The year is 1837. The Rankin family is apart of the network of the Underground Railroad. Not only are the parents involved in helping black slaves escape to Canada, but the Rankin children when they are old enough are also involved in this mission. When the book begins Johnny is considered "too young to keep a secret," he has the reputation in his family of not being able to discipline his mouth from telling any kind of information. Johnny feels pushed aside, unimportant. But as the story unfolds Johnny will become apart of a sweeping and dangerous journey that has touched many American lives, and is considered to have pushed emotions to the edge in bringing about the Civil War.
The story of the Rankin family is based on true historical information that the author Stephanie Reed worked tirelessly to bring in to the two books:
Across the Wide River
The Light Across the River.

I have loved these two books!
For the main reason is that they are just good stories of people that were willing to sacrifice all that they had and loved, in order to help others to reach freedom. 
I felt the author wrote in perfect detail what it must have been like for a slave to flee in fear to an unknown land, knowing that the slave-traders and their slave-masters were pursuing them. 
I felt the author has a gift for descriptive writing that makes the reader feel as if they are "there."
In story the author makes comparisons such as the kindness and gentleness and extravagant sacrificial love of the Rankin family--versus--the cruelty abuse and horror of the slave-trader.
The author writes of the warmth of a fireplace and plenty of food to eat in a free persons house--versus--the sparsity of clothing and food in a bare and cold slaves home.
The mistrust of a slave towards any white person is understandable, as of yet they'd only encountered those white people that wanted them in bondage. It took patience and the earning of trust for any slave to accept the kindness of these strangers across the river. I felt Stephanie did a great job of bringing these issues in to the story. 

Thank you to Stephanie Reed and Kregel Publications for my free review copy.
View from the Rankin family home looking across the Ohio River
Map of the routes of the Underground Railroad

Published by Kregel Publications April 2008
216 pages
For ages 9-12

My previous review of Book 1 Across The Wide River by Stephanie Reed:

Link for the book @ publisher:
Paperback $10.99

Link for the book @ Amazon:
Paperback $9.34
Kindle $8.79

I did not find The Light Across The River @ Christian Book, only book 1 is available there, Across The Wide River. 

Blissful Reading!


Sharon Henning said…
Hi. Found you from Redeemed Reader. Very nice blog and I like this review. It sounds like a great book about the underground railroad. I like the photos you've added as well. I'm now following you.