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Young Solomon and his grandfather along with fellow slave Levi have managed to escape their wretched existence on a Georgia plantation. However, tragedy suddenly strikes and Solomon and Levi are forced to travel on alone, leaving Grandpa behind. When they reach freedom, Levi is determined to honor his promise to care for Solomon and builds them a new life in Buxton, a place of many possibilities. Finding himself still haunted by ghosts of the past Solomon struggles to settle into his new life with Levi. Desperate for answers he turns to the mysterious village elder who teaches him that true independence can be found with learning to read and write. This remarkable story that depicts the stark reality of the struggle for freedom will inspire students as they learn about Canada's role in providing new rights to those once enslaved by cruelty.
This historical novel provides a thought-provoking introduction to the topic of the Underground Railroad. Many of the places and people featured in the story are highlighted in educational materials that can be found on the Buxton National Historic Site and Museum website. Students could use the site to research the life of Reverend William King, a key character in the book. A school display could then be created that honours this relatively unknown Canadian who devoted his life to liberating slaves.
Solomon is taught that education is the key to freedom and in many areas of the world today this fundamental human right is denied. A class could explore the meaning behind Canadian citizenship with regards to civil liberties like education and then initiate an action project such as fundraising to build a school or collecting books for low income children.
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