The Birdman by Troon Harrison, illustrated by Francois Thisdale. PICTURE BOOK/NON-FICTION. Red Deer Press, 2018. $25. 9780889955066
BUYING ADVISORY: EL - OPTIONAL
AUDIENCE APPEAL: AVERAGE
As a child, Alexander Milton Ross saw a group of escaped slaves, barefoot and weary, pass through his family’s land in Canada. This ignited his passion to help slaves escape and he spent a lot of time traveling around the south informing slaves about the underground railroad and accompanying them on their journey.
A lot of the power in this story about the underground railroad gets lost in details that don’t particularly contribute to the story. The background of Alexander’s childhood was told at great length, leaving far less time to learn about the actual escapes. The story of the escapes is indeed very interesting, but one does have to work for it in this book.
Jen Wecker, HS English Teacher