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North by Night: A Story of the Underground Railroad [Paperback]

By Katherine Ayres (Author)
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Item description for North by Night: A Story of the Underground Railroad by Katherine Ayres...

Set in Ohio in 1851, Lucy Spencer and her family are dedicated workers of the secret Underground Railroad, thus when she is asked to move away to help a widow run her home of runaway slaves, she is divided over her dedication to the cause and her desire to be with her family. Reprint. Teacher's Guide.

Publishers Description
It's 1851 and Lucy Spencer's family is keeping a secret. Their Ohio home is a station on the Underground Railroad, the network of people and places that helps fugitive slaves escape to freedom in Canada. Lucy believes in what she and her family do to help the fugitives, even if it means putting herself in danger.

So Lucy doesn't hesitate when she is asked to stay with the Widow Aurelia Mercer and help her with a family of runaway slaves hiding in her attic. And she learns so much from her experience--about growing up, love, and standing on her own. But what will Lucy do when she is asked to make the ultimate sacrifice and leave all she loves behind?
Katherine Ayres is the author of Family Tree, which has been named to several state award lists, and North by Night: A Story of the Underground Railroad. She is a founding member of the Playwright's Lab at the Pittsburgh Public Theater. She teaches writing at Chatham College, where she also coordinates the Master of Arts program in children's and adolescent writing.

From the Hardcover edition.

Citations And Professional Reviews
North by Night: A Story of the Underground Railroad by Katherine Ayres has been reviewed by professional book reviewers and journalists at the following establishments -
  • Wilson Middle/Junior Hi Catalo - 01/01/2009 page 773
  • Publishers Weekly - 01/24/2000 page 313
  • Wilson Middle/Junior Hi Catalo - 01/01/2005 page 564

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Item Specifications...

Studio: Yearling
Pages   176
Est. Packaging Dimensions:   Length: 7.66" Width: 5.22" Height: 0.48"
Weight:   0.3 lbs.
Binding  Softcover
Release Date   Jan 11, 2000
Publisher   Yearling
Age  10-14
ISBN  044022747X  
ISBN13  9780440227472  
UPC  071009004504  

Availability  9 units.
Availability accurate as of Oct 23, 2017 07:55.
Usually ships within one to two business days from La Vergne, TN.
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More About Katherine Ayres

Register your artisan biography and upload your photo! Katherine Ayres is the author of Family Tree, which has been named to several state award lists, and North by Night: A Story of the Underground Railroad. She is a founding member of the Playwright s Lab at the Pittsburgh Public Theater. She teaches writing at Chatham College, where she also coordinates the Master of Arts program in children s and adolescent writing.

From the Hardcover edition."

Katherine Ayres currently resides in Pittsburgh, in the state of Pennsylvania.

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Product Categories

1Books > Subjects > Children > Ages 9-12 > General
2Books > Subjects > Children > History & Historical Fiction > United States > Fiction > 1800s
3Books > Subjects > Children > History & Historical Fiction > United States > Fiction > General
4Books > Subjects > Children > History & Historical Fiction > United States > Other
5Books > Subjects > Children > Ages 9-12
6Books > Subjects > Children > Literature

Reviews - What do customers think about North by Night: A Story of the Underground Railroad?

An Exciting Story  Mar 3, 2007
The story North by Night has a lot of suspenseful and surprising events. First the main character Lucinda along with her family and friends save run away slaves. She feeds the slave and hides them from the police. After the police have left Lucinda's brothers comes and takes them to safety. Second Lucinda went to supper with her friend Jeremiah. Jeremiah tells Lucinda that the man she had met earlier that day had bought ten saves. Lucinda and her family saved nine out of the ten slaves and brought them to Miss. Aurelia's house. Next Lucinda's said she likes Jonathan and Jeremiah, but at a bon fire Jeremiah kisses Lucinda. When Jeremiah kissed Lucinda Jonathan saw them and got really mad. Lucinda left to go to Miss. Aurelia's house to help here with the run away slaves. At Miss. Aurelia's Jonathan and Jeremiah sent her love letters, she can't decide who she likes best. At the end of the story Lucinda, Miss. Aurelia, and the slave get sowed in, in Miss. Aurelia's house. The slaves have to stay unseen in the attic of the house till Jonathan and Jeremiah come to bring them to freedom. I am glad I don't have to go through any events like this in my life.
Hardly about the "Underground Railroad" --- more like fickle Girl Drama  Apr 16, 2006

In the beginning of the book the author leaves a forward that spins a projection of a adventurous story of a girl helping runaway slaves (Canada Geese) get to Canada out of Ohio (the supposedly free state) and her trials and tribulations she faces concerning these wronged people, with a little personal drama thrown in on the side. In fact, the book even starts out that way; The book, presented in diary format, chronicles Lucy Spencer's and her family's secret operation to get the slaves to Canada as mentioned before. Lucy for that time being is an interesting character who seems to live the usual semi-charmed life with good friends and a "wonderful" boyfriend (Jonathan Clark), as depicted in these kinds of stories. You can feel her stress in trying keep what she is doing a secret, thus sympathizing with her. But as the story rolls on, it suddenly becomes more and more about Lucy's problems with boys!

In one chapter when she is conversing with one of her family aides, Jeremiah Strong, Jeremiah suddenly says "forgive me," and proceeds to kiss her. She suddenly admits she likes his kissing and lets him until her boyfriend Jonathan catches them and is rightfully angered by her actions. Lucy instantly develops feelings for Jeremiah and drops Jonathan quicker than a hot potato, and we're supposed to feel so happy for this fickle headed girl who doesn't even give her ex-boyfriend the time of day to explain her hormonal actions until the near end of the story and even then she doesn't resolve things between them.

She keeps on "loving" Jeremiah. The author even tries to depict Jonathan as a dominating person who wants to control Lucy (because he is not well informed about the situation), which was lousy move on her part. I decided then I didn't like Lucy just because of this. You can seriously skip the letters from Jeremiah or things concerning him, it doesn't move the plot forward at all and you aren't missing anything besides a horribly written subplot.

Near the end the story does focuses a little more on the slaves (mostly characters like Cass and her family who were owned by a man Lucy becomes slightly charmed by then reforms when she finds out he's a slave owner) but not as much as I would've liked. All in all this story was one big disappointment for me, thinking it was a kind of adventure story focusing on just Lucy and the Underground Railroad movement. In turth the secondary characters (like Cass her sister Emma, and Will) are the most interesting thing about this story. Search elsewhere for a historical drama story. --- [a 3 out of 5]
Excellent book!  Feb 22, 2006
In the book North by Night the main character changes from a girl to a women by the end of the story. The main character in this story is Lucinda Spencer, a sixteen-year-old girl trying to make life-changing decisions in the mid 1800's. Lucinda comes from a very loving family of a mother, father, two brothers, and one sister. Growing up Lucinda (Lucy) would watch her parents help "run-away slaves" escape to the North, never realizing that she too would someday have to leave her family to take care of "run-aways" herself. As she tries to hide ten run-away slaves she must face the angry slave owner Clayton Roberts who comes looking for them. Lucy must think and act like a grown up, if she wants to protect the two women and their seven children that are in her care. Through her acts of courage and sacrifice she too, becomes a women.
Wonderful  Jun 8, 2004
North by Night is a truly wonderful sentimental story about two women from two different backgrounds who come together on the belief of freedom for all races; one on a journey seeking freedom from the oppression of slavery and the other a vessel to assist her in her journey. This story is sentimental but shows how people who are different not just racially, but also spiritual beliefs and backgrounds can come together for a common cause.
I also liked this story because it wasn't so predictable. It kept me turning the pages. I read this story in a day, it was so good. The range of emotions it stirred had me excited, crying, laughing and in suspense about what would happen next.
I highly recommend this book. I'll be looking to read all of Katherine Ayers novels.
North By Night  Sep 12, 2003
When I read this book, I immediately fell in love with it. Not only does it have adventure and romance, but it made me actually interested in history for once. This book is about the courageous 16-year-old abolitionist Lucinda Spencer, whose house is a station in the underground railroad. Her world is a world of slave rescue and secrecy, division between the north and south over the Fugitive Slave Laws. She sets off on the greatest adventure and deception of her life. She is to help Miss Aurelia aid runaway slaves to freedom, under the story that Miss Aurelia has small pox and Lucy is helping her to recover. Her must help nine slaves, one an expectant mother, and now her new friends prepare to go to Canada. She keeps in touch with her family and friends through letters. She learns her true beliefs and the beliefs of others and learns that for her there will be more to life than cooking and cleaning. In the end, when she must make her biggest sacrifice and give up everything she has known and loved, she learns how much she has taken for granted. This is a book that not only contains adventure and romance, but also portrays the the topic of slavery through the eyes of a brave 16-year-old heroine.

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