North by Night: A Story of the Underground Railroad
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North by Night: A Story of the Underground Railroad

3.9 of 5 stars 3.90  ·  rating details  ·  352 ratings  ·  23 reviews
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 W...more
Paperback, 192 pages
Published January 11th 2000 by Yearling (first published 1998)
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Written in Diary format, this book gives the eye view of a young girl learning that law is not necessarily right, and dealing with the conflict of feelings between love and helping those who need her.

This was a book I read when I was in elementary school, and I certainly recommend it to any girl of that age. The writing is simple and easy to understand, and overall PG while teaching valuable lessons in equality. It got me interested in a topic I otherwise find rather boring. Unfortunatly trying...more
Not my favorite, Also read this with Sadie for literature circle. They tried to make this a love story and the underground railroad. My girls are 11 and not into the love note thing. Only 1 out of 8 in my group even wanted anything to do with that. Brings up the concept of rape and I didn't go into detail in the group discussion about slavery and the owners raping their slaves. luckily none of them really caught on. Mentioned to the teacher who will not be doing this book again next year. Most t...more
Nov 12, 2009 Katie rated it 4 of 5 stars
Shelves: 2009
REALLY like this book. It was about the life of a young woman who worked at a stop on the underground railroad, but it was so well written that you forgot it was a historical book, and got really involved with the characters. I was really impressed with the author's writing style. All in all it was a great way to pass the time while waiting in line for the H1N1 vaccine.
This book was awesome and helped me to learn a little more about the underground railroad. I enjoyed it a lot!
Amanda Stevens
What a confusing book. Its length is typical of middle-grade (175 pages), and protagonist Lucy behaves like a typical twelve-year-old. The problem: Lucy is actually sixteen. She's caught in a love triangle and will have to choose between her suitors (and marry one of them) fairly soon, and yes, her dithering composes a large portion of the story.

Modern ideologies, especially the stereotypical Independent Woman Ahead of Her Time, creep into this historical novel rather often. The moralizing is he...more
Elizabeth Dyck
This book was really interesting. The diary/journal layout is wonderful. Lucy Spencer is sixteen and a big helper in and supporter of the Underground Railrod. The Canadian Geese, the secret code for runaway slaves, are migratong contimually. Though they are never sure when to expect some slaves a their door, they are always ready. One slave Lucy meets is Cass, a pregnant woman. They become close friends as the day draws nearer for Cass to deliver her baby. While they are waiting for the babe to...more
Yet another re-read of this favorite from my teenage years. The story centers around Lucy (it's her diary), a 16 year old girl who believes and freedom and works with her parents on the underground railroad to help runaway slaves. While Lucy can be irksome at times, her story is interesting and her love life no less so. Jeremiah Strong is just the type of man we all hope for and another boy in the story (won't say names here) is just the type we all cringe around and try to avoid. While I was no...more
Melody Cantwell
While this book gives more historically accurate information concerning its historical setting than many others, the story and characters felt flat and the same as many, many other mediocre children's books. I would give this book to a girl 10 and up, but the lack of quality simply appals me. Every character in the book is a textbook stereotype of children's literature. The strong, young, female heroine; the eccentric, misunderstood, lonely, strong woman; the needy, wise, lovable woman; the flat...more
I loved this book. It was such a thriller. I can't believe that the author was capable of making you feel so many feelings while reading this book. Anyone who wants a very good book to read has to read this one.
Laurie D'ghent
An outstanding book. Deals with some of the heavy issues connected with slavery without getting graphic or inappropriate. That being said, I still wouldn't recommend it for elementary students. No swearing.
Kerri Coleman


I had to read it for school it was good and educational. My words to the other bravo bravo good job.
Great book on the surface. It is well written, easy to read, contains legitimate history, and is heartfelt. I even really began to like Lucy and could understand her youthful love triangle and angst.
My issue is one that any ally would have: the same old story about the white savior. The white privilege oozing from the pages can not be ignored, in fact while William Lloyd Garrison gets a mention no real black abolitionists do.
It is not that I didn't enjoy the book because I did. It is just that I...more
Good book about Slavery, Family and youth.
I like the Katherine Ayres writes and leads one through a story.
This book was really sad and shocking while also being readable (as in, not so heavy that you can't continue, but not so light that you forget what you're reading); it incorperates "normal life" with the insane concept of saving (or attempting to) the lives of other people. The MC was great- a true heroine. I would definately recommend reading this.
Becca Kirkman
It is a good short read. I first I thought it was too much teenager drama, but evens out. It was an amazing story of a young girl coming to age in the Civil War. The main character is Lucy who helps her family aid the runaways on the Underground railroad. She found out what she really believes and makes huge sacrifices for the cause of freedom.
I am doing a book report on this book and I just finished reading it. Really boring an there are so many things wrong with this book. The way the character feels and everything. The only character I liked died and the book left you hanging in a weird place. I LOVE READING, BUT THIS BOOK WAS NOT FOR ME!!
I really enjoyed reading this book. I think the author did a wonderful job developing well thought out characters, and likable characters as well. I think the book is a gentle version of what life was like, but with enough truth to make it believable.
This book differs from many underground railroad stories in that it depicts the real danger and devistation faced by those who put their lives and fortunes on the line to help the escaping slaves.
Another favorite from childhood. The main character is very brave. A lot of history and a sweet, clean romance as well.
I read this book in middle school and I absolutely loved it. I'm hoping to read it again in the future.
was a good read im sad cass died tho.she will neva get to know her baby
Apr 07, 2010 Lynn added it
I realy liked it. Its intreging
Nice book. It showed a lot of courage
I love this book!
Morgan marked it as to-read
Jul 20, 2014
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North by Night 2 8 Jun 08, 2012 10:07AM  
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Katherine Ayres is the author of ten books for children and teenagers. She lives in Pittsburgh, PA where she teaches writing to graduate students and Chatham University.

At age 19 she appeared on the TV show, To Tell the Truth--as a liar. "It was good practice for becoming a fiction writer," she says. "These days I have to make up stuff all the time. And I like it!"

Then, as now, Ayres was a convin...more
More about Katherine Ayres...
Voices at Whisper Bend (American Girl History Mysteries, #4) Under Copp's Hill (American Girl History Mysteries, #8) Up, Down, and Around Macaroni Boy Silver Dollar Girl

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