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Dear Austin: Letters from the Underground Railroad
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Dear Austin: Letters from the Underground Railroad (Dear Levi #2)

3.84  ·  Rating details ·  114 Ratings  ·  21 Reviews
In 1853, in letters to his older brother, eleven-year-old Levi describes his adventures in the Pennsylvania countryside with his black friend Jupiter and his experiences with the Underground Railroad.
Hardcover, 144 pages
Published September 22nd 1998 by Knopf Books for Young Readers (first published 1998)
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Miss Amanda
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An engaging epistolary novel, with rambunctious 11-year-old Levi, in Pennsylvania, writing letters to his brother Austin, who has taken the Oregon Trail west. Austin is always coming up with wild schemes for having adventures and being a hero, but finds that real-life danger is a lot more harrowing, and a lot more complicated. This is too simplistic a look at slavery to be of interest to older kids, but would be a good introduction to the topic of the Underground Railroad for younger readers. I' ...more
Jul 18, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: children-s-books
Good story about racial prejudice, slavery and the underground railroad for children, although not a lot was said about the underground railroad. Told from an 11-year-old's perspective, it was funny, scary, and down to earth.
May 08, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Funny little boy made me chuckle. As well written as the first, and equally sad and harrowing at times.
Jan 18, 2009 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
This is the sequel to "Dear Levi." Like the first book, it is also written as letters--this time from Austin in Pennsylvania to Levi, who successfully made it to Oregon Territory in the first book.

This book was simplistic, just as "Dear Levi", but I found that it didn't work for the issues in this book. As you can see from the title, this book tries to tackle slavery from an 11-year-old perspective, and I didn't think it handled it at all, really. I'm sure the author was shying away from a lot o
Laura Verret
Life is carrying on just about normal for Levi and his two sidekicks, Jupiter and Possum. Between maintaining the honor of their club and trying to stay out of scrapes, they stay pretty busy. Especially when defending the honor of the club demands getting into scrapes…

But all is going humdrum and well until suddenly Jupiter’s little sister, Darcy disappears. Because Darcy is black, the boys are pretty sure that she’s been kidnapped and will be sold south unless they intervene. So, on one dark ni
Apr 14, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A book that I will always remember. The story is about a boy that is writing letters to his brother out west. The letters tell of the boys adventures in a small town living with his aunt. When his friend's little sister disappears and it is suspected he was taken by slave catchers, the 2 boys head to south to save her. What they find is how slaves were sold and how they were treated terribly.
Mary Raccuia
Feb 10, 2016 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: adventure
Dear Austin takes places in the 1850s. It 's the story of a young boy from Pennsylvania who is writing letters to his older brother Levi who traveled out west to Oregon and the underground railroad. A must read for any young reader who wants to read a first account of the underground railroad and how it effected many communities. A great way to introduce slavery and the road to freedom the underground placed.
A cute story written in letters from Levi to his brother Austin who is traveling on the Oregon trail.

Levi keeps writing his brother to tell him about all that is going on in their home town of Sudbury Pennsylvania. The trouble that Levi and his friends Possum and Jupiter get into.

Great book for any young reader.
Laurie D'ghent
Jul 02, 2012 rated it really liked it
Excellent book, perfect story of slavery and the Underground Railroad for children. It shows the inhumanity and fear inherent in slavery without going into too much detail. Nothing inappropriate whatsoever.
It only gets four stars because the beginning is too slow and makes you want to quit reading.
May 08, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Even though it's a kid's book, it's still amazing!! I really loved the story. Reminds me of The Adventures of Huck Finn but less complex. Still, I cried a lot while reading this book. It is so well-written. I never thought that a simple children's book would make me cry so much!
Jan 08, 2014 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This pre-Civil War epistolary novel begins with a light tone but quickly sobers. Dealing with the harsh reality of slave catchers and auctions, the young characters provide the reader with a heartfelt tale of friendship and courage.
Feb 22, 2008 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I loved this book! We read this together as a family and we all enjoyed it. There was a lot of humor and it gave my children a better understanding of what slavery was all about. This is a 5th to 6th grade level.
Sam Finley
I read this in 3rd grade and I remembered it. I wasn't that into it until later on in the story, when things get interesting.
Jun 14, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
It is a very good book and I'm glad that my mom found it, because I like adventures a lot! I think my favorite character is Levi.
Debby Baumgartner
Historical fiction in letter form
Nov 06, 2009 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
a very easy read
Mar 02, 2014 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: kids, 2014
3.5 stars for this one. I enjoyed this story told through letters. An easy to read introduction to the Underground Railroad. Not a conventional happy ending either.
Mellanie C
Mar 08, 2017 marked it as to-read  ·  review of another edition
I registered a book at!
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Well-known for her popular children’s stories, author Elvira Woodruff had a long route to becoming a writer. In fact, one of her first jobs after leaving college was driving an ice cream truck. She has also worked as a receptionist, a janitor, a window dresser, a gardener, a shop owner, an assistant librarian, a waitress, and a storyteller. After working for several years in the children’s room of ...more
More about Elvira Woodruff...

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