Friday, July 10, 2009

The Light Across the River

The Light Across the River
By: Stephanie Reed

This book is the sequel to Across the Wide River. This time Stephanie focused on the seventh Rankin child, Johnny. Johnny likes to tell people stories and doesn't understand why his family can't tell about how they are helping so many people. He doesn't fully understand the danger involved with the slave hunters. At one point his family sends him to Cincinnati for school, but while he's there he tells one of the biggest secrets the Rankin family has ever had to keep.

I love how she told this story through the eyes of a child and the eyes of a slave. Experiencing everything right along side them and putting yourself in their shoes gives a new light to this time in history.

This book is not just a book about slavery, but it also can be an encouragement to people going through hard times. Eliza led a hard life, but her trust in the Lord, determination, and strong will ended up saving her whole family from slavery. Given the many obstacles that they faced this was truly a miracle.

There are always important lessons to learn as you grow up and Johnny's major lesson was learning when to speak and when to keep quiet. As well as building trust in his relationships with other people. Not always an easy thing - no one likes to feel like they aren't trusted, but as he grew up and helped his father God was able to use Johnny Rankin in amazing ways. And because of him Eliza's story will be remembered for years to come. The woman he talked to was Harriet Beecher Stowe, author of Uncle Tom's Cabin.

I highly recommend these books. Stephanie has quickly become a favorite on my list of authors.

Back of the Book:
Why couldn't Father see how wrong
it was to keep quiet? It seemed so
simple to Johnny. If only people
could know how horrible slavery
was! If only they knew the great
risks men took to be free!

It's 1837 and the Rankin home continues to be a beacon of freedom along the Underground Railroad. Johnny, the seventh of the thirteen Rankin children, is eager to help his family in their fight for freedom, but his father and his older brother, Lowry, tell him he is too young to keep a secret as important as the Underground Railroad. Johnny knows he should keep his mouth shut, but he cares so much about what his family does that he can't keep quiet.

Finally, Johnny is called upon to help a woman escape to freedom. Will Eliza reach the North, or has Johnny let the wrong secret slip out at the wrong time? The intense and touching sequel to Across the Wide River offers another glimpse into a dark period of America's past, and profiles the courageous and godly people who helped bring slavery to an end.

About the Author, Stephanie Reed:

During her childhood, Stephanie Reed’s family would often pass through Ripley on their way to her grandparents’ home. The signs she read there about the Rankin house were what prompted her to write this story. After working for nearly a decade with the Dayton Metro Library, Stephanie is currently a volunteer spotter for the National Weather Service. She lives with her husband and two children, in Dublin, Ohio.

Author Website:

Publishers Website:

1 comment:

Stephanie Reed said...

Thank you, Julianna. You're quickly becoming one of my favorite reviewers! :-)