Friday, November 28, 2014

Award-winning novel details the riveting journey of a twelve-year-old slave boy on the Underground Railroad

Bringing history to life is a sure-fire way to engage, enthrall, and inspire readers, and that is precisely the goal of author Cindy Noonan in her new book for middle schoolers and up titled Dark Enough to See the Stars.

Noonan, who spent considerable time researching the history of the Underground Railroad in Pennsylvania and New York, creates a memorable story of escape and danger told in the first person by twelve-year-old Moses.
In the poignant opening scene of the book, Moses bids his beloved Mama, who is being sold and sent to a southern plantation on a train, farewell. When a fight breaks out and the overseer’s attention is distracted, Moses, at his mother’s urging, seizes his chance and runs.

Following the North Star by night on the Underground Railroad, eluding bloodhounds and trackers, Moses sets off on his dangerous, perplexing, and often lonely journey. For a time, he finds shelter with an Abolitionist family, but then the Fugitive Slave Act becomes law. This means that Northerners caught harboring runaways must pay a fine and go to jail.

Moses and a slave girl living with the family flee north by canal boat, steamship, and rail, slave catchers pursuing them at every turn. Their hopes of reaching freedom in Canada seem distant, but Moses, whose mama didn’t want him growing up a slave, is determined to be free.

Dark Enough to See the Stars received the 2014 Silver Medal in the Preteen Fiction eBook category from the Moonbeam Children’s Book Awards. In addition to documenting many authentic sites and characters, the book offers significant benefits to young readers:
  • It teaches kids Underground Railroad history in an exciting way
  • It delivers the heart and soul of the desperate human quest for freedom while prompting questions about oppression
  • It shows how people of the era stood against abuse, violence, and oppression
  • It strongly appeals to boy as well as girl readers
Noonan comments, "Researching the horrors of slavery and the selfless individuals who worked on the Underground Railroad made me realize how important it is for children to learn about this era of American history. What better way to understand the feelings and dreams of an American slave and the high price of freedom than through a fictionalized slave boy their age?"

"You don't have to be a twelve-year-old boy to enjoy this riveting story of bondage, loss, escape, and liberty. Middle school students, teachers, and parents alike will gain valuable insights into the lives of runaway slaves, the role of the Underground Railroad in American history, and the Abolitionist Movement. More importantly, they will grow in their appreciation for the not-so-easily-explained cost of freedom. Don't waste your time looking for a better way to teach history to your kids." ~ Reader Review by Sherry Boykin, motivational speaker and writer

Author: Cindy Noonan resides in Northeast Pennsylvania with her husband of forty-five years, Frank. After raising five children, they now enjoy time with their nine grandkids, especially at the beach.
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Dark Enough to See the Stars by Cindy Noonan; published by Helping Hands Press; Category: Juvenile Historical Fiction; Soft Cover: 978-16220885347, $14.99; eBook: 978-16220885330, $2.99; Availability:,,,,

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