Through the Looking Glass Children's Book Reviews

The Underground Railroad Adventure of Allen Jay, Antislavery Activist (History's

The Underground Railroad Adventure of Allen Jay, Antislavery Activist (History's

Marlene Targ Brill
Illustrator:  Ted Hammond , Richard Pimentel Carbajal 
Historical Fiction Graphic Novel
For ages 7 to 9
Lerner, 2011   ISBN: 978-0761378068

Allen Jay and his family members are Quakers, which means that they feel that all men and women were equal regardless of race. Allen’s parents think that slavery is unjust, and they are a part of the Underground Railroad, providing runaway slaves with a safe place to hide as they travel north to Canada. Though Allen knows that his parents are feeding and hiding strangers in their home, he has no real idea what is going on.

Then one day, Allen’s father asks him to hide a runaway slave. Though he is frightened, Allen does what he is asked, keeping the slave’s hiding place a secret from everyone. If no one else knows where the young man is, then no one can be forced to tell slave catchers where the hiding place lies.

Allen takes food out to the young man, and then he takes him to Allen’s grandfather’s house in the family wagon. During their journey, the young slave, Henry James, tells Allen his story, and Allen comes to understand how truly terrible slavery is.

Based on the true story of Allen Jay, this graphic novel gives young readers a sense of what it must have been like to be a conductor on the Underground Railroad. This is a perfect title for young readers who prefer books that are graphic rich.

This is one of the titles in the Graphic Universe series.