Our Kansas Home (Book 3 of the Prairie Skies Series)
February 1, 2003
Danger Close To Home
Papa is in danger for helping to rescue a free-state settler who was unjustly arrested by Kansas's proslavery sheriff. He has gone into hiding, and Momma and the Keller children are alone in their remote cabin while marauding border ruffians are roaming the countryside, looking for livestock to steal.
But there's a lot more at stake at the Keller homestead than their chickens and cows. Charlie has come upon Lizzie, a runaway slave girl trying to make her way to freedom in Canada, and the Kellers are hiding her at their cabin. With the violence in Kansas Territory escalating, the Underground Railroad isn't running. Can Charlie and his family keep Lizzie safe until she can escape from Kansas?
From School Library Journal
Grade 2-4-Told with simple, clearly written sentences and taut dialogue, this exciting addition to the series relates the adventures of Charlie Keller's family, who moved to the Kansas Territory from Massachusetts to find a new life and to help keep slavery from spreading. They want their territory to enter the Union as a free state, but the pro-slavery people are more powerful and backed by unruly and violent border ruffians. When the dissidents burn down the Free State hotel, Papa senses the danger and sends Charlie and his dog Lion home. On the way, they encounter a young slave who is trying to make her way to Canada. Charlie takes Lizzie home and his mother comes up with a plan to help her. This high-interest, early chapter book brings an era of history alive, and will pique children's interest, including older reluctant readers. A brief background of the period with several Web sites should encourage further exploration into the events touched upon in this book. Susan Shaver, Hemingford Public Schools, NE Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
Gr. 3-5. In the third and final book in the Prairie Skies series, Charlie and his father are in town when pro-slavery "border ruffians" attack. The men destroy the newspaper, burn the hotel, and threaten Charlie's father. His father must go into hiding, and nine-year-old Charlie returns home alone. Along the way, Charlie's dog sniffs out a runaway slave, Lizzie, whom Charlie takes home with him. The story is exciting, but it comes to a somewhat abrupt conclusion brought about less by what the characters do than by history itself; the border ruffians return to Missouri and then Lizzie can continue toward Canada. An author's note explains that the family's measures to hide Lizzie are based on fact; there's also a recipe for biscuits. This, like other books in the series, is a good example of solidly researched historical fiction for readers new to chapter books. Susan Dove Lempke Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved