I recently signed up to start doing blog tours (i.e. book reviews) via Kregel Publications. The first book I was offered is called Across the Wide River by Stephanie Reed.
Across the Wide River is set during the early1800s when slavery was commonplace in the south. Many states in the north were "free states." The novel chronicles one families fight for freedom for those living within sight just across the Ohio River. One state, Kentucky, allowed slaves, while the other, Ohio, was a free state. The Rankin family moves to Ohio in order to help runaway slaves continue on their journey north on the Underground Railroad.
I love reading books that are based on fact. This novel is just that. It is based on the life of an actual family named Rankin who lived in the area from the late 1700s to the early 1800s and helped fight slavery. While the author intended this to be juvenile fiction, I found it enthralling. In fact, this book went with me to swim lessons for two weeks where I had an hour of uninterrupted time to read and I quickly devoured it. It will be going on my boys "to read" list for this time period in history.
Stephanie Reed captured the emotions of the time - both of those who were free and those who were not.
The book can be purchased via Kregel Publications for $9.99.
Stephanie has also penned a sequel called The Light Across the River which also can be purchased from Kregel. Here is a trailer of what the book is about....
You can connect with the author via her Facebook page or on Twitter. She has also shared that she is currently working on a new series that will be about the Amish. The first book will be due out in April 2012.
Disclosure: I was provided with a copy of the book through the Kregel Publications Blog Tour program. I was not compensated in any other way. All opinions stated above are mine alone.