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Follow the Drinking Gourd: An Underground Railroad Story
Follow the Drinking Gourd: An Underground Railroad Story
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Reviewed Titles

Follow the Drinking Gourd: An Underground Railroad Story

Illustrated by Robert Squier

Follow the Drinking Gourd is an American folk song from the 1920s. Legend has it that a man called Peg Leg Joe taught slaves the song to help them escape to freedom, and they used the Big Dipper and the North Star to guide the way.

PublisherPicture Window Books
Age Level7-9 Years
Reading LevelGrades 2-3
Trim Size8 x 10
Page Count24



Booklist Online - Charli Osborne

"In this entry in the Night Sky Stories series, Peg Leg Joe travels from plantation to plantation, singing a song with special significance to the slaves working the fields (“When the sun comes back, And the first quail calls, Follow the drinking gourd”). If the slaves listen carefully, the words provide a “map to freedom.” The song, interspersed with the story of Peg Leg Joe, is brief and repeated throughout, making for a good read-aloud and sing-along. Squier’s digitally created illustrations are eye-catching and saturated with color, often depicting the faces of Joe and the slaves illuminated by a nighttime fire. Although there is an extremely brief and simple glossary, suggested further reading and websites offer kids the opportunity to learn more on the subject of the Underground Railroad. An introduction to the book also touches on the subject and explains that “Follow the Drinking Gourd” is an American folk song." - Booklist Online

September 19, 2012

Wanted Readers blog - Ashna

"My 6 year old daughter, Jessie, and I read this together. We both loved it." - Wanted Readers blog

June 30, 2012

Hott Books blog - Regina Hott

"As we progress, it’s important to remember from where we’ve come. This book is a wonderful reminder of the wonderful people who risked thier lives to help free slaves." - Hott Books blog

August 9, 2012