Evans, S. W. (2011). Underground. New York: Roaring Brook Press. ISBN: 9781596435384
Annotation: In the dark of night, a family of slaves creep away from their plantation. They hide, they run, they find aid until they reach their goal: freedom.
Reaction: The simply language in this story allows the art to convey complex ideas.
Evans’s illustrations really express the fear and danger of escaping, especially through his use of large, worried eyes that are often the brightest spot on the page, and the bright gold of the rising sun at the end of the book allows the reader to feel the same hope and joy that the now freed slaves are experiencing.
I would use this book as part of a 5th or 6th grade history unit. It ties in nicely to discussion of the Underground Railroad and the lengths slaves had to go to find freedom.
Evans uses the rising sun at the end of the book as a symbol for the freedom the escaped slaves have found.
This book has won the 2012 Coretta Scott King Award for Illustrators.
Media Used: Mixed media, oil paint, pencil and digital collage