Underground Railroad Novel
Highlights Christians’ Involvement
Tice stood at the riverbank, spring runoff flowing swiftly past him. Certain death lay ahead. Certain torture lay behind. First, he couldn’t swim. And torture? That’s what they did with slaves who tried to escape.
Struggling to catch his breath, he thought, Lord, how’d Your boy get here? What on earth I done?
Homeschoolers need a good dose of history to pass Department of Education requirements, but where on earth can they find exciting, informative books that fulfill those guidelines and are told from a Christian perspective?
Let me introduce True North: Tice’s Story, my historical novel about the Underground Railroad that does not flinch from including God’s influence on the daring men and women who defied the risk of fines and jail time by breaking the law and helping slaves escape to “Freedom Land.”
Chosen by Publishers Weekly as a Featured Book for its Booklife magazine, True North: Tice’s Story carries readers along with 19-year-old slave Tice on his frightful flight to freedom. Pursued by his plantation’s menacing foreman, Morgan, who possesses an unnatural hatred of him, Tice is scurried along by courageous real-life heroes of the Underground Railroad in 1860.
Christian and Jewish families, even Henry David Thoreau, help Tice whom they find likeable, friendly and even funny despite his life of misery and who wears his love of God on his sleeve.
Indeed, on a late-night ride with Thoreau the 19-year-old Tice carries the day in an entertaining talk about God with the venerable author.
Publisher’s Weekly wrote that True North “vividly describes the plight of runaway slaves” and “Tice exhibits a deep religious confidence that will endear him to readers of inspirational literature. While the main plot is a work of fiction, the well-researched historical elements make it believable and even, at times, educational.”
Absorbing characters fill the pages with insight into the slavery debate; the runaways’ ever-present dread of being captured; and even humor from some of the Underground Railroad’s younger “conductors.”
Written for middle-schoolers and adults, True North: Tice’s Story is one of three Christian historical novels I’ve written that homeschoolers have embraced. The others are The Crossing, the previously veiled story of the Ku Klux Klan in Maine in the 1920s; and Midnight Rider for the Morningstar, the story of Francis Asbury, America’s first circuit-riding preacher, who sailed to America in 1771 and escaped ravenous wolves, deadly Indians, and dangerous highwaymen to carry the Word of God to the colonies and beyond. All are available on amazon.com.
- Mark Alan Leslie