Jerdine Nolen
Eliza's Freedom Road
Shadra Strickland, book jacket
Paula Wiseman Books
Simon & Schuster, 2011
book covers
books in alphabetical order
  Eliza's Freedom Road

an Underground Railroad Diary


Christopher Award–winning author Jerdine Nolen imagines a young woman’s journey from slavery to freedom in this intimate and powerful novel.

It is 1854 in Alexandria, Virginia. Eliza’s mother has been sold away and Eliza is left as a slave on a Virginia farm. It is Abbey, the cook, who looks after Eliza, when she isn’t taking care of the Mistress. Eliza has only the quilt her mother left her and the stories her mother told to keep her mother’s memory close.

When the Mistress’s health begins to fail and Eliza overhears the Master talk of the Slave sale auction and of Eliza being traded, she takes to the night. She follows the path and the words of the farmhand Old Joe: “Travel the night. Sleep the day … Go east. Keep your back to the setting of the sun. Come to the safe house with a candlelight in the window … That gal, Harriet, she’ll take you.”


ALA/YALSA Best Fiction for Young Adults nominee
Tennessee Volunteer State Book Award Master List

Eliza's Freedom RoadREVIEWS

“Nolen stirs Eliza’s sad and frightening diary into a rich, empowering story. There is enough history here to make this required reading, but the urgency of Eliza’s voice makes this trip back in time a compelling page-turner brimming with authentic details. Jerdine Nolen brings Eliza to life and puts you right on the road north with her … the road to freedom.” (Pat Cummings, author, illustrator)

“A story of hope, determination, and the triumph of the human spirit.” (Alma Powell, wife of former Secretary of State Colin Powell)


Website copyright 2000 - Jerdine Nolen. All rights reserved. Privacy policy. Site designed by Winding Oak.
Materials on this website may be copied for classroom or library use but may not be reprinted or resold for commercial purposes.