"Danger on the Railroad" by Susan Martins Miller is the 21st book in the American Adventure Series. The setting is in Cincinnati in 1854. The issues at hand are the Underground Railroad and the abolitionist movement. The character/moral concerns addressed include: deciding when to become involved in a situation that poses risk, keeping a secret and/or a promise when safety is at stake, and trusting the Lord to work with and through you when you are scared but desire to do the right thing.
Tina Fisk is a responsible helper to her family. She goes for walks with her brother and helps take care of her twin 4 year old siblings. Occasionally, she gets a bit of relaxation when going to visit with her friend, Sarah, a Quaker who lives a bit out of town. When Tina discovers, quite by accident, that Sarah's family has been hiding escaped slaves as part of the Underground Railroad, Sarah's family asks Tina to promise not to tell anyone- not even her family.
The only issue in this book that needed a bit of extra conversation and TLC when reading it to my boys (the youngest listener being 6), was chapter 7, where the runaway slave tells her life story. There is not a lot of detail, and she admits her life as a slave was somewhat more sheltered than that of other slaves since she worked inside the home rather than in the fields. However, after her husband had run away to avoid being sold (she did not go along with him as she was pregnant and thought she'd slow him down, but hoped to come later), she was beaten. The beating wasn't described in great detail, but the sensitive issue was that the beating caused the death of her unborn child, who was presumably stillborn/miscarried. The beating is described in 1 paragraph, and the woman states at the end, "I lost the baby, of course." Then a few sentences later she states, "....the baby was gone..." and so this is a matter that should be discussed with kids so they understand what happened. It was written in a sensitive way and was not gruesome. Having had a miscarriage myself, I felt this was an emotional moment worth giving readers a heads-up about. One could potentially paraphrase while reading this section to omit that portion of the story if you feel it is not appropriate for your children at this time.
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