This novel begins with the Small family moving to a house in Ohio based on the fact that the house is of historical significance. The house is once an important stop on the Underground Railroad. Mr. Small learns about the house through a foundation that cares for historical sites such as this one. Mr. Small chooses to move to the house based almost solely on its historical worth. However, the house is also thought to be haunted, a fact that both intrigues and causes suspicion in Mr. Small. The idea also excites Mr. Small's son, Thomas.
When the Small family arrives at the house, they begin to explore the tunnels and hidden rooms throughout the house that were used to conceal the runaway slaves. At the same time, these same tunnels are used against the Smalls as the Darrows break in and try to scare them away. In...
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“A hundred years ago, Dies Drear and two slaves he was hiding in his house, an Underground Railroad station in Ohio, had been murdered. The house, huge and isolated, was fascinating, Thomas thought. but he wasn’t sure he was glad Papa had bought it – funny things kept happening; frightening things. The secret of the house is revealed in an exciting final sequence that maintains beautifully the mysterious and dramatic story of a black family caught in an atmosphere of fear and danger. Written with distinction, an imaginative and imposing book.”
– Bulletin of the Center for Children’s Books
“A spellbinding mystery with edge-of-the-seat suspense.”
– New York Times Book Review
– An American Library Association (ALA) Notable Children’s Book
– Edgar Alan Poe Award (Mystery Writers of America “Edgar”)
– “Best of the Best Books,” School Library Journal
Published by The Trumpet Book Club
Cover illustration by Eros Keith
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