Booklist - Escape North: Underground Railroad
Behind the Curtain series takes an atypical approach to history by giving students a chance to act out major events in our country’s past. Designed as a two-act play, each book opens with a succinct historical overview, cast of characters, and “Spotlight Biography” on a noteworthy historical figure. Scripted dialogue, while somewhat stilted, offers various perspectives on the event at hand. Famine and Dust portrays the hardships faced in the drought-plagued Midwest of the 1930s. While Heading West dramatizes the dangers of traveling the Oregon Trail, it also emphasizes the trials faced by Native Americans as settlers moved through their lands. Civilians and soldiers both have their say about the Battle of Gettysburg in Union Triumph. Figures from first through third class promenade through Women and Children First, going from excited to distraught as disaster strikes the Titanic. Visual layouts incorporate vocabulary and “Flash Fact!” bubbles, photos (period and current), artistic renderings, and notes on each event’s setting—not to mention its “bloopers.” Educators will want to take advantage of the time line and further reading section, as these books feature invented dialogue but no source notes.