"The Drinking Gourd"


Book: The Drinking Gourd: A Story of the Underground Railroad

Author: F. J. Mongo

Illustrator: Fred Brenner

Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers, 1993

ISBN-13: 9780064440424

ISBN-10: 0064440427

Language level: 1 (nothing objectionable)

Reading level: Ages 7-10

Rating: 5 stars (EXCELLENT)

Reviewed by Wayne S. Walker

For more information e-mail homeschoolbookreview@gmail.com

Mongo, F. N. The Drinking Gourd: A Story of the Underground Railroad (published in 1993 by Harper Trophy, a division of Harper Collins Publishers Inc.). This “I Can Read Book” for Level 3, set in 1851, is about Tommy Fuller, a young boy, and his father, a deacon in the local church, who help a family of slaves escape to freedom via the Underground Railroad as they follow “the drinking gourd” (the Big Dipper constellation or Ursa Major, pointing to the North Star) so they can travel north. Will Tommy be able to hide the runaways from a search party — or will the secret passengers be discovered and their hope for freedom destroyed? While the book is historical fiction, the author notes, “This story really could have happened.” There is a good opportunity to discuss the question of “civil disobedience” and those times when “we must obey God rather than men” (Acts 5:29). Progeny Press has a study guide for this book.

This entry was posted in historical fiction. Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s