Winner of the 2003 Scott O'Dell Award for Historical Fiction.
2009 Choose to Read Ohio Community Reads selection
Eleven-year-old Samuel was born as Master Hackler's slave, and working on the Kentucky farm is the only life he's ever known--until one dark night in 1859. Without warning, Samuel is pulled from his bed by Harrison, the oldest slave on Master's farm. And together, they run.
The journey north seems much more frightening than Master Hackler ever was, and Samuel is not sure what freedom means aside from running, hiding, and starving. But as they move from one refuge to the next on the Underground Railroad, Samuel discovers the secret of his own past--and future. And old Harrison begins to see beyond a lifetime of hurt to the promise of a new life.
Through the compelling words of Samuel, Trouble Don't Last gives a voice to the runaways themselves. It is a suspenseful and fast paced story that will immerse readers in their emotional journey.
A bibliography, map, and author's note provide additional historical details for teachers and students.
"Action-packed, tautly plotted first novel presents a quest for freedom on the Underground Railroad that realistically blends kindness and cruelty...gripping from beginning to end."
and Top Ten Historical Fiction for Youth
"Powerful historical novel...thrilling escape story, right until the very last chapter."
"It's a gutsy depiction of the Underground Railroad, made all the more real with striking characters and raw drama."
Reading level: 4.7
Published 2002 by Knopf
Setting: Kentucky, Ohio, Canada in 1859