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The Golden Pathway - A Kid's Story About the Underground Railroad

Review by Lauren S. Smith

Award winning children's author, Donna M. McDine, has written a book targeted to kids from 8 to 12 years old that teaches about our American history during the turbulent time of slavery. The Golden Pathway is a beautiful example of what children's literature can be when presented in an interesting and artistic manner.

Illustrations in The Golden Pathway are especially thought provoking and will no doubt encourage visual thinking, conversation and a desire to find out more about this riveting time in history. McDine tells the story beautifully about the Underground Railroad and a young boy who overcomes his abusive past to help a slave flee to freedom.

The courage that David, and the slave, Jenkins, display will serve to give courage to all preteens, especially those who must deal with bullies at school every day or an abusive situation at home. Children will understand David's agony as he clamps his hands over his ears to cover the screams that shattered the silence of the night.

The screams continue as a result of David's father using his belt to whip slaves into submission. One night, David vows to overcome his fears of what his own father might do to him and defy the times in which he lives to help a man escape the bonds of slavery for a new life.

As the white child of a slave owner, David puts himself in horrible jeopardy by helping Jenkins to escape from a hostile environment and escape to freedom through the Underground Railroad's network of assistance.

In the author's note at the end of The Golden Pathway, McDine explains to her readers how various code words were used to help slaves reach freedom. For example, "conductors" were used to describe individuals who helped slaves reach freedom by giving them shelter along the way.

Donna M. McDine has won many awards for her writing in the children's literature genre. Her love and interest in American history led her to pen The Golden Pathway and chronicle the Black experience and the Underground Railroad.

McDine also wrote "The Hockey Agony" and "Powder Monkey," which are currently on contract with Guardian Angel Publishing Company. She's currently a Publicist Intern for The National Writing for Children Center and the Children's Writers' Coaching Club.

The Golden Pathway, by Donna M. McDine will teach children how people can come together and overcome seemingly impossible odds and learn a bit about American history and how to deal with a situation of bullying and abuse.

Lauren Smith is editor for the Virtual Book Review Network - reviews books by well known bestselling authors and books by soon to be recognized names. For more information, visit: This review covers, The Golden Pathway by Donna M. McDine.

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