Here is the sequel to Woodruff’s Dear Levi, a historical novel of a young boy’s friendship with African-American peers in the mid-1800s and his reflective letters to his older brother, Austin. In 1853, Levi Ives begins to write a series of letters to his older brother Austin who lives in Oregon to settle the family’s claim on a plot of land. Levi, who lives in the family’s home in Pennsylvania, develops a friendship with Jupiter, the son of a former slave. Levi, Jupiter, and Possum, another friend, are adventurous boys who explore the wilderness until slave traders capture Darcy, Jupiter’s younger sister.
Levi joins Jupiter on a trip south through the woods to find Darcy. His letters chronicle the people and places he finds along the way — including Harriet Tubman and the slaves who escape north via the Underground Railroad. He also tells his brother about the work of the abolitionists, the horror of a slave auction, and his own painful realization of racial prejudice.
The second in a series of personal letters between two brothers, this book employs a wonderful technique to tell the history of the American South. Readers ages 9 to 12 will be thoroughly engaged by Levi’s adventures.