It's just an ordinary day when Emma leaves the Anacostia Museum at the Smithsonian Institute with her friends. They had all just been looking at an exhibit called "Before Freedom Came" about African-American life in the south during the pre-Civil War days. When Emma spots some of her mother's favorite flowers on a nature trail outside the museum, she stops to sketch them while the others go on ahead to explore some other trails. At this point, the story segues quite naturally into a fantasy involving Emma as a slave girl trying to escape via the Underground Railroad. With Eric Velasquez's glorious full-color illustrations complementing the action, the story provides a suspenseful account based on true events. For readers who have not explored this historical time period, the story is an engaging introduction. Readers discover the circumstances of an escaping slave just as Emma herself is thrust into the situation. The book ends happily with the slave Emma gaining her freedom, and the real-life Emma being reunited with her friends. After the story, the author provides a concise explanatory passage about the Underground Railroad, as well as a glossary defining some of the key related terms. In addition to illuminating an important part of American history, the book can prompt discussion about how to distinguish fantasy from reality.