Great Escapes: Real Tales of Harrowing Getaways

The door to freedom slams shut and the lock snaps into place. Will this prison become your tomb?

Sometimes, an intolerable situation calls for a drastic measure―fleeing for freedom. Whether you’re a slave seeking freedom in the North or a convict swimming for your life in a shark-infested bay, the urge to be free drives your every move. In Great Escapes: Real Tales of Harrowing Getaways, readers ages 9 to 12 meet five ingenious fugitives and freedom seekers who all shared one common goal: escape.

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About the Book

The human spirit craves freedom, and when liberty is taken away, people go to great lengths to get it back. Great Escapes: Real Tales of Harrowing Getaways tells the histories of five ingenious departures. William and Ellen Craft, an enslaved couple, donned disguises in 1848 and made a 1,000-mile run for freedom. Douglas Mawson battled to escape a power greater than any human villain when Mother Nature trapped him in her icy Antarctic jaws in 1913. Nazi guards packed hundreds of Belgian Jews into train cars in 1943 and headed for the concentration camp at Auschwitz. Twelve-year-old Simon Gronowski was among these deportees, but he was determined to find a way off the moving train before it reached its ghastly destination.
Alcatraz was a rocky fortress designed to hold federal prisoners until the end of their sentence or death, whichever came first. Prison officials claimed the Rock was inescapable. But in 1962, three inmates vanished, never to be seen again. No less amazing is the escape of 57 East Germans from communist-controlled East Germany during the Cold War, through a tunnel under the Berlin Wall.

History is ripe with examples of people desperate to escape the traps in which they are snared. Get an up-close look at the guts, skill, determination, and luck of remarkable escape artists in Great Escapes: Real Stories of Harrowing Getaways.

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Series: Mystery & Mayhem
Genre: Nonfiction
Tag: Narrative nonfiction
Publisher: Nomad Press
Publication Year: 2017
Length: 128 pages
ASIN: 1619306123
ISBN: 9781619306127
Perfect for social studies and history classes studying one of these events or to learn on your own. One thing for sure—you won’t want to escape from reading about these thrilling getaways. Fascinating stories for all—including those of us well past the middle grade age.
Author Judy Doge Cummings knows how to write historical fact that reads like fiction, and young readers are likely to be on the edge of their seats to see how each figure from the past uses ingenuity to escape danger. While reading, kids learn significant facts that help make history come alive for them. The narrative should have broad appeal, attracting both avid and reluctant readers. I recommend Great Escapes for readers aged 9 to 13.