The Daring Escape of Ellen Craft

From the Series On My Own History

  • Interest Level: Grade 2 - Grade 4
  • Reading Level: Grade 3

On December 21, 1848, Ellen Craft and her husband, William, slipped out into the cold, dark night and took their first steps towards freedom. They were runaway slaves. Posing as a white man traveling with a slave, Ellen courageously boarded a train bound for Philadelphia. Could they actually make it a thousand miles without being discovered? As each tension-filled day passed and freedom got closer, Ellen and William risked everything – even death – to be free.

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Interest Level Grade 2 - Grade 4
Reading Level Grade 3
Genre Social Studies
Category 5 Kinds of Nonfiction, 5KN: Narrative Nonfiction, Diverse Books: Race & Ethnicity, Diverse Books: Social Justice, Diversity
Copyright 2002
Publisher Lerner Publishing Group
Brand On My Own Books
Imprint First Avenue Editions ™, Millbrook Press ™
Language English
Number of Pages 48
Publication Date 2002-01-01
Reading Counts! Level 2.0
Text Type Narrative Nonfiction
BISACS JNF007120, JNF025270, JNF018010
Dewey 306.3'62'092273
Graphics Full-color illustrations
Dimensions 5.875 x 8.5
Lexile 570
Guided Reading Level P
ATOS Reading Level 3.2
Accelerated Reader® Quiz 58558
Accelerated Reader® Points 0.5
Features Author/Illustrator note, Awards, Bibliography/further reading, Reviewed, Teaching Guides, Websites, and eSource

Author: Cathy Moore

Illustrator: Mary O'Keefe Young

Lerner eSource™ offers free digital teaching and learning resources, including Common Core State Standards (CCSS) teaching guides. These guides, created by classroom teachers, offer short lessons and writing exercises that give students specific instruction and practice using Common Core skills and strategies. Lerner eSource also provides additional resources including online activities, downloadable/printable graphic organizers, and additional educational materials that would also support Common Core instruction. Download, share, pin, print, and save as many of these free resources as you like!

On My Own History

With striking, full-page illustrations, real and fictionalized characters, and stories featuring events that really happened, these books capture readers’ interest and imagination. View available downloads →


  • Carter G. Woodson Book Award, Winner, 2002
  • Children's Book Committee at Bank Street College Best Children's Book of the Year, Winner, 2002
  • NCSS/CBC Notable Social Studies Trade Book for Young People, Winner, 2002


Kirkus Reviews

“New readers will appreciate the fast-paced adventure, simple language, large typeface with plenty of space for detailed illustrations, and a relatively obscure story set in a familiar historical time.”
Kirkus Reviews

School Library Journal

“This account of a real event employs a suspenseful text that will keep readers engaged to the very end. A great nonfiction choice for newly independent readers.”
School Library Journal

The Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books

“Newly independent readers with a penchant for true adventure will welcome these new entries [The Daring Escape of Ellen Craft and Rescue on the Outer Banks] in the On My Own History series.”
The Bulletin of the Center for Children’s Books