Blacksmith's Song

Elizabeth Van Steenwyk (Author) Anna Rich (Illustrator)


The son of an enslaved blacksmith learns that his father is using the rhythm of his hammering to communicate with travelers on the Underground Railroad.
When Pa falls ill, it is up to him to help others along the journey--and also lead his family's escape. Pa works hard as a blacksmith. But he's got another important job to do as well: using his anvil to pound out the traveling rhythm--a message to travelers on the Underground Railroad. His son wants to help, but Pa keeps putting him off. Then one day, Pa falls ill and the boy has to take over.

Product Details

Peachtree Publishing Company
Publish Date
February 01, 2018
10.7 X 0.4 X 9.4 inches | 1.0 pounds

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About the Author

Elizabeth Van Steenwyk is the award-winning author of more than seventy published books for young people. After graduating from Knox College, she went on to spend ten years writing for radio and television with a concentration on children's programming. She lives in California.
Anna Rich has provided illustrations for national magazines and newspapers. She has wanted to be an illustrator since she was in high school. Ms. Rich attended the Rhode Island School of Design and works for the Graphic Artists Guild. She resides in Elmont, New York.


"Inspired by tales of the Underground Railroad and its innovative methods of communication, a perilous story of courage and cunning unfolds"
"An intriguing new angle on an important story."
"The design of every spread lends itself well to an oral reading or presentation, which would serve as a stimulus for more in-depth information or discussion on the topics of slavery and the Civil War....a welcome addition to an introduction of the Underground Railroad."
"A plausible, powerful vision of ingenuity and daring in action."
"A shadowy color palette situates the narrative in the twilight and moonlit hours, perfectly complementing the suspense of the plot.... Ending on a hopeful note, the book brings this piece of hidden history to life."