He walked the plantation fields, freely and with the owners' permission. He was an ornithologist after all, touring the Deep South of the 1850s to study the birds. But Alexander Milton Ross was no ord
He walked the plantation fields, freely and with the owners' permission. He was an ornithologist after all, touring the Deep South of the 1850s to study the birds. But Alexander Milton Ross was no ordinary birdman. He was an undercover Abolitionist. And he had news to spread about the Underground Railroad.
Discover the forgotten life and true adventures of Alexander Milton Ross, daring Canadian activist, who risked everything — including his life — to help bring freedom and dignity to the heroic men and women enslaved in the American South.
Included at the end of the book: Historical Notes and a Time Line
View Biographical note
many picture books, stories for juniors, and teen/YA novels, are published in seven languages and in Braille, and appear in animated TV shows. She teaches creative writing, and edits for writers full-time from her office with a view of river and hills while her dog snores! When not writing, she loves to learn about local history, and to visit her horse. Among her many books, Courage to Fly was published by Red Deer Press in 2002.
Visit her site at www.troonharrison.com
has been creating images for children's books for thirty years. His art consists of a unique blend of drawing, photography, and richly textured painting.
François' work has won, among others, the TD Canadian Children's Literature Award and the Notable Books for a Global Society Award (Missing Nimâmâ), and the IBBY Honor List (The Stamp Collector). That Squeak by Carolyn Beck was a finalist for the Amelia Frances Howard-Gibbon Illustrator's Award, and was selected as an Honor Book for the Elizabeth-Mrazik Cleaver Canadian Picture Book Award. His most recent book, Poetree, was authored by two-time Governor General's Award winner, Caroline Pignat.
François lives near Montreal, Quebec.
View Review text
"Striking illustrations in deep hues are inset over faint outlines of map grids and a naturalist's notebook of birds and flowers; they add a dreamlike quality to the daring, dangerous tales of a real-life secret agent."
— Foreword Reviews
"Thisdale enhances his soft, muted paintings with digital tools, occasionally punctuated with realistic textures — a portion of fabric, a loaf of bread, a brick facade. Clothing, architecture, and furnishings are rendered in exquisite detail, authentic to the time. On close inspection, many spreads include antique maps. The faint outline of lakes, rivers, borders, and place names form discrete overlays, which add interest and depth to the pages.
"Harrison writes eloquently from the start, engaging readers and evoking clear images. Her meticulous descriptions, smoothly flowing text, and dramatic anecdotes create an inspiring story of high principles and steadfast morals. Those seeking books for children that promote "values" and integrity will find Harrison's story offers a fine model."
— Quill & Quire
"The illustrations of François Thisdale, an artist of inimitable skill, blends the realistic with the ethereal and elevates Troon Harrison's story of abolitionist and birder Alexander Milton Ross from storybook to art book. . . Troon Harrison weaves these events about Alexander Milton Ross's life into a compelling narrative of a compassionate man of action while François Thisdale's artwork gives the story depth."
— CanLit for LittleCanadians
View Promotional headline
On the Canadian Children's Book Centre (CCBC) Best Books for Kids & Teens for Spring 2019 List
A 2019 Skipping Stones Book Awards book
"This is a beautifully illustrated biography of Dr. Alexander Milton Ross."
— Skipping Stones Book Awards Jury
The story of Alexander Milton Ross, Canadian ornithologist and undercover Abolitionist, who helped spread word among enslaved men and women in the American South about the Underground Railroad.
View Short description/annotation