Great Escapes
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Great Escapes: Real Tales of Harrowing Getaways

Sometimes, an intolerable situation calls for a drastic measure-fleeing for freedom. Whether you're a slave seeking freedom to the North or a convict swimming for your life in Read More

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Available In:
Hardcover, $19.95
Paperback, $9.95
eBook, $7.99
Includes: Table of Contents | Maps | Glossary
Specs: 5.75 x 9 size | black and white interior | 128 pages
Subject: Social Studies
Content Focus: World History


2018 Kansas State Reading Circle Award Winner - Recommended

Mother Daughter bookclub
The true stories of adventurers, explorers and others escaping life-threatening situations are often more harrowing than anything fiction could imagine. Great Escapes in the Mystery & Mayhem series focuses on five escapes that actually happened. The stories range from slaves escaping to freedom, to an explorer battling the rigors of Antarctica, to East Germans seeking to be reunited with family and friends in the West, and more.

Each story contains a map that shows where key events took place and a time line that places them in history. 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.”

The Old Schoolhouse Magazine
"Both of these books [Great Escapes: Real Tales of Harrowing Getaways and Rebels and Revolutions: Real Tales of Radical Change in America] brought a lot of hard times to light for my son. He didn't want to set them down. While I wanted to use these for history lessons, they disappeared for a time and when they came back to my desk, they were well loved and read. These were hard for me to set down and I loved that my son felt the same way.

I plan to revisit these stories one by one while we study each time period in our history studies and can focus on them more. However, having these written in a manner that my son fell in love with, means that he has a great introduction to our history. It may not all be good, but now he knows the struggles, the fights, the escapes the battle that it took to be free.

If your children love to read true stories and you want them to know more about our history, these books should be available to them! I look forward to adding the rest of the Mystery & Mayhem series to my shelf!"

Always in the Middle
"The Mystery & Mayhem series got off to a great start last year with PIRATES and SHIPWRECKS along with SURVIVAL. Next came DARING HEISTS and WEIRD DISAPPEARANCES . This summer brings a new title as the excitement and adventure continues with GREAT ESCAPES. Five true stories of people trying to get themselves out of a bad situation. You may have heard about some of these daring escapes but what you may not know is the fascinating story leading up to each event . . . 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." Read the complete review online.


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Detailed Book Description

Sometimes, an intolerable situation calls for a drastic measure-fleeing for freedom. Whether you're a slave seeking freedom to the North or a convict swimming for your life in a shark-infested canal, 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.

  • The setting, dialogue, plot, and character in these narrative nonfiction tales are drawn from historical documents and presented in a compelling way to appeal to both avid and reluctant readers.
  • The book introduces the themes of slavery, the Holocaust, communism, and the Cold War to 9 to 12 year olds.


Run for Your Life

Chapter One
A Thousand Miles

Chapter Two
The Jaws of Terra Incognita

Chapter Three
Death Train

Chapter Four
Breaking the Rock

Chapter Five