Interactive Historical Fiction e-books

Who Comes with Cannons? by Patricia Beatty

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When Truth Hopkins’s father dies, she goes to live with her uncle and his family in their North Carolina farm. Like Truth, the Bardwells are Quakers. They oppose slavery but refuse to take up arms in the cicil war that is now being waged to end this inhuman institution. Then one day, a runaway slave takes refuge on the Bardwell farm and, to truth’s amazement, her uncle hides him from the slave catchers. Even more puzzling, he asks her to accompany him when he delivers a wagonload of hay to a neighbour later that night.


This ride, and the wagon’s real cargo, involve Truth in a mysterious and dangerous underground movement—and reveal how she can help further the cause of freedom without the use of a rifle.


Patricia Beatty, best-selling author and winner of the Scott O’Dell Award for Historical Fiction, takes readers on an unforgettable trip aboard the Underground Railroad. Her powerful story of the Civil War captures the secrecy, suspense and heroism of this little-known chapter in America’s history and will long be remembered by readers.



In a fine Civil War story from a dependable and prolific historical novelist, Truth—only 16, and a girl—rescues her Quaker cousin from a Union prison. After her mother’s death, Truth has moved from Indiana to North Carolina, where she is involved in her relatives’ work with the Underground Railroad. After her cousins are forced into the Confederate Army, Todd is wounded, brought home, and hidden in a cave, while Robert is captured and sent to Elmira, New York; because of her northern accent, Truth goes with Uncle Matthew to try to free him. Uncle Matthew is attacked by a New York City mob; former slave Squire (whom they helped earlier) helps them get the assistance of Frederick Douglass and Mary Todd Lincoln, who secures a note from the President ordering Robert’s release. The late Beatty—dramatizing the Quakers’ courage in opposing slavery, staying out of the war, and enduring harassment while their men and property were conscripted by armies on both—gives a new perspective on what it meant to be an active, dissenting minority amid the strong feelings on both sides of this bitter conflict. Explanatory note.
— Kirkus Reviews