Journeys for Freedom

Journeyscoverby Susan Buckley and Elspeth Leacock

“An African American couple travels north, risking death. A ten-year-old boy walks 2,000 miles to find a place to worship freely.  A Chinese man works thousands of miles away from his beloved family.  A Nez Perce woman flees her homeland, pursued by soldiers.  What led these people to make such dangerous journeys?  What is it about freedom that drives ordinary people to do such extraordinary things?”

Journeys for Freedom by Susan and Elspeth Leacock takes the reader on a look at time and place through twenty real life struggles of people and groups moving and traveling to change their lives for the better.  Both history and geography this book includes delightful maps of each journey along with facts, illustrations and the journey that is taken. Among the adventures are those of Roger Williams, the courage of America’s freedom walkers in the 1960’s, Jewish flight from Nazi occupied Europe and the relocation of Native American tribes.  Students will love following each of these twenty journeys on the maps while hearing the moving stories that accompany them.  There is something for all ages in the pages of this delightful book.

If you like this you might also enjoy:

Places In Tie: A New Atlas of American History by Susan Buckley and Elspeth Leacock

The American Story by Jennifer Armstrong

Paddle to the Sea by Holling C. Holling


Activities for students

  • Have students make a map of their travels during a single day.
  • Research other historical people and record the journey of their life.  Then map this journey.
  • Study the immigration patterns of you town.
  • Interview a person in the family or community to find out where they have lived and why they chose to live where they do.


Things to consider:

  • For what reasons do people move?
  • How is movement and freedom part of geography?
  • What hardships do people make when moving to a new place?
  • What would you take and what would you leave behind in order to be free?
  • How does immigration and movements affect the images of a map?