Trouble Don't Last by Shelley Pearsall

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Eleven-year-old Samuel was born as Master Hackler’s slave, and working the Kentucky farm is the only life he’s ever known—until one dark night in 1859, that is. With no warning, cranky old Harrison, a fellow slave, pulls Samuel from his bed and, together, they run.

The journey north seems much more frightening than Master Hackler ever was, and Samuel’s not sure what freedom means aside from running, hiding, and starving. But as they move from one refuge to the next on the Underground Railroad, Samuel uncovers the secret of his own past—and future. And old Harrison begins to see
past a whole lifetime of hurt to the promise of a new life—and a poignant reunion—
in Canada.

In a heartbreaking and hopeful first novel, Shelley Pearsall tells a suspenseful, emotionally charged story of freedom and family. Trouble Don't Last includes an historical note and map.

From the Hardcover edition.

About Shelley Pearsall

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A former teacher and museum historian, SHELLEY PEARSALL is now a full-time writer. Her first novel, Trouble Don’t Last, won the Scott O’Dell Award for Historical Fiction. To learn more about the author and her work, visit

Author Residence: Silver Lake, OH
Published December 18, 2008 by Yearling. 256 pages
Genres: Travel, Children's Books, Literature & Fiction. Fiction

Unrated Critic Reviews for Trouble Don't Last

Kirkus Reviews

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This succeeds as a suspenseful historical adventure with survival at stake and makes clear that to succeed Harrison and Samuel, as well as others, must never give up even while combating manhunters, bloodhounds, mental illness, disease, hunger, cold, and their own despair.

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Publishers Weekly

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When Harrison, one of the elderly slaves who raised him after the master sold off the boy's mother, decides to run away, Samuel must go with him.

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Publishers Weekly

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An 11-year-old boy and the elderly captive who helped raise him seek escape via the Underground Railroad.

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