Picture Books

The Price of Freedom: How One Town Stood Up to Slavery

Picture book. By Dennis Brindell Fradin and Judith Bloom Fradin. Illustrated by Eric Velasquez. 2013.
Story of John Price’s escape to freedom with the help of the Oberlin–Wellington Rescue.

Time Periods: 1865
Themes: Organizing, Slavery and Resistance

priceoffreedom9780802721662With powerful illustrations by Eric Velasquez and historically accurate narrative, The Price of Freedom tells the story of townspeople in mid-19th century Ohio who resisted the inhumane Fugitive Slave Law.

When “slave catchers” captured John Price in Oberlin and set out to return him to the enslavement he had escaped years earlier, a group of black and white abolitionists bravely sprang into action to defend their neighbor. They freed Price in what became known as the Oberlin-Wellington Rescue.

The Price of Freedom brings this important story in the history of the Underground Railroad and resistance to slavery to readers age 10 and older. [From Rethinking Schools]


When John Price took a chance at freedom by crossing the frozen Ohio river from Kentucky into Ohio one January night in 1856, the Fugitive Slave Act of 1850 was fully enforced in every state of the union. But the townspeople of Oberlin, Ohio, believed there that all people deserved to be free, so Price started a new life in town—until a crew of slave-catchers arrived and apprehended him. When the residents of Oberlin heard of his capture, many of them banded together to demand his release in a dramatic showdown that risked their own freedom. [Publisher’s description.]

ISBN: 9780802721662 | Walker Books