Follow Me Down to Nicodemus Town
Written by A. LaFaye
Illustrated by Nicole Tadgell
Age Level: 5 – 7
Grade Level: K – 2
This cover made me pick up the book, and the story led me back to the late 1870’s when Nicodemus Town was founded by the Exodusters. They left slavery, then sharecropping behind to stake new homes in Kansas. This fictional story is a great way to learn their history.
Dede’s family is saving up to buy their way free from sharecropping. Papa farms by day and builds furniture by night. Mama sews dresses when her work is done, and Dede shines shoes at the railroad station. That’s where she spots an add for free homesteads in Kansas. Read how Dede and her family made it to Nicodemus Town.
Continue on to the back matter and the story of the real Exodusters. Their name is biblical, from Exodus and its story of Moses leading his people out of slavery in Egypt. Step back to the real town of Nicodemus, Kansas. You can still visit it today in Graham County. This book is a great resource to help older children enter and understand this part of our country’s history.