Night Running

Night Running
It's 1838, and James has made a secret plan to escape Master Graham's farm--and slavery . . .

Night Running: How James Escaped With the Help of His Faithful Dog

Illustrated by E.B. Lewis
ISBN 978-0-375-82247-6
Buy Night Running at Barnes & Noble

Based on a true story

"An excellent way to teach history, this belongs in every library."
-- Kirkus Reviews

" Powerful . . . This emotionally charged account will move children and parents alike."
--Publisher's Weekly

"A vividly realized narrative."
-- School Library Journal, Starred Review

Night Running Graphic by E.B. Lewis

It's 1838, and James has made a secret plan to escape Master Graham's farm, and slavery.
He looks down at Zeus, his skinny old hunting dog--always hungry, always barking. "I've got to leave you behind," James tells him. "I don't want you following me either."

Zeus knows better. When James needs a steady guard while he sleeps under leaves, Zeus is there. When slave-catcher dogs come rushing over the ridge, Zeus is there. When James faces capture, Zeus is there. But the wide Ohio River lies between them and freedom and the two may finally have to part, James free on one side and his dog on the other. Zeus knows better.

Based on a true story, Night Running pairs an acclaimed historical fiction writer with a Caldecott Honor artist in a gripping and luminously illustrated journey to freedom. 

Night Running images copyright © 2008 E.B. Lewis

Night Running Graphic by E.B. Lewis Night Running Graphic by E.B. Lewis


Night Running was recently featured on Children's Book Podcast Just One More Book!! - - a podcast about the children's books we love and why we love them. Listen to the podcast from their website: /Night Running Podcast

Awards and Honors

Parents' Choice Recommended Award Winner 2008
Cybils Award Nominee
Starred review School Library Journal

Author’s Note:
I discovered the true story of James Smith and his faithful hunting dog while I was researching my novel Stealing Freedom. James Smith was interviewed by Henry Bibb, and the story was first published in a newspaper, Voice of the Fugitive, as a five part series (Jan 15, Feb 26, March 11, April 22, June 3, 1852). The full text can be found in the book Slave Testimony: Two Centuries of Letters, Speeches, Interviews and Autobiographies, edited by John W. Blassingame. (Louisiana State University Press, 1977.)

Would you like to read Night Running in Italian?

One of my cousins in Itlay (I have LOTS of cousins in Italy) did a wonderful translation of Night Running for me the last time I was there visiting my family. 

Traduzione italiana