A Desperate Road to Freedom: The Underground Railroad Diary of Julia May Jackson is the twenty-fourth book in Scholastic'sDear Canada series. It was published in September 2009. The book was Karleen Bradford's second entry in the series.
"For Jan Andrews and Rachna Gilmore"
"Friday, January 16th, 1863 We huddled there, all holding onto each other. The bushes prickled something awful, but we none of us paid them any mind at all. We heard the dogs coming closer and closer, baying and howling just the way they were the night Uncle Bo got caught. Men were shouting, too. The noise was fierce and it was coming straight at us. I held my breath and prayed as hard as I could. I knew real well those dogs could smell us easy as could be in those bushes. All I could think of was Uncle Bo shot and hanging dead in that tree."
Du désespoir à la liberté French edition (January 2010)
"Thanks to Greg McKinnon, Toronto District School Board Archivist, for routing us to the research of Joel Weiss and Robert S. Brown, which provided helpful information on the duration and timing of the school years in Toronto and elsewhere in the 1860s."
"I would like to thank Lawrence Hill, author of The Book of Negroes, for his support and encouragement, and for his careful reading of the manuscript in its early stages. I would also like to thank Dr. Karolyn Smardz Frost, author of I've Got a Home in Glory Land, for her advice and expertise, and Barbara Hehner for her meticulous fact-checking. Thanks, also, to Diane Kerner and to Sandy Bogart Johnston, who guided and pushed me into writing the best book I possibly could. Sandy is the heart and soul of the Dear Canada books, and she works as hard on them as do the authors. My gratitude to Bonita Johnson de Matteis and Terri Jackson for their help in finding information about the early Black community in Owen Sound; Mary Smith and Mindy Gill-Sitoski at the Owen Sound Marine & Rail Meseum; Trevor Parsons, Amelia Ferguson and Karin Foster at the Grey Roots Museum & Archives; Judy Armstrong, Beth Hall and Margaret Hodgins at the Owen Sound and North Grey Union Public Library; and John Shragge, The Road Scholar, Ontario."