The Underground Railroad

Book review by Andrea Beach, Common Sense Media
The Underground Railroad Poster Image

Common Sense says

age 15+

Riveting, brutal story of woman escaping slavery.

Parents say

age 15+

Based on 1 review

Kids say

age 14+

Based on 3 reviews

Did we miss something on diversity?

Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.

A Lot or a Little?

The parents' guide to what's in this book.

Stands out for .

Community Reviews

age 15+

Unflinching historical fantasy

This book has young adult characters but is meant for a mature reader. It is very real about the physical, emotional and psychological trauma involved in being enslaved or an escaped slave in 19th century America. It is contemporary in its themes - certainly raises questions about race, fairness, and resources in current society. Also it's so realistic in many things, make sure your kids know the Underground Railroad was not actually a train in a tunnel IRL. Undoubtedly a classic that will be on high school curricula for many years to come.

This title has:

Educational value
Great messages
Too much violence
Too much swearing

Book Details

Our Editors Recommend

  • 12 Years a Slave Poster Image

    12 Years a Slave

    Imperfect but must-see epic drama with major cruelty.

    age 15+
  • Black Boy Poster Image

    Black Boy

    Moving autobiography reveals brutality of Jim Crow South.

    age 14+
  • Beloved Poster Image

    Beloved

    Haunting Pulitzer Prize winner about slavery's impact.

    age 15+

For kids who love history and stories of the African-American experience

Themes & Topics

Browse titles with similar subject matter.

  • Cartoon picture of a girl
    Great Girl Role Models
    See all
  • Cartoon picture of a map and jug
    History
    See all

Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are created by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.

See how we rate