The Golden Pathway

Category: Academic Wings
Author: Donna McDine
Artist: K.C. Snider
Hardcover ISBN: 9781616330811; 1616330813
Paperback ISBN: 9781616330880; 1616330880
eBook ISBN: 9781616330828; 1616330821

Raised in a hostile environment where abuse occurs daily, David attempts to break the mold and befriends the slave, Jenkins, owned by his Pa. Fighting against extraordinary times and beliefs, David leads Jenkins to freedom with no regard for his own safety and possible consequences dealt out by his Pa.


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The Golden Pathway is a heart-gripping childrenís story written by Donna M. McDine with illustrations by K.C. Snider. This story takes place during the dreadful days when people were allowed to own slaves and abuse them. A boy named David lives on a farm with his ma and pa. His pa is a mean soul and owns a slave named Jenkins who is just sixteen years old and works in the cotton fields for him. One night, David hears the terrible screams of agony coming from the barn where Jenkins is being whipped by Pa. David feels a great amount of compassion for Jenkins and knows that slavery is wrong. David is compelled to do everything in his power to help Jenkins because he knows he will soon die from the continual beatings. David will have to find incredible strength and courage to help Jenkins escape slavery and to stop the horrible beatings and torture inflicted upon him unjustly.

The Golden Pathway is written specifically for children 8-12 years old and is written perfectly to their level of understanding. It is easy to comprehend and the plot flows smoothly. The illustrations are beautifully depicted and complement the wording immensely. I found this story to be powerful, inspiring and something that will provide children with a valuable lesson about slavery and freedom as part of American History. I can see this book also providing a valuable tool for children to ask questions and bring about important conversation. I feel strongly that this book is a must read for all children ages 8 and up.
--Reviewed by Rita V for Readers Favorite

The Golden Pathway, written by Donna M. McDine and illustrated by KC Snider, is an inspiring story of a young boy, named David, who helps his father's slave escape to freedom. The Golden Pathway is a tale of compassion and courage. This book earns the Children's Literary Classics Seal of Approval, a designation reserved for those books which uphold the rigorous criteria set forth by the Children's Literary Classics review committee, a team comprised of individuals with backgrounds in publishing, editing, writing, illustration and graphic design.
--LJ Bryant, VP Review Department, Children's Literary Classics,

"Abused by a callous father, David, a sensitive boy, knows by his kind and compassionate nature, the difference between right and wrong. When he observes his fatherís cruel and constant punishment of Jenkins, a sixteen year old slave, David knows he must save him. But, how? Follow David as he tends to Jenkinsí wounds from País relentless beatings. And be there as David gathers information as to how a slave can make his way to freedom, a dangerous undertaking for the brave and caring boy. Award winning childrenís author, Donna McDine, has produced a powerful story of good and evil, a must read for every child. She defines, in a beautifully written and poignant way, one manís inhumanity to man and the redeeming qualities of his son. The author also provides the reader with a strong bibliography and an interesting Authorís Note section, giving insight into the various terms used during the Underground Railway years. The well known Oregon artist, K.C. Snider, has done heroic work with her illustrations. They are not only realistic, but timeless. They provide a compelling backdrop to the authorís commanding prose. She gives one a tender glimpse into a world gone mad, where one boy stands alone and makes a difference."
--Nancy Stewart, author of Amazon Bestseller "One Pelican at a Time: A Story of the Gulf Oil Spill"

Many clever and creative ideas helped slaves during their escape and The Golden Pathway reminds us all about the importance of the cloaked gateway to freedom and those who were sympathetic to many enslaved in their flights to freedom. This daring escape puts you right in David's shoes as he risks his life to help someone outrun slavery. A tale sure to inspire anyone who doubts their own courage.
--Reviewed by: Lori Calabrese, award-winning author and National Children's Books Examiner ~

The fine illustrations by K.C Snider made the story come alive. The expressions on Davidís face exemplified the compassion he showed toward Jenkins. I am especially fond of the picture of David trying to comfort Jenkins after being beaten to a pulp by his Pa. Ms. Sniderís illustrations captured the true essence of the story and that is why the story jumps off the page. Reading The Golden Pathway made me stop to think about all the kind-hearted people who helped many slaves and made it possible for them to escape.
--Reviewed by: Nicole Weaver ~ Article first published as Book Review: The Golden Pathway by Donna McDine on Blogcritics.

Donna McDine's book The Golden Pathway is a poignant tale of sorrow and abuse and how one boy rises above it all to stay true to his humanity. Set in the time of slavery in the South, young David witnesses cruelty on a daily basis. Despite enormous risk to himself, he feels compelled to help a young slave named Jenkins. Learning of a secret society that helps slaves to escape, David sets his plan in motion. But will it be in time? The Golden Pathway is a wonderfully-written children's book that accurately reflects the thoughts and actions of the time period. A must read for any student of history.
--Jennifer Swanson, Award-winning Author of the Penny and Rio series

Twelve-year-old David lives with his parents on their farm in the south, during the time of slavery in the US. David can never please his Pa, who ridicules him when he displays weakness, and calls him sissy. Worse, Pa routinely and savagely whips the slaves, including sixteen-year-old Jenkins. Appalled at these beatings, David determines to help Jenkins escape. The story resonates on all levels. K. C. Sniders' illustrations are dramatic and emotionally charged, and enhance the story beautifully. The way Jenkins is depicted especially pulled on my heartstrings. David's empathic character is perfectly rendered. I highly recommend The Golden Pathway to teachers, parents, and children. The story will be a valuable part of any classroom studying slavery in the US. In addition to being a good introduction to the history and life of the time, it will generate good discussion about the era, making it a valuable addition for libraries. The Golden Pathway is a beautifully written tale of courage, conscience, and compassion. Five big stars. It's a gem.
--Reviewed By A. R. Silverberry Award-Winning Author of Wyndano's Cloak

Award winning children's author, Donna M. McDine, has written a book targeted to kids from 8 to 12 years old that teaches about our American history during the turbulent time of slavery. The Golden Pathway is a beautiful example of what children's literature can be when presented in an interesting and artistic manner. Illustrations in The Golden Pathway are especially thought provoking and will no doubt encourage visual thinking, conversation and a desire to find out more about this riveting time in history. McDine tells the story beautifully about the Underground Railroad and a young boy who overcomes his abusive past to help a slave flee to freedom.
--Lauren Smith is editor for the Virtual Book Review Network -

This beautifully illustrated book is about a boy, David, who knows that his father's cruelty towards his slaves is wrong. He risks his father's wrath to help 16-year-old Jenkins by dressing his wounds after being beaten, again, by David's father. David's decision and bravery to help Jenkins escape brings to life this story of how slaves were helped by others to find their way to freedom. A brilliantly written story suggested for ages 8-12 can be enjoyed by any age. The illustrations are large and bold, and support the story, creating interest and excitement. I personally enjoyed the story. I live very close to where the Underground Railroad ran and every day while riding to school, we passed a safe-house that was used to help those on their way to freedom. I highly recommend this book. It would be a wonderful addition to any home school living history program.
--Reviewed by Tweezle