Just as legendary escapes have kept audiences chattering throughout history, an exciting new picture book called Legendary Escapes, by Soledad Romero Marino, seems destined to do the same.

Written with upper-elementary-aged students in mind, this colorful book tells the daring stories of famous and not-so-famous escape artists on the move. There is the story of Henry Box Brown, who escaped slavery by mailing himself in a wooden box, El Chapo, the world’s most famous drug lord, two East German families who escape West Germany by air, and Casanova, the most infamous womanizer in history.

This creatively put-together book doesn’t just give readers a line or two about each subject’s escape, it gives readers a blow by blow account of the crime, the imprisonment, the escape plan, the escape, and what happens AFTER the escape, too. For example, after Henry “Box” lost his family to slavery and mailed himself to freedom, he was eventually forced to start a new life and a new family in Europe. And after the Trelzyk and Wetzel families escaped East Germany by crossing the border in a hot air balloon, they started a new life in West Germany and became well-known through interviews about their escape.

This is intriguing book about crimes, punishment, and eventual escape is unique in that it does not only highlight the well-known, it also shines light on obscure but still daring escapes, like the tale of three prisoners who escaped from Alcatraz, and the story of 38 female prisoners who escaped a prison by crawling through a tunnel to the sewers.

This book is perfect for lessons on crime and punishment, law, and American society.

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