Digging Beneath the Surface
To order any of these titles, contact the library by email, mail or phone. You may also request these titles online through our OPAC. Identification numbers for braille books begin with BR, large print books begin with LP, and audiobooks begin with DB. All audiobooks and selected braille books are linked to the Braille and Audio Reading Download (BARD) site for downloading. Happy Reading!
Preschool to Grade 2
Berenstain Bears' Seashore Treasure by Jan Berenstain
When the Bear family goes to the seashore, they find a map which they hope will lead them to buried treasure. 2005. LP 01946.
My Big Book of Trucks & Diggers by Caterpillar
An oversized board book featuring photos of 10 Caterpillar machines-a bulldozer, excavator, dump truck, skid steer loader, paver, motor grader, wheel loader, backhoe loader, material handler, and telehandler. LP 02173.
Kindergarten to Grade 3
Diary of a Worm by Doreen Cronin
A worm records in his journal the good and bad things about his life, including scaring little girls and not having to take a bath. Print/braille. 2003. BR 15031.
Diggers at Work by Jean Eick
Briefly describes the parts of a digger, or excavator, and the work it does. LP 00517.
Mike Mulligan and His Steam Shovel by Virginia Lee Burton
Mike Mulligan remains loyal to his steam shovel, Mary Anne, against the threat of the new gas and diesel-engine contraptions. He digs his way to a surprising and happy ending. 1939. LP 01174.
Download Mike Mulligan and His Steam Shovel, BR 13645.
Download Mike Mulligan and His Steam Shovel, DB 25281. Reading time: 10 minutes. Read by Robert O'Keefe.
No Tooth, No Quarter by Jon Buller
Fearing punishment from Queen Denteena for not finding any good teeth, an unlucky tooth fairy takes a boy down into the underground kingdom of the tooth fairies so he can explain that his tooth fell out, but he mislaid it. LP 50069.
Tip Tip Dig Dig by Emma Garcia
A parade of colorful construction vehicles doing their work means plenty of joyful noise! 2007. LP 02065.
Wiggling Worms at Work by Wendy Pfeffer
Explains how earthworms eat, crawl, burrow, and reproduce. Describes how they help plants grow. Includes activities. 2004.
Download Wiggling Worms at Work, DB 59466. Reading time: 11 minutes. Read by Mark Ashby.
Grades 2 to 4
Aunt Harriet's Underground Railroad in the Sky by Faith Ringgold
In this companion to Tar Beach (BR 8940), Cassie Louise Lightfoot and her little brother, Be Be, are flying among the stars when they come across a ramshackle train. To Cassie's horror, Be Be boards the train. Then Cassie meets Harriet Tubman, who explains that Be Be will experience what their great-great-grandparents did while escaping slavery by the underground railroad.
Download Aunt Harriet's Underground Railroad in the Sky, BR 10381.
The Deadly Dungeon by Ron Roy
Dink, Josh, and Ruth Rose travel to Maine to visit the castle home of their friend mystery writer Wallis Wallace. When the kids hear screams coming from behind the walls, they set out to find the source--and discover a trap door to a secret tunnel. 1998.
Download The Deadly Dungeon, BR 17957.
The Drinking Gourd by F. N. Monjo
The title refers to the Big Dipper constellation which runaway slaves used to locate the Underground Railroad. The story concerns a young boy and one night's adventures in helping a slave family escape to freedom. LP 01055. BR 51820.
Freedom's Wings: Corey's Underground Railroad Diary by Sharon Dennis Wyeth
Kentucky, 1857-1858. Corey's father runs away from the plantation rather than be sold. With the help of the people involved in the Underground Railroad, Corey and his mother escape north to join his father. 2001.
Download Freedom's Wings: Corey's Underground Railroad Diary, DB 65942. Reading time: 1 hour, 16 minutes. Read by Gary Roan.
Grades 3 to 6
The Deep-Sea Floor by Sneed B. Collard
Introduces creatures such as bioluminescent animals and tube worms that thrive on the dark ocean floor miles below the surface. 2003.
Download The Deep-sea Floor, BR 17182.
Eliza's Freedom Road: An Underground Railroad Diary by Jerdine Nolen
Alexandria, Virginia; 1854. Eleven-year-old kitchen slave Eliza begins a diary. At twelve, she runs away to avoid being sold at auction. Eliza has various adventures while heading toward Canada along the underground railroad. 2011.
Download Eliza's Freedom Road: An Underground Railroad Diary, DB 74136. Reading time: 3 hours, 18 minutes. Read by Erin Jones.
Fantastic Mr. Fox by Roald Dahl
Three nasty, mean men--farmers Boggis, Bunce, and Bean--are tired of Mr. Fox stealing their chickens, ducks, and turkeys to feed his family. They start digging the foxes out of their hole, but Mr. Fox has a plan of his own. 1970.
Download Fantastic Mr. Fox, BR 18839.
Go Free or Die: A Story about Harriet Tubman by Jeri Ferris
Harriet Tubman was born in 1820 on a plantation in Maryland. She and most other African-Americans were held in slavery, and their masters could work them and sell them as they pleased. But Harriet believed that she had a right to go free or die. This is the story of her escape to freedom, and her return to the South again and again to lead 300 others to freedom on the Underground Railroad. BR 50871. LP 00923.
Download Go Free or Die: A Story about Harriet Tubman, DB 30890. Reading time: 1 hour, 1 minutes. Read by Carolyn Byrd.
The Jungle Pyramid by Franklin W. Dixon
The Hardy boys go on an archaeological dig in the Yucatan jungle in their search for a million dollars worth of gold bullion stolen from a mint.
Download The Jungle Pyramid, DB 12252. Reading time: 3 hours, 13 minutes. Read by George Bachman.
The Moon of the Moles by Jean Craighead George
The little eastern mole, silvery-brown and as small as a child's hand, lives two feet under the ground near Crooked Creek, Kansas. Awakened by earth tremors, she speeds in total darkness along one of the tunnels in her underground network. The author calls the moon of December- January, when the nights are darkest in the Northern Hemisphere, the moon of the moles.
Download The Moon of the Moles, DB 38762. Reading time: 34 minutes. Read by Barbara Rappaport.
Download The Moon of the Moles, BR 09647.
The Tale of Despereaux: Being the Story of a Mouse, a Princess, Some Soup, and a Spool of Thread by Kate DiCamillo
Despereaux, a small mouse, is condemned to the dungeon for falling in love with human Princess Pea. Despereaux meets the rat, Roscuro, while Mig, an upstairs serving girl, wishes to be a princess, too. All four meet with near disastrous results. Newbery Medal winner. 2003. LP 01414.
Download The Tale of Despereaux, BR 15300.
Download The Tale of Despereaux, DB 57805. Reading time: 3 hours, 57 minutes. Read by Jill Fox.
Grades 4 to 7
Adventure Beneath the Sea Living in an Underwater Science Station by Kenneth Mallory
Describes a seven-day mission in a steel cylinder off the Florida Keys, sixty feet deep in the Atlantic Ocean. Examines the scientists' living conditions and work, which includes inserting computer tags into fish. Discusses scuba diving and explains the need to return to the surface slowly. 2010.
Download Adventure Beneath the Sea Living in an Underwater Science Station, BR 19282.
Dark Whispers by Bruce Coville
Seeking to unravel the secret of the enmity between unicorns and delvers, Cara Diana Hunter travels through an underground world to the centaur king's court. Meanwhile Cara's father is on a quest--to free her mother from the Rainbow Prison. 2008.
Download Dark whispers, DB 68170. Reading time: 10 hours, 57 minutes. Read by Catherine Byers.
Dear Austin: Letters from the Underground Railroad by Elvira Woodruff
In 1853, Levi writes letters to his older brother about his adventures in Pennsylvania. Then Darcy--the sister of Levi's African American friend Jupiter--disappears, so Levi and Jupiter head south to search the slave markets for her. Levi recounts his subsequent experiences with the Underground Railroad. 1998.
Download Dear Austin: Letters from the Underground Railroad, BR 12562.
Dinosaur Mummies: Beyond Bare-bone Fossils by Kelly Milner Halls
Discusses the discovery of mummified dinosaur fossils, including skin, muscle, and internal organs, and the paleontologists who study them. Describes the 2000 dig in Montana that found the most intact and best-preserved mummy so far, as well as excavations conducted in Canada, Italy, China, and Argentina. 2003.
Download Dinosaur Mummies: Beyond Bare-bone Fossils, DB 59194. Reading time: 2 hours, 7 minutes. Read by Carol Dines.
The Dirt on Dirt by Paulette Bourgeois and Kathy Vanderlinden
Presents facts about earth and related topics--mud, stains, sand, quicksand, archaeology, gardening, earthworms, and plate tectonics. Features activities: making mud cakes you can eat; making humus for gardens; growing a hideaway; mixing oil and water with soap; and casting footprints with plaster of Paris. 2008.
Download The Dirt on Dirt, DB 67817. Reading time: 1 hour, 18 minutes. Read by Kerry Dukin.
Diving to a Deep-sea Volcano by Kenneth Mallory
Discusses the first discoveries of prolific life-forms surrounding hydrothermal vents and the scientists who made the dives one and one-half miles below the surface of the Pacific Ocean. Describes large tubeworms, giant clams, and other organisms and the miniature submarine Alvin that enabled deep-sea exploration. 2006.
Download Diving to a Deep-sea Volcano, DB 63835. Reading time: 1 hour, 48 minutes. Read by Alexander Strain.
Geothermal and Bio-energy by Ian Graham
A discussion of geothermal energy, defined as heat deep underground that can generate electricity, and bio-energy, which is power produced from plants and animals. Explores environmental impacts of exploiting these sources. 1999.
Download Geothermal and Bio-energy, BR 13388.
Gregor the Overlander by Suzanne Collins
When eleven-year-old Gregor and his two-year-old sister are pulled into a strange underground world, they trigger an epic battle involving men, bats, rats, cockroaches, and spiders while on a quest foretold by ancient prophecy. 2005. LP001607.
Download The Underland Chronicles: Gregor the Overlander ; Gregor and the Prophecy of Bane ; Gregor and the Curse of the Warmbloods ; Gregor and the Marks of Secret ; Gregor and the Code of Claw, DB 74333.
Rocks & Fossils by Margaret Hynes
Explains basic facts about rocks above and below the Earth's surface and their usefulness as fuel, building material, and precious jewels. Discusses fossil remains from sea creatures, plants, insects, and dinosaurs and examines the clues they provide to the prehistoric past. 2006.
Download Rocks & Fossils, DB 65543. Reading time: 2 hours, 21 minutes. Read by Madelyn Buzzard.
Trapped by Douglas E. Richards
Rural Pennsylvania. Ryan and his sister Regan discover that their scientist parents are part of Prometheus, a secret project that involves exploring an underground alien city that has hostile technology. When their mother faces death, the children must figure out how to save her. 2004.
Download Trapped, DB 66956. Reading time: 3 hours, 3 minutes. Read by Kristin Allison.
Vampire Breath by R. L. Stine
One night after a baby-sitting job, Freddy and Cara laugh about how much they scared a little boy with their werewolf story. Then it becomes their turn to be frightened when they discover a hidden door in Freddy's basement opening on a long dark tunnel and, at the end of the tunnel, a room with a coffin inside.
Download Vampire Breath, DB 45187. Reading time: 2 hours, 9 minutes. Read by Terence Aselford.
Download Vampire Breath, BR 11149.
Grades 5 to 8
Bog Bodies by Janet Buell
Describes how in 1984 a British archaeologist discovered the two-thousand-year-old Lindow Man buried in peat. Explains that bodies preserved in bogs are like time travelers from past civilizations that scientists study to learn about the circumstances of life and death before written records.
Download Bog Bodies, BR 11626.
Holes by Louis Sachar
Stanley Yelnats IV finds himself in a detention center for possessing stolen property that he didn't take. While digging holes under the summer Texas sun, he sees a fellow inmate running away--and follows him. Legends, loyalty, and buried treasure are revealed as Stanley learns to survive. Newbery Medal. LP 609.
Download Holes, BR 12174.
Download Holes, DB 47444. Reading time: 5 hours, 19 minutes. Read by Phil Regensdorf.
The City of Ember by Jeanne DuPrau
A city planned to survive for two hundred years, now in year 241, suffers shortages--and a secret message-bearing box is missing. Independent-thinking twelve-year-olds Doon and Lina exchange obligatory jobs and make a discovery that could change their known world. 2003.
Download The City of Ember, BR15120.
Download The City of Ember, DB 59907. Reading Time:6 hours, 54 minutes. Read by Colleen Delaney.
Tom Swift in the City of Gold, or, Marvelous Adventures Underground by Victor Appleton II
Tom, Mr. Damon, Eradicate Sampson, and Tom's father follow a map in Mexico to find an underground city made of gold. They hope to make their fortune but are lucky to escape with their lives. 1912.
Download Tom Swift in the City of Gold, or, Marvelous Adventures Underground, DB 65948. Reading Time: 4 hours, 5 minutes. Read by Peter Lavezzolli.
Who Comes with Cannons? by Patricia Beatty
A novel set during the Civil War period, told from the perspective of a southern Quaker family. Truth is twelve when her ailing father sends her to North Carolina to live with her uncle, his wife, and their two sons. Gradually she is accepted by her new family and drawn into their activities on the Underground Railroad. During the war years, Truth and her family are vilified since, as pacifist Quakers, they refuse to fight for either side. 1992.
Download Who Comes with Cannons?, DB 37042. Reading time:3 hours, 49 minutes. Read by Celeste Lawson.
Kiki Strike: Inside the Shadow City by Kirsten Miller
At twelve, Ananka Fishbein discovers an underground room when a sinkhole opens in the park near her New York City apartment. Ananka meets Kiki Strike, a mysterious girl who also wants to explore the subterranean world--and suddenly Ananka's existence is no longer boring. 2006.
Download Kiki Strike: Inside the Shadow City, DB 37042. Reading time: 9 hours, 34 minutes. Read by Martha Harmon Pardee.
The Search for WondLa by Tony DiTerlizzi
Eva Nine, a twelve-year-old girl, is being raised by Muthr, a robot, in an underground alien world. When this home is destroyed Eva flees, hoping to find another human--her only clue a scrap of paper showing a girl, a robot, an adult, and the word "WondLa." 2010.
Download The Search for WondLa, DB72285. Reading time: 9 hours, 3 minutes. Read by Jill Fox.
Freedom Roads: Searching for the Underground Railroad by Joyce Hansen & Gary McGowan
Explains the difficulty of finding factual evidence about secret activities conducted more than a hundred years ago to help runaway slaves escape to freedom. Discusses research at several archaeological sites and written records in legal codes and household accounts to trace the history of the Underground Railroad. 2003.
Download Freedom Roads: Searching for the Underground Railroad, DB 56736. Reading time: 5 hours, 9 minutes. Read by Alec Volz.
Trouble Don't Last by Shelley Pearsall
In 1859, an aging slave forces eleven-year-old Samuel to run away at night from their harsh Kentucky master. They are hungry and frightened of being captured as they journey on the Underground Railroad towards the hope of freedom in Canada. 2002.
Download Trouble Don't Last, DB 55900. Reading time: 5 hours, 54 minutes. Read by Bill Quinn.
Download Trouble Don’t Last, BR 14427.
The House of Dies Drear by Virginia Hamilton
Thomas Small, an African-American teenager, has moved with his family to Ohio where his father will teach history. They are living in the house where Dies Drear once operated an Underground Railroad station. The strange old mansion is replete with secret tunnels; nearby cave hideouts; and tales of ghosts, murder, and hidden treasures. Prequel to "Mystery of Drear House." Edgar Allan Poe Award. LP 01649.
Download The House of Dies Drear, DB 33494. Reading time:6 hours, 26 minutes. Read by Carolyn Byrd.
Grades 6 to 9
Deep-Sea Explorer: The Story of Robert Ballard, Discoverer of the Titanic by Rick Archbold
The inspirational life-story of the undersea explorer who discovered the wreck of the Titanic offers a moving examination of Ballard's concern for helping the environment and saving the threatened oceans. 1994. LP 01228.
Hoot by Carl Hiaasen
Middle school student Roy has just moved from Montana to south Florida. He befriends a boy named Mullet Fingers and his stepsister, who are trying to prevent a pancake-house chain from building a restaurant over a colony of burrowing owls. 2002. LP 01256.
Download Hoot, BR 17274.
Download Hoot, DB 55550. Reading time: 7 hours, 26 minutes. Read by Erik Sandvold.
Tunnels by Roderick Gordon & Brian James Williams
Shortly after Will Burrows and his archaeologist father discover a long-abandoned train station, Will's father disappears. Will and his best friend Chester investigate, and soon they are lost underneath London in a labyrinth of colonies full of sinister inhabitants with evil intentions. 2008.
Download Tunnels, DB66717. Reading time: 14 hours, 9 minutes. Read by Erik Sandvold.
Horowitz Horror: Stories You'll Wish You'd Never Read by Anthony Horowitz
Nine tales in which everything seems ordinary but where horror lurks just beneath the surface. In "Bath Night," a newly installed Victorian bathtub has a ghastly history that only a little girl perceives--at first. In "A Career in Computer Games," Kevin's job starts immediately. 1999.
Download Horowitz Horror: Stories You'll Wish You'd Never Read, DB 66948. Reading time: 4 hours, 59 minutes. Read by Erik Sandvold.
The Water Wars by Cameron Stracher
After the great empires fall to drought and war, any drinkable water is precious. That makes teenaged Kai's gift for locating underground water valuable. When Kai is kidnapped, his young friends Will and Vera set out to rescue him. 2011.
Download The Water Wars, DB 73240. Reading time: 5 hours, 32 minutes. Read by Erin Jones.
Harriet Tubman by Judith Bentley
Araminta Ross was born into slavery in Maryland around 1821. Called Harriet--a common slave name--during her teen years, she married John Tubman, a free black, around 1844. Escaping from slavery in 1849, Harriet Tubman joined the abolitionist movement and became a well-known conductor on the Underground Railroad. She also served as a Union spy during the Civil War and was later active in the women's suffrage movement. Download Harriet Tubman, DB 37546. Reading time: 3 hours, 54 minutes. Read by Molly Wise.
The Planet of Junior Brown by Virginia Hamilton
Already a leader in New York's underground world of homeless children, Buddy Clark takes on the responsibility of protecting the overweight, emotionally disturbed friend with whom he has been playing hooky from eighth grade all semester. LP 00382.
Download The Planet of Junior Brown, BR 19497.
Before We Were by Julia Alvarez
Dominican Republic. In the early 1960s, twelve-year-old Anita's family is harassed and under surveillance by the secret police. She learns that close relatives are involved in the underground movement to end the crushing dictatorship of General Trujillo, endangering the entire family. 2002.
Download Before We Were Free, DB 56137. Reading time: 4 hours, 57 minutes. Read by Gabriella Cavallero.
The Compound by S.A. Bodeen & Christopher Lane
Fifteen-year-old Eli and his family have lived for six years in an underground bunker that Eli's billionaire father built in case of nuclear war. Left behind were Eli's twin brother and grandmother. As food runs out, Eli wonders if the world was really destroyed. Commercial audiobook. 2008.
Download The Compound, DB 71569. Reading time: 5 hours, 44 minutes. Read by Christopher Lane.
Evvy's Civil War by Miriam Brenaman
Fourteen-year-old Evvy chafes at the customs confining Virginia women and slaves. During the Civil War, with her mother unwell and her father in the Confederate army, Evvy's pluck and values help her to run the family plantation as well as aid slaves in the Underground Railway. Some strong language. 2002.
Download Evvy's Civil War, DB 55162. Reading time: 6 hours, 49 minutes. Read by Cyn Delafield.
Stealing Freedom by Elisa Lynn Carbone
Maryland, 1850s. Young slave girl Ann Maria suffers many hardships, including separation from her family. An abolitionist helps her escape to Canada on the Underground Railroad. Based on a true case. LP 1906.
Download Stealing Freedom, DB 49079. Reading time: 6 hours, 54 minutes. Read by Ilona Dulaski.
Jingle Boy by Kieran Scott
Sixteen-year-old Paul Nicholas and his family go all out to celebrate Christmas. Then Paul loses his first girlfriend, his father is nearly electrocuted, and his mother is fired. So Paul becomes a Scrooge and joins the "Anti-Christmas Underground," until Santa changes his mind. 2003.
Download Jingle Boy, DB 57539. Reading time:6 hours, 26 minutes. Read by Erik Synnestvedt.
Junior and Senior High
The Cockatrice Boys by Joan Aiken
Large, evil monsters destroy most of England, forcing humans to live underground. The Cockatrice Boys--a brave group of volunteers who command an armored train--rush to bring food to Manchester and determine to end the occupation. Dakin, a drummer boy, and his cousin Sauna, who can see the future, play important roles in the fight.
Download The Cockatrice Boys, DB 45350. Reading time: 5 hours, 49 minutes. Read by Anne Flosnik.
Jellicoe Road by Melina Marchetta
Australia. Abandoned by her mother, seventeen-year-old Taylor Markham leads her fellow boarders at Jellicoe School in an underground community that plays war games against two other groups--the cadets and the townies. Michael L. Printz Award. 2006.
Download Jellicoe Road, DB 68738 Reading Time: 7 hours, 12 minutes. Read by Erin Jones.
Lockdown by Alexander Gordon Smith
Thief Alex is framed for murder and sent deep underground to Furnace Penitentiary, where inmates are turned into vicious, unrecognizable creatures. Though no one has ever escaped, Alex and his friends tirelessly search for a way out. Some violence. 2009.
Download Lockdown, DB 72183. Reading time: 7 hours, 29 minutes. Read by Mark Delgado.
A Sending of Dragons by Jane Yolen
Falsely accused of sabotage, Jakkin and Akki flee to the wilderness with the five dragon hatchlings of the deceased Heart's Blood. When search helicopters force them to take refuge in a hidden tunnel, they are captured by an underground tribe. 1987.
Download A Sending of Dragons, DB 29652. Reading time: 4 hours, 34 minutes. Read by Bruce Huntey.
Stealing South: A Story of the Underground Railroad by Katherine Ayres
16-year-old Will Spencer leaves home to become a peddler, but gets more than he bargained for when he agrees to go to Kentucky, steal two slaves, and help them reach their brother in Canada. LP 01118.
True North a Novel of the Underground Railroad by Kathryn Lasky
Narrative alternating between Bostonian Lucy Bradford and Afrika, a Virginia slave, tells how the lives of the two fourteen-year-olds were affected by the Underground Railroad. Lucy recounts her family's preparation for a wedding and her special relationship with her grandfather, while Afrika describes her difficult journey north.
Download True North a Novel of the Underground Railroad, BR 11892 .
Underground by Jean Ferris
1839. Sixteen-year-old Charlotte Brown is sold as a maid to the owner of Mammoth Cave Hotel in Kentucky. She is attracted to another slave, eighteen-year-old Stephen, who is head tour guide, but can she trust him to help with the Underground Railroad? 2007.
Download Underground, BR 17854.
The Beasties by William Sleator
When Doug's family moves to a logging camp, he and his younger sister Colette encounter the beasties. Colette sympathizes with these underground creatures making war on the loggers. Doug fears the beasties because they mutilate humans to replace parts of their own maimed bodies. Now Colette and Doug are the next likely victims. Violence.
Download The Beasties, BR 11606.
Enclave by Ann Aguirre
In a post-apocalyptic future, Deuce, a loyal huntress, brings back meat while avoiding the deadly Freaks outside her underground enclave. But when she is partnered with outsider Fade, she begins to see that the ways of the elders may be horrifically wrong. Violence. 2011.
Download Enclave, DB 74167. Reading time: 7 hours. Read by Kristin Allison.
Valiant: A Modern Tale of Faerie by Holly Black
Seventeen-year-old Valerie runs away to New York City, where she meets other kids who live underground. She also encounters troll Ravus, who distributes lifesaving potions to faeries. When Ravus is accused of murder, Val defends him. Some violence and some strong language. 2005. LP 01551.
Download Valiant: A Modern Tale of Faerie, BR 17808.