MODULE 5: OTHER AWARD WINNERS
MOSES: WHEN HARRIET TUBMAN LED HER PEOPLE TO FREEDOM
Summary: This book begins with a young Harriet praying for respite from being sold down river away from her husband. Tubman is told the true meaning of freedom and the religious themes continue throughout the book as the dialogue moves between her and God. Tubman follows these instructions and eventually makes her painful journey to Philadelphia. But it is not enough that Tubman, herself is free. She knows that all African Americans are meant to be free and sets out to complete the task. The illustrations bold colors are contrasted by the many dark, night scenes as Tubman symbolically and literally led her people to freedom.
Weatherford, C. B. (2006). Moses: When Harriet Tubman led her people to freedom.
New York, NY: Hyperion Book CH
Impression: I felt that this is great beginning for young readers learning about Harriet Tubman, the Underground Railroad and slavery in America. Though it is beautifully done and really resonates with the reader, there is a lack of concrete details that make this anymore than a quality picture. I also felt that some readers might be turned off by the heavy religious themes throughout the book. The book interweaves Tubman’s story with the biblical story of Moses. Overall, this is a wonderful book but it might be limited in its readership.
Weatherford]. School Library Journal, 126. Available from School Library Journal
website: http://www.schoollibraryjournal.comTubman's religious faith drives this handsome, poetic account of her escape to freedom and role in the Underground Railroad. The story begins with Tubman addressing God on a summer night as she is about to be sold south from the Maryland plantation where she and her husband live: I am Your child, Lord; yet Master owns me,/drives me like a mule. In resounding bold text, God tells her He means for her to be free. The story is sketched between passages of prayerful dialogue that keep Tubman from giving up and eventually call upon her to be the Moses of [her] people. Deep scenes of night fill many double pages as the dramatic paintings follow her tortuous journey, arrival in Philadelphia, and later trip to guide others. Shifting perspectives and subtle details, such as shadowy forest animals guarding her while she sleeps, underscore the narrative's spirituality. Whether filled with apprehension, determination, or serenity, Tubman's beautifully furrowed face is expressive and entrancing. A foreword briefly explains the practice of slavery and an appended note outlines Tubman's life. The words and pictures create a potent sense of the harsh life of slavery, the fearsome escape, and one woman's unwavering belief in God.
Uses: This would be a great book for African American History month as part a display or a recommendation to a reader looking for an introductory book on Harriet Tubman. Also, I frequently have religious groups looking for materials at the library and I would recommend this book to go with a Moses themed lesson.