Evocative and rich in both tone and style, this beautifully illustrated book follows Harriet Tubman on her first trip to Freedom as she escapes north on the Underground Railroad. The lyrical text gives meaning not only to her physical journey to freedom, but her spiritual journey as well as she draws upon God for comfort, subsistence and help to guide her along each step of the way. Haunting and soothing simultaneously, the gorgeous illustrations and swirling poetry will surely make this book a favorite. 44 pages, reinforced binding; hardcover with dust jacket. Ages 5-8.
This poetic book is a resounding tribute to Tubman's strength, humility, and devotion. With proper reverence, Weatherford and Nelson do justice to the woman who, long ago, earned over and over the name Moses.
Kadir Nelson is the illustrator of many books for children, including Moses: When Harriet Tubman Led Her People to Freedom
by Carole Boston Weatherford, an NAACP Image Award winner, a Caldecott Honor Book, and a Coretta Scott King Illustrator Award winner; Ellington Was Not a Street
by Ntozake Shange, a Coretta Scott King Illustrator Award winner; Please, Baby, Please
and Please, Puppy, Please,
by Spike Lee and Tonya Lewis Lee; and Will Smith's Just the Two of Us,
also an NAACP Image Award winner. He is also the author/illustrator of We Are the Ship: The Story of Negro League Baseball
It's unfortunate that this book is shelved in the children's department in most bookstores, because I'm in my 50s and this ranks among my favorite inspirational books in recent years.
I think author Carole Boston Weatherford, a children's author who has family roots in the same Maryland county where Harriet Tubman was born, may be somehow channeling this hero of the Underground Railroad. Her text is lyrical and allows us to dream and pray and hope along with Tubman as we read.
The lyrical power of the book owes a great deal, though, to the moving illustrations by Kadir Nelson that take Tubman from a little girl looking at the night sky to the spiritual powerhouse who we remember today.
Even if you don't have children at home, buy this book and find some children who need to experience this story. I've used the book with adults as well and they enjoy it as much as youngsters.
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