Harriet Tubman: Book Review

Harriet Tubman's name has become synonymous with the American Underground Railway. She was a conductor on the line that helped former slaves find freedom and she never lost a single passenger.

Title: Harriet Tubman
Series: Little People, Big Dreams
Author: Maria Isabel Sanchez Vegara
Illustrator: Pili Aguado
ISBN: 9781786032270          Language: English

Classification: Non-fiction
Type: Picture Book
Themes: America, history, slaves

What's it about?
This book tells the life of Harriet Tubman in story fashion. It begins when she is a very young child living with her parents as slaves on a plantation and follows her life through the most important events in her life.

The font is very easy to read for beginning readers and the sentences are short and concise. This book is consistent in the length and style of the other books in the series. The illustrations complement the text very well.

The quirky illustration style may not suit everyone, but the story overrides that for me.

My Thoughts
This one is about to be published on the 5th June 2018 and is another addition to the Little People - Big Dreams seriesThis book is about Harriet Tubman who is probably more known to those in American than us outside. For me personally, I had heard of Harriet prior to reading this book but only had a vague sense of who she was and her involvement in the Underground Railroad.

I do like that there is consistency in this series - all the books have been written by the same author - and while the illustrators have varied there is an odd sense of consistency there as well.

This book involves some serious topics
especially around slaves and how they were treated.

This book involves some serious topics especially around slaves and how they were treated but it doesn't shy away from it. It deals with an instance of where Harriet was hit on the head and then discusses why that event was important for the decisions that she was about to make.

Clearly, this book has a lot of value in history lessons, more so in America but it can be used to draw a contrast with any instances of slave or forced labor within any country's history, but what is could it be used for? Creating timelines is a great way to utilise all the books in this series because the events are presented chronologically.

If you want to look a bit deeper then I would suggest breaking up the reading of the book with both reflective and predictive activities. Discussions as to why the event was important, what might Harriet do next, what would happen if she was caught? These types of questions can assist in students understanding the danger that anyone who attempted to journey on the Underground Railroad faced.

A great point to look at in this book is that it doesn't matter where you come from it only matters how hard you work for your dreams. I hear a lot of children nowadays saying they "can't" be (insert a profession) because of their background and in most cases, it's just excuses - ones they seem to have picked up in a big way from many of their parents. This book demonstrates that by working hard and going after her dreams Harriet was able to achieve a lot in her life for herself, her family, and even complete strangers.

One other thing I really like about this series are the historical notes at the back of the book as well as a few recommended companions books - this makes planning for a unit of work so much easier!

Special thanks to Quarto Publishing Group – Frances Lincoln Childrens and
NetGalley for providing me with an ARC of the book.

Other books in the Little People, Big Dreams series

1 comment

  1. I find it fascinating how we live in a time where picture books are able to tackle this topics head on but sensitively! We loved the Ada Lovelace one so I think we’ll pop an order in got this one too.