Through the Looking Glass Children's Book Reviews

An Apple for Harriet Tubman

An Apple for Harriet Tubman

Glennette Tilley Turner
Illustrator:  Susan Keeter 
Nonfiction Picture Book
For ages 7 to 9
Albert Whitman & Company, 2006   ISBN: 978-0807503959

Harriet was born into slavery and for many years she had to work for her master’s family. She tended children and then, when she was older, she worked outside. Her favorite job was to pick apples, but it irked Harriet that she wasn’t allowed to eat any of the apples she picked. One day Harriet dared to take a bite out of one of the apples, and she was severely punished by the overseer, who whipped her.

When she grew up Harriet decided that she could not live as a slave any longer, and she ran away from the only life she knew. With the help of people who ran the underground railway, Harriet was able to get all the way to Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

Though Harriet was now free, she could not rest and enjoy her freedom. Instead, Harriet decided to do what she could to free other slaves; she became a “conductor” on the underground railroad, and she risked her life every time she brought another group of slaves north to safety.

The author of this book was given this delightful story about Harriet Tubman when she interviewed Harriet’s great-niece in 1984. The story reveals a small yet important detail about Harriet’s life, helping children to understand that sometimes freedom is not just about the big things; sometimes it is also about the little things - like being able to eat a ripe apple when one chooses.