Through the Looking Glass Children's Book Reviews

Harriet Tubman: A Woman of Courage

Harriet Tubman: A Woman of Courage

Time for Kids Editors, Renee Skelton
For ages 7 to 9
HarperCollins, 2005   ISBN: 978-0060576080

Harriet's grandparents were brought to America to serve as slaves on plantations and she and her parents were born into slavery. It was a terrible life and Harriet, her sisters, her brothers, and her parents all worked long hours in the fields on the Brodess plantation near Bucktown, Maryland. Harriet also helped in the house and was hired out to work in the houses of neighbors taking care of children and doing sewing work.

Harriet worked hard and did her best but underneath it all she resented and hated the way in which she was compelled to work and not allowed to learn how to read and write. She hated to see her friends and fellow workers getting beaten and as she grew older she became more and more sure that one day she would seek her freedom by running away. She decided that she only had "two things I had a right to -  liberty or death. If I could not have one, I would have the other."

Finally in 1849 Harriet, fearing she would be sold away from her family and her home, decided to take matters into her own hands, and she ran away to Pennsylvania. This was just the beginning of Harriet?s adventures, for this brave and determined woman was not able to settle down and enjoy her freedom. Instead she became an important player in the Underground Railroad, helping many slaves escape to freedom. She also was a nurse, a spy, and a scout for the Union army during the Civil War.

In this book the editors of Time for Kids not only tell the story of Harriet Tubman in an engaging way but they also give their readers a great deal of background information to set the scene for them and to help them understand what Harriet?s world was like. Packed with annotated period photographs and illustrations, this is an excellent introduction to the life and times of Harriet Tubman.