Through the Looking Glass Children's Book Reviews

Harriet Tubman and the Freedom Train

Harriet Tubman and the Freedom Train

Sharon Gayle
Illustrator:  Felicia Marshall 
For ages 6 to 9
Simon and Schuster, 2003   ISBN: 978-0689854804

Harriet Tubman was born into slavery. At her birth her parents named her Araminta or Minty for short. They knew what their little child's life was going to be like and wished with all their heart that Minty could be free.

When she will still a child Minty went to work for a white family, cleaning the house during the day and watching the baby during the night. She was brutally beaten at this house and in the end she had to return to her mother. After she was well again Minty became a field hand and once again she was badly hurt by a cruel white slave owner. This time Minty was unconscious for many months and she was very ill when she finally woke up. But, she was still a slave and she had to get back to work even though she was not well. Now though, as she worked, she watched and listened and she stored away knowledge which she hoped would help her when she tried to run away some day.

Finally there came a day when Minty had had enough. Even her new husband John Tubman, who was a free man, wanted Minty to remain a slave. It was all too much and Minty decided to risk running away. Luckily she had help and she became one of the many slaves who escaped from captivity using the Underground Railroad. When she finally got to Pennsylvania and freedom Minty took the name Harriet and she decided to help other slaves escape from the south. She became on the ?conductors? on the Underground Railroad.

This inspirational story will help young readers understand how cruel slavery was and to realize how much courage it took to try to break free from it. Written in an easy-to-follow style, this young reader's biographical chapter book will give children an excellent introduction to the life and accomplishments of Harriet Tubman.