Through the Looking Glass Children's Book Reviews

Moses: When Harriet Tubman Led Her People to Freedom (Caldecott Honor Book)

Moses: When Harriet Tubman Led Her People to Freedom (Caldecott Honor Book)

Carole Boston Weatherford
Illustrator:  Kadir Nelson 
Picture Book
For ages 6 to 8
Hyperion, 2006   ISBN: 978-0786851751

One night Harriet goes out into the darkness and she talks to God. She tells him that her master is going to sell her to a plantation owner, and that she will never see her family again. In the song of a whip-poor-will, Harriet hears God’s voice. He tells her that he wants her “to be free,” and there and then Harriet decides that she has to run away, she has to follow the North Star to a place where she will no longer have to live in chains.

The very next night, Harriet leaves her home. She is afraid and she tells God that she “can’t make it alone.” He reassures that that there are people who will help her along the way, and sure enough, Harriet does find good people who hide her, and who help her travel north.

Though Harriet is often afraid that people will turn her in, and that slave-catchers will find her, God is always there offering reassurance, support, and comfort. When her feet bleed, and as she “crouches for days in a potato hole,” Harriet talks to God, and he is there, helping her to find courage. He is there too when she reaches freedom, and he helps her to find her calling, he helps her to see that she needs to “Use your gifts to break the chains” that shackle her people.

For this extraordinary award-winning title, the author has created a powerful and lyrical text that will help readers to see what Harriet Tubman was like and to appreciate what a special person she was. Kadir Nelson’s beautifully rich illustrations perfectly compliment the text.

In a foreword, the author gives readers a brief history of slavery in America, and in an author’s note at the back of the book, she provides her readers with further information about Harriet Tubman and her work.