Harriet Tubman’s Road to Freedom

App review by
Mieke VanderBorght, Common Sense Media
Harriet Tubman’s Road to Freedom App Poster Image
Simple eBook gives a glimpse of Harriet's heroism.

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A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this app.

Educational Value

Kids can learn the basics of Harriet Tubman's life. They'll hear about slavery, the Underground Railroad, and the heroics and courage of the woman who continued to go back to help others to freedom.

Ease of Play

Easy tap to choose reading style, though kids may have some trouble tapping in the right place to turn the page once in the story.

Violence & Scariness

Reference to the slave owner hitting Tubman.

Sexy Stuff

Large buttons on the home page take users an ad for the larger parent digital library. A parent gate asks users to provide their year of birth before proceeding to the app store.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Harriet Tubman’s Road to Freedom is a short eBook about the famous abolitionist and activist. The book is a stand-alone piece of Farfaria Storybooks - Library of Children's Books and Read Along With Me Stories, a large digital library. Kids can choose to read on their own or be read to. They can also set the read-to-me function on automatic play so that pages turn without needing to tap. Though the narrative is generally very basic and superficial, one page references violence in explaining that Harriet's slave master hit her. At the time of the review, after the first reading, technical issues cause the app to close suddenly towards the end of the story on subsequent readings. Read the developer's privacy policy for details on how your (or your kids') information is collected, used, and shared and any choices you may have in the matter, and note that privacy policies and terms of service frequently change.

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What's it about?

Choose AutoPlay, Read to Me, or Read Myself to get started with HARRIET TUBMAN'S ROAD TO FREEDOM. The story introduces Harriet, her escape from slavery on the Underground Railroad, and then her work helping countless other enslaved people reach freedom. Unless kids choose, AutoPlay, they'll need to tap to advance after each page. Narrated versions include highlighted text as the reader moves through the story.

Is it any good?

This incredibly simple narrative just begins to introduce young kids to the life story and heroic work of an American icon. Harriet Tubman Road to Freedom is short and doesn't get into much detail, making it, as a story, most appropriate for really little ones (early preschool range) even though the topic may be intense. Given the difficult concepts inherent in Harriet's story, so parents should be prepared to answer questions kids may have. Beautiful graphics accompany the text and help bring the story to life. The narration is well done and it's nice to see the text highlighted so that kids can read along. It would be nice to see some additional supports such as discussion suggestions or background information. It would also be nice if the story were a bit more substantial in its narrative.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about Harriet's experiences in Harriet Tubman Road to Freedom. Why was what she did so important? Why did she help so many people? Where did she find the courage to do that?

  • If kids seem open to it, discuss the concept of slavery in a child-appropriate way. Find out what they understand already and what else they want to know. Why wasn't Harriet free? Why was it so important for her to be free and help others be free? 

  • Though it can be hard to discuss difficult topics with kids, it's critical history for them to know. Find kid-appropriate resources to help you get started.

  • Is it different to read a book on a screen versus a traditional book? Why or why not? Do you like one format better than the other?

App details

Our editors recommend

For kids who love book apps and history

Themes & Topics

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