A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this book.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that Brad Meltzer's I Am Harriet Tubman is a stellar addition to the Ordinary People Change the World series, which uses engaging cartoon-type illustrations and interesting facts to introduce important historic figures -- who were all once regular kids. Born into slavery, Harriet Tubman learned courage and determination from her parents, finally fleeing north to freedom when she was about to be sold at age 22. There's plenty of drama and adventure here -- the Underground Railroad, the U.S. Civil War, and more -- and some harrowing scenes of slavery, including Harriet's young sisters chained to the wagon of the man they've just been sold to, who's taking them away forever. There are strong positive messages about helping others, following your beliefs, and being willing to do the right thing when it's neither safe nor easy -- which may lead to some age-appropriate discussion of real-life examples.
What's the story?
I AM HARRIET TUBMAN begins as the title character describes her early life born into slavery (including the fact that nobody knows her birthday because nobody kept track of slaves' birthdays in those days). As she learns from her parents and others, she finds the courage to flee to freedom -- and then to risk her own life and freedom to help other slaves escape. Which turns out to be just the beginning of a long, eventful life helping people in need.
Is it any good?
Introducing the heroic woman who escaped slavery and then faced many dangers to help others, this Ordinary People Change the World entry offers thrilling adventures and positive messages aplenty. In I Am Harriet Tubman, author Brad Meltzer and illustrator Christopher Eliopolous deliver a strong, relatable protagonist, often using words from her own writings to tell her story of a daily life in which you could be worked to death by a cruel master or lose your family forever by being sold to different owners -- and what she decided to do about it.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about slavery in the United States before the Civil War as portrayed in I Am Harriet Tubman. How did it affect the daily lives of people caught up in it? How would you feel if someone owned you and one day they sold you to someone else? What if they sold your mom instead?
I Am Harriet Tubman has a strong message about doing what you know is right, even when it's not safe or easy. Have you ever faced this kind of challenge in your own life? How did you deal with it?
Have you read other books in the Ordinary People Change the World series? Do you have any favorites? How does this one compare?
- Author: Brad Meltzer
- Illustrator: Christopher Eliopoulos
- Genre: Biography
- Topics: Adventures, Brothers and Sisters, Great Girl Role Models, History
- Book type: Non-Fiction
- Publisher: Dial Books for Young Readers
- Publication date: January 16, 2018
- Publisher's recommended age(s): 5 - 8
- Number of pages: 40
- Available on: Nook, Hardback, iBooks, Kindle
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