Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Moses: When Harriet Tubman Led Her People to Freedom

Author: Weatherford, Carol Boston
Illustrator: Nelson, Kadir
Publisher and Date: Hyperion Books for Children 2006
Genre: Picture Book, Historical Fiction, Multicultural
Age Range: K-3
Awards: Caldecott Honor Book, Coretta Scott King Book Award for Illustration

Summary:This book gives the reader an idea of what the life of Harriet Tubman was like. In the foreword it describes slavery for any readers who may not know, and in the author's note it gives more of Harriet's story. The story takes you throught the journey of an African American female slave who escapes to freedom with guidance from God. Once free, she returns back to the south, risking her capture, to help lead other slaves to freedom.

Response: I really enjoyed reading this book with its beautifully detailed illustrations. I liked how the author put a lot of emphasis on Harriet's faith and how she trusted God to lead her. Through that I think it can teach children to have faith, if not in God then in themselves and also to believe in themselves. Something that stood out to me was Weatherford's use of font sizes and colors to distinguish between the narrative text, Harriet's words/thoughts, and God's words to Harriet. I think by making God's words lighter and in some cases in a curved form, it gave the impression that God was speaking to her heart and not in an actual audible sense.

Teaching Ideas: The first thing that came to mind was to use this book during Black History Month. Harriet Tubman had such a strong impact on the issue of slavery in the south and could be used as an example of how to have faith and persevere. There is also a big historical reference included in the book as well. You could compare the similarities of Moses and Harriet Tubman as well as the differences.

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