We have been studying United States history this year. About a week ago we reached the Civil War. A couple of months ago I was offered the opportunity to review a copy of the children's biography I Am Harriet Tubman. This is the latest in a series of books titled Ordinary People Change the World from Penguin Young Readers.
Book Description:"Harriet Tubman's heroic and pivotal role in the fight against slavery is the subject of the fourteenth picture book in this New York Times bestselling biography series.
This friendly, fun biography series focuses on the traits that made our heroes great--the traits that kids can aspire to in order to live heroically themselves. Each book tells the story of one of America's icons in a lively, conversational way that works well for the youngest nonfiction readers and that always includes the hero's childhood influences. At the back are an excellent timeline and photos. This volume focuses on Harriet Tubman's brave heroism as part of the movement to abolish slavery. As one of the key players in the Underground Railroad, she helped enslaved African Americans escape and find freedom."
Our thoughts:Brad Meltzer, the author, has done a great job introducing Harriet Tubman and the life of a slave to children. The book is written as though narrated by Harriet Tubman, with conversation throughout. The sad facts and cruel treatment of slaves are written so that the reader understands, without being too graphic. Readers will notice good and bad character traits throughout the book, and identify the good people who influenced Mrs. Tubman during her life.
Harriet's life is depicted from childhood, to her escape from slavery with the help of the Underground Railroad, and on to how she bravely risked her own freedom and life to help other slaves. The story includes her service during the Civil War and the purpose of the Harriet Tubman House in New York. Harriet's example of doing everything she could to help others is emphasized in this book and truly makes the story stand out.
At the back of the book is a timeline of Mrs. Tubman's life, including photographs and memorials. I love that the timeline was included! It even shows the date of the announcement about the upcoming $20 bill with Harriet on it.
All of my children enjoyed the book, and I frequently found my two youngest (4th and 1st grade) reading it. I felt this book was a wonderful way to introduce my kids to this amazing woman. My 4th grader liked the part where Harriet hid in a market near noisy chickens. She also said that Harriet was a brave woman who did the right thing, even though helping slaves escape was against the law. My 1st grader said, "I learned that slavery is bad and that people need to treat others nicely. You can try to help others, like Harriet helped other slaves escape."
Author Brad Meltzer is the New York Times bestselling author of Heroes for My Son, Heroes for My Daughter, and a number of suspense novels like The House of Secrets. He is also the host of the History Channel television shows Brad Meltzer's Decoded and Brad Meltzer's Lost History. He lives in Florida with his wife and their three children.
I discovered that he has a whole series of "Ordinary People Change the World" books for children, with other interesting American icons including Abraham Lincoln and Amelia Earhart! I can't wait to bring more of his books into our home. Interesting fact - a picture of the author is hidden in each book in this series!
Illustrator Christopher Eliopoulos began his career at Marvel Comics, and has worked on thousands of comics, including Cosmic Commandos, Franklin Richards: Son of a Genius, Pet Avengers, and Cow Boy, all of which he wrote and illustrated. He lives in New Jersey with his wife and their identical twin sons.
His artwork helps children understand each person in the story - from the hard working, maltreated slaves in their tattered, dirty clothes, to the gruff slave owners. Another interesting fact - his twin sons are pictured in each book in the series too!
Blog Tour Information:Check out this book and the others in the series at the Ordinary People Change the World website. And be sure to check out the other reviews in this blog tour!
February 13 – All Done Monkey
February 14 – Payne Lover Reviews
February 15 – Books and Giggles
February 16 – How Useful It Is
February 19 – InRandom
February 20 – Gravity Bread
February 21 – Coquette Maman
February 22 – Swoony Boys Podcast
February 23 – As We Bloom
I received this product for free from Penguin Young Readers in exchange for my honest opinions. I was not required to write a positive review, nor was I compensated in any other way. All opinions I have expressed are my own. This disclosure is in accordance with the FTC Regulations.