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Harriet Tubman and the Underground Railroad…
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Harriet Tubman and the Underground Railroad (Graphic Library: Graphic…

by Michael Martin

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635293,670 (3.83)1
The story of Harriet Tubman and the Underground Railroad told in graphic novel format.

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This book is dramatic and dark at times. It shows the violent, realistic life of slavery.
  AshleyTimonen | Jan 19, 2017 |
Martin, Michael. (2005). Harriet Tubman and the underground railroad. Mankato, Minnesota: Capstone Press.

This is a simplified biography of Harriet Tubman presented in graphic novel format. It tells about Tubman’s life as a slave, including the time an overseer threw a heavy weight and hit her on the head, causing headaches and blackouts for the rest of her life. It also tells what prompted her to escape slavery in the first place and how she hid at stations along the Underground Railroad on her way to freedom in Pennsylvania. The biography shows the events that led her to help others escape and relates a sampling of other trips to show what kinds of dangers she had to overcome on the19 trips she took on the Underground Railroad over nine years to lead over 300 people to freedom.

This is a good simplified biography suitable for upper elementary students from 4th-6th grade. It is an accurate account of key events in the life of an enduring American heroine. Knowing about Tubman and her work to help slaves escape gives older elementary children a wider perspective about American leaders and heroes than they usually get from school, where they often study the accomplishments of White men. The accuracy of the biography is assured by the extensive bibliography. It is clear Martin intends that his readers learn about Tubman from this biography since he provides a table of contents, glossary, and index. He also provides a list of books and websites about Tubman where the reader can extend his or her study of Tubman. The book presents accurate facts in a graphic novel format. The facts are presented as the plain narration on each page. Interest is added by the detailed color illustrations and dialogue bubbles, which bring immediacy to the events of Tubman’s life and make her feel more personal to the student. This is where her “character” has life and emotion and seems realistic. Tubman is seen as a well-rounded person who feels despair and joy. She is seen as a person who can risk her own safety to help others time and time again but who can also point a gun at a person she’s leading to safely to prevent him from turning back because she knows that when he’s captured he’ll be forced to reveal the whereabouts of the stations he’s seen on the Underground Railroad. Children who read this biography will come away knowing of Tubman’s compassion and bravery and understanding the strength and courage of those people she led to freedom. ( )
  TeacherLibrarian | Aug 14, 2010 |
This graphic novel is a good presentation of true events surrounding Harriet Tubman's mission to free slaves in Maryland. Excellent graphics and succinct information for intended audience (grade 4-6). Would be good to use as introductory material, additional resource if inquiring about slavery and/or women's rights. ( )
  Naisy | May 28, 2010 |
Harriet Tubman and the Underground Railroad is a great book, it is written and illustrated like a comic book. The book describes her life from her early days of being a slave to her escape from the south and her remarkable and heroic work with the underground railroad. This book portrays Harriet Tubman as a very brave, motivated woman. She assisted hundreds of slaves to gain their freedom, without any thought of the consequences she may face if she had been caught. In her later years, Harriet helped out the army as a spy and scout. When the war ended she worked with women’s rights groups and raised money for schools. This book describes her life from beginning to end, her whole life she had helped others. She is a very important person in history that will educate children on the importance of fighting for what they believe in and why they should never give up.

My seven year old stepson selected this book from all the other children’s biographies at the library. I am confident the comic book appeal had something to do with his decision. After reading this book with him, we were both surprised how excellent it was. Harriet Tubman is someone every child should be taught about. As a future teacher I will use this book along with textbooks to help teach a lesson on her.

In a classroom environment I would have my students draw their own comic on Harriet Tubman’s life. They could pick one part of her life they found the most interesting and illustrate it in a comic. Children could also put on a play using characters from the book. In the book it explains that Harriet would sing songs to warn slaves about upcoming dangers in their journey. The children could write their own songs.
  rachaelmcdonald | Jul 14, 2009 |
Brief biography on Tubman with details about the Underground Railroad. From editor's note: 'Direct quotations from primary sources are indicated by a yellow background.' Additional reference tools: More about Harriet Tubman: bulleted list 11 facts about her life and work. Table of contents, glossary, www resources, additional reading, bibliography and index. ( )
  MrsBond | Apr 11, 2009 |
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