Thursday, October 16, 2014

Book Review: Harriet Tubman: Hero of the Underground Railroad

Harriet Tubman: Hero of the Underground Railroad, by Lori Mortensen, illustrated by Frances Moore, Picture Window Books, Minneapolis, MN, 2007.
I enjoyed this brief history of Harriet Tubman in picture book format.  The artwork added something to the story as many of the illustrations had a fabric pattern.  Harriet Tubman did not have a good time as a slave.  She was taken from her mother.  She had to tend a baby, and was beaten if the baby cried.  She was disciplined for stealing sugar.  She did not prevent another man escaping, and her master through an iron at her, hitting her in the head.  This caused her to have headaches the rest of her life.
Tubman hated being a slave, and as a young woman, when she heard of intentions to sell her, she escaped.  Using referrals for the underground railroad she was able to make it to Philadelphia, free territory.  However. Tubman’s efforts did not stop there.  She made at least 19 trips back to slave territory, and brought about 300 people back with her in total.  She acted as a conductor for the underground railroad.  She helped her parents and other family members escape. 
With the commencement of the war, she still made trips to slave country, to serve as a nurse, and to help the Union effort as a spy.  She was able to conduct and direct an expedition to clear torpedo mines.  She knew where they were because of her spying efforts. 
Harriet Tubman was an interesting woman, who lived a long life.  When she passed away at age 93 she was buried with military honors, based on her service to many through the underground railroad and the Civil War. 

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