Who was Harriet Tubman before she was Harriet?
We know her today as Harriet Tubman, but in her lifetime she was called by many names. As General Tubman she was a Union spy. As Moses she led hundreds to freedom on the Underground Railroad. As Minty she was a slave whose spirit could not be broken. As Araminta she was a young girl whose father showed her the stars and the first steps on the path to freedom.
An evocative poem and stunning watercolors come together to honor a woman of humble origins whose courage and compassion make her a larger than life hero.
A lush and lyrical biography of Harriet Tubman, written in verse and illustrated by James Ransome, winner of the Coretta Scott King medal for The Creation.
A Junior Library Guild Selection
A Coretta Scott King Honor Book
A Christopher Award winner
A Jane Addams Children's Honor Book
A Booklist "Top of the List" selection
About the Author
Lesa Cline-Ransome and James Ransome have collaborated on many award-winning picture books for children. These include Before She was Harriet, a Coretta Scott King honor book; Benny Goodman & Teddy Wilson: Taking the Stage as the first Black-and-White Jazz Band in History; Satchel Paige, which was an ALA Best Book for Children and Words Set Me Free: The Story of Young Frederick Douglass, which received starred reviews in Booklist and School Library Journal. They live in the Hudson River Valley region of New York.
★ "Simultaneously simple enough for young children to understand and sophisticated enough to inspire adults."—Booklist, Starred Review
★ "A memorable, lyrical reverse-chronological walk through the life of an American icon. While the text introduces readers to the details of Tubman's life, Ransome's use of watercolor . . . reveals Tubman's humanity, determination, drive, and hope. Ransome's lavishly detailed and expansive double-page spreads situate young readers in each time and place as the text takes them further into the past."—Kirkus Reviews, Starred Review
★ "This striking reverse chronology opens with a regal portrait of an elderly Harriet Tubman, after which the Ransomes chart her decades of work in pursuit of equality. [Lesa Cline-Ransome’s] incisive free verse emphasize[s] Tubman’s bravery in the face of a multitude of dangers. James Ransome’s watercolor portraits imbue Tubman with a steely determination―at every age―in lush scenes often set against blazing summer skies and blue, moonlit nights. Beyond its recognition of all that Tubman accomplished, the book serves as a powerful reminder of how all children carry within them the potential for greatness."—Publishers Weekly, Starred Review
★ "Each episode in her compelling life is illustrated by a luminous watercolor. The expertly done expressive paintings evoke Tubman’s strength and integrity showing 'the wisp of a woman with the courage of a lion.' This lovely tribute effectively communicates Tubman’s everlasting bravery and resolve, and will inspire curious readers to learn more."—School Library Journal, Starred Review