Thursday, April 21, 2016

Harriet Tubman Biographies

The United States Treasury Department recently announced that Harriet Tubman will be featured on the new twenty dollar bill.  In addition, the back of the new ten dollar bill will depict the leaders of the women's suffrage movement: Susan B. Anthony, Sojourner Truth, Elizabeth Cady Stanton, Alice Paul, and Lucretia Mott.  The new five dollar bill will be a tribute to the civil rights movement and will picture opera singer Marian Anderson, First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt who arranged for Anderson to sing at the Lincoln Memorial, and Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr..  This announcement may lead teachers, librarians, and parents to seek out books on these famous individuals. This event may also launch a biography Reading unit of study or a Social Studies unit. 

In this blog post, I have some book suggestions for introducing Harriet Tubman to children.  My next blog post will be on how to use biographies as mentor texts for students'  research projects on famous people. 

by Carole Boston Weatherford, illustrated by Kadir Nelson
 The lyrical prose and detailed illustrations depicting Harriet Tubman's escape from slavery and her role in leading others to freedom will keep children captivated.  The author shows how Harriet's strong faith gave her courage in the face of many dangers and hardships. The stylized font throughout the text also adds to the overall impact of this book.

If you are searching for a more detailed biography for children, the popular Who Was biography series selection about Harriet Tubman would make an interesting read-aloud or independent reading choice.

Who Was Harriet Tubman? by Yona Zeldis McDonough is engaging, and the quotes that the author includes give the writing voice.

For middle grade readers, DK Biography: Harriet Tubman by Ken Knapp Sawyer is fact-filled and contains many interesting side bars, photographs with detailed captions, a timeline, and a bibliography.

Adults and children alike a sure to be inspired by Harriet Tubman's courage and determination in each of these books.

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