Harriet Tubman Riding The Freedom Train

For my book review number five I chose choice C.

The title of my book is Harriet Tubman Riding the Freedom Train and the authors are Rose Blue and Corinne J. Naden. The genre is African American literature and the copyright date is 2003. I would recommend this book for middle school students who are interested in biographies about famous African Americans. The plot of the book covers from the time Harriet Tubman was a little girl until she died. Harriet Tubman was born a slave in Dorchester County Maryland, around 1820.

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When she was thirteen she was put in a comma for weeks because she was hit in the head with a heavy piece of lead by the plantation owner. After that she suffered from sleeping seizures for the rest of her life. She used this to her advantage when she was being sold. No one would want a slave that fell asleep while working on the plantation. Harriet Tubman brought hundreds of slaves to freedom through her help with The Underground Railroad. The Underground Railroad was developed to help runaway slaves escape to freedom.

It brought slaves from Southern states to Northern states where slavery was illegal. According to the book, “Runaway slaves had to travel long distances in dangerous conditions” (23). Slaves had to travel in dangerous condition because they had to travel at night and had to watch out for the slave captures. Some slaves were scared to go so one of Harriet Tubman’s famous lines was “Live free, or die here!” In 1857, she rescued her parents and brought them to freedom. In 1903 Harriet donated land to the African Methodist Episcopal Zion Church that built a home for poor black people.

Harriet did this because her dream was always to help other people. On March 10, 1913 Harriet Tubman passed away of pneumonia. She was ninety-three years old. In 1932, Harriet was given a plaque in honor of her great accomplishments. The plaque is in the city of Auburn, Alabama.

Harriet Tubman was an important person in freeing many blacks and is still remembered today. This book is enlightening. Middle School students may know about slavery, but not to the extent that this book provides. It describes Harriet Tubman and her life experience as a slave. As shown in the book, “Harriet was one of eleven children and her brothers and sisters were sold off to other plantations” (8). I would furthermore recommend this book because it is fairly easy to read and comprehend while still keeping the reader’s interest.

Also, this book has intriguing facts. For example, as stated in the book, “Just before the Civil War in 1861, there were about four million slaves out of twelve million people in the United States” (11). About one third of the populations at that time were slaves. Another interesting example stated in the book is, “In 1844, when Harriet Tubman was twenty four years old, she married a free black man named John Tubman. Being married did not change her life, as she was still a slave. It meant she could live with her husband but she was not free” (15).

All in all, I would definitely recommend this book to middle school students. It has interesting information and facts about slavery and our American history.