Before She Was Harriet explores the many roles Harriet Tubman had throughout her life. Although she is most well known for her role in guiding slaves to freedom, Harriet also served as a spy in the Union army, a suffragist, and a nurse. In this Coretta Scott King Honor book, readers will be inspired by the various ways that Harriet demonstrated courage again and again and again.
Here are three reasons to love this book:
- Illustrator James E. Ransome’s gorgeous watercolor illustrations offer unique points of view and interesting uses of color.
- Author Lesa Cline-Ransome tells Harriet’s story in verse. The text is sparse, but lyrical and lovely.
- The perfect structure tells us Harriet’s life in reverse (and the title hints at this!), starting with Harriet in old age and taking us back all the way to her early days as a young girl enslaved and working in the fields.
Before She Was Harriet is a great choice for readers six to ten years old. It would make an excellent historical selection, but could also be used to demonstrate the many facets of a person’s life.