Carole Boston Weatherford depicts Harriet Tubman’s initial escape from slavery and her mission to lead others to freedom as divinely inspired, and achieved by steadfast faith and prayer. On the eve of her being sold and torn from her family, Tubman prays in her despair. In response, “God speaks in a whip-poor-will’s song. ‘I set the North Star in the heavens and I mean for you to be free.’ The twinkling star encourages Tubman: “My mind is made up. Tomorrow, I flee.” A foreword introduces the concept of slavery for children and an author’s note includes a brief biography of Tubman. Ages 5–8.
About The Author
Carole Boston Weatherford is the author of several acclaimed poetry collections and poetic biographies, including Sugar Hill and Moses: When Harriet Tubman Led Her People to Freedom, winner of a Caldecott Honor, the Coretta Scott King Award for Illustration, and the NAACP Image Award. She teaches at Fayetteville State University in North Carolina.
Read Aloud Tips
- Create a reading theme around the author, who has published many social justice titles. Read her bio and have students make similarities between her books. Use the author’s note to introduce slavery and incorporate into a bigger unit.
- Ask students to identify characteristics of Harriet Tubman that made her such a prominent figure in history. How can and does she continue to inspire people today?
“In elegant free verse, Weatherford imagines Tubman’s remarkable escape from slavery and her role in guiding hundreds to freedom.Diverse typography braids three distinct narrative strands. … Nelson’s double-page, full-bleed paintings illuminate both the dire physical and transcendent spiritual journey.” – Kirkus Reviews