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Friday, March 25, 2011

Harriet Tubman: Conductor on the Underground Railroad by Ann Lane Petry

Well-written biography of a true American hero

Harriet Tubman: Conductor on the Underground Railroad is a fantastic little biography of Harriet Tubman. Tubman has always been one of my personal heroes and this book does her story justice.

Harriet Tubman (1820-1913)
I would say this book can be easily enjoyed by 4th graders and up. It also could serve as a great starting point for adults that don't know much about slavery and the American Abolitionist movement. While telling the story of Tubman's life, Petry also includes at the end of nearly every chapter historical tidbits about the slavery and the Abolitionist movement at the national level.

The discussion of her service in the Civil War as a scout in the coastal areas of South Carolina spurred me to do some further research. Her commanding officer in the raids was Colonel James M. Montgomery, the nutty commander in the movie Glory with this memorable line: "You see sesesh has to be cleared away by the hand of God like the Jews of old. Now I will have to burn this town." Interestingly, Montgomery also served with John Brown in Kansas. Harriet Tubman also knew John Brown although she was not comfortable with his violent ways.

I rate this biography 5 stars out of 5.

This book can be found on Amazon.com here: Harriet Tubman: Conductor on the Underground Railroad

Reviewed April 8, 2009.

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