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Moses: When Harriet Tubman Led Her People to Freedom
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Moses: When Harriet Tubman Led Her People to Freedom

4.34 of 5 stars 4.34  ·  rating details  ·  2,749 ratings  ·  289 reviews
This poetic book is a resounding tribute to Tubman's strength, humility, and devotion. With proper reverence, Weatherford and Nelson do justice to the woman who, long ago, earned over and over the name Moses.
Hardcover, 44 pages
Published September 1st 2006 by Jump At The Sun (first published August 8th 2006)
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Henry's Freedom Box by Ellen LevineMoses by Carole Boston WeatherfordThrough My Eyes by Ruby BridgesMartin's Big Words by Doreen RappaportYours for Justice, Ida B. Wells by Philip Dray
African American Picture Book Biographies
2nd out of 46 books — 32 voters
Madeline by Ludwig BemelmansThe Stinky Cheese Man by Jon ScieszkaBlueberries for Sal by Robert McCloskeyDon't Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus! by Mo WillemsStone Soup by Marcia Brown
Caldecott Honor Books
31st out of 238 books — 138 voters

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Community Reviews

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Lisa Vegan
So, I loved the foreword at the beginning and the author’s note at the end. I liked the illustrations. The historical fiction story didn’t do it for me. Part of it was in the incessant religion, with which I couldn’t relate. (I could say something about her head injury here but I’m not going to go there.) But the religion wasn’t really my problem with the story. This woman was extremely religious and so telling her story in this manner makes sense. It was that the words didn’t flow in a pleasant ...more
This fictionalized story of Harriet Tubman and her journey toward freedom takes place mostly as a conversation between Tubman and God. The book has a forward that explains slavery and an afterward with biographical information about Tubman.

Kadir Nelson's detailed, elaborate drawings are a study in shading, use of light, and perspective.
In the beginning, I wasn't sure how much I would like this book. The narrative just didn't grab me right away and seemed a bit disjointed. Yet, but the end, I was deeply moved by the story so I guess something worked right ;-) The illustrations by the talented Kadir Nelson are also stunning.

Prospective audiences should know that this book focuses on the spiritual side of Harriet Tubman's original escape from slavery. She is led by the voice of God on her way to Canada. I personally loved the ap
Amazing illustrations! Kadir Nelson's use of lights and darks is inspired. When Harriet Tubman reaches freedom, the entire page lights up. I wasn't as thrilled with the text. It was very poetic, but I would have preferred a little more information about Harriet Tubman and her experiences. Although I guess that was a conscious choice by the author since she says in her note at the end that it is a "fictional story based on the spiritual journey of Harriet Tubman." For teaching about Harriet Tubma ...more
Laura Rumohr
Moses: When Harriet Tubman Led Her People to Freedom was written primarily for children in grades 2-5. This is a fictional story about Harriet Tubman's journey to freedom and how she was able to help others to freedom. The entire story is a conversation between Harriet Tubman and God.

Harriet begins her journey without telling anyone (even her family) that she is leaving. When she leaves she prays for safety and guidance, and God stays with her the whole time. She finds safe places to go
Jim Erekson
So it's really historical fiction, but I don't have a shelf for that yet...

This biography does what much similar fiction does, which is to psychologize the structure of facts. Weatherford does have a very interesting stylized way of writing in three voices: a narrator, Harriet, and God. There is a clear shift in the rhythm of the voices when they shift, which helps with the imagining. Readers' Theater anyone?

Nelson's illustrations are phenomenal. The double near the end where Tubman is leading
Moses: When Harriet Tubman Led Her People to Freedom is historical fiction for primary to intermediate readers and a Caldecott Honor Book. The book follows Harriet Tubman as she embarks on her journey to freedom. The story begins with Harriet talking to God about being sold to another master and being separated from her family. Harriet ultimately decides she would rather die than be a slave and flees the Plantation. Harriet gets weary on her journey, but her faith in God keeps her going. Once fr ...more
Review was completed with the hardcover 2006 edition.

Even the title, Moses; When Harriet Tubman Led her People to Freedom causes the reader to pause and think of an extraordinary person empowered by his or her belief in God. This historic fictional picture book, written by Carole Boston Weatherford and illustrated by Kadir Nelson conveys Harriet Tubman’s struggle to free as many African American slaves as possible. We have read many stories about Harriet Tubman before but this one has a new twis
I'm glad I picked up this book as one of my choices for children's biography. I never knew why it included the title "Moses" until I sat down and read to find out. I like the introduction about the slaves, which helps give the children understand the background before they start reading. The Illustration usually in a dark setting, but the images are still great, they bleed on to the other pages, the text goes across from one page to the next (God's response to Harriet Tubman, and story line is t ...more
Christine Jensen
Approximate Interest Level/Reading Level: Upper Elementary

Format: Picture book

Awards: ALA Notable Books for Children (2007), Caldecott Honor (2007), Coretta Scott King Award (2007) Horn Book Fanfare (2006), Notable Social Studies Trade Books (2007)

Accompanied by her faith in God, Harriet Tubman risks her life, braving a terrifying escape from slavery. With a deep sense of determination and purpose, she courageously returns several more times to lead hundreds of other slaves to freedom.

The autho
I am trying to think carefully whether I'd share this with children. I think I would. I'm an atheist, and I knew very little about Tubman before reading this (for example, it surprised me that she lived so long after the Civil War). I felt I learned a lot about her, and about her efforts. As others have pointed out, her faith was the greatest part of her identity, and to leave it out would be, well, blasphemous.

I thought the artwork was amazing, with the different perspectives, different highli
By: Carol Boston Weatherford
Recommended Ages: 4th-5th grade

Harriet Tubman was known as "the moses of her people". She escaped slavery and freed many others. Harriet Tubman's journey to freedom was not easy. She walked 90 miles to freedom for several days. Tubman freed herself and risked her life many times to free her family and others. They say she could communicate with God, and that he talked to her during her journey. Harriet Tubman was an amazing woman in my eyes. What she did for slaves is
Crystal Marcos
Moses: When Harriet Tubman Led Her People to Freedom was a moving book to read. I only realized after reading it that it was a fictional story based on true events. I find author’s notes to be just as fascinating as the stories themselves. The illustrations are beautiful and in fact, I went back to the particular page where Harriet’s has an extreme close-up several times to admire it. The artists captured her determination superbly. I enjoyed the story equally as well. It was quite inspiring. I ...more
"Harriet, be the Moses of your people," God commands Harriet Tubman to help free the slaves. Carole Boston Weatherford sets her recounting of the Harriet Tubman story as a conversation between Tubman and God. In this conversation, Tubman looks to God for guidance as she first escapes north herself, and then returns to guide others to freedom along the underground railroad. Moses: When Harriet Tubman Led Her People to Freedom is a poetic account of Harriet Tubman's heroic exploits for children. T ...more
Harriet Tubman prays to God for a sign to flee slavery. When she is given a sign she flees to the north. Along the way as she loses hope she prays to God and he gives her more advice and words of encouragement. She needs to talk to God many times along her journey. When she finally makes it to Philadelphia, free land, she doesn’t feel complete. She finds herself missing her family. She speaks to God yet again and he tells her to go back for them and to free as many people as possible. As Harriet ...more

This is the historical story of Harriet Tubman. Harriet had been a slave since birth and when she grew up she knew she wanted to escape. One night she had a conversation with God and afterwards she felt the urge to escape from her master before she would be sold onto a different plantation. Throughout this time Harriet knows that she must be the “Moses of her people” and return to her set the others free with her wisdom, strength and faith in God. So she does just what she believes and makes a w
Kayla Davis
This is a book based on the true story of Harriet Tubman, a black slave who escaped to freedom and bravely led many of her people to freedom also. This story focuses on Harriet’s faith in God and how it ultimately gives her courage to escape to the North one night when the owl signals. Along Harriet’s journey God continually speaks to her, encouraging her, reminding her of his presence, and giving her directions about where to go next. When Harriet finally reaches the North and finds herself on ...more
Kiara Aytch
MOSES by C. Weatherford is about Harriet Tubman and not only her escape from slavery but also her journey to help other slaves escape. Throughout the book it shows Harriet having a conversation with God and asking him to give her strength to get through her escape as well as guide others. It then shows her free in Philadelphia and discovers the Underground Railroad. Her conversation with God continues once again as she asks for guidance and strength to return home and save her family and other s ...more
Ashley Kerns
Apr 28, 2014 Ashley Kerns rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Elementary Aged students
Recommended to Ashley by: Myself
This is a story about a woman, Harriet Tubman, who has been a slave since birth. One night, she has a conversation with God and has an urge to get away and escape from her master before she is sold to another plantation. She sets out on her journey the next day and goes through multiple challenges. All while holding conversations with God. She finally ends up making it out, but receives another message from God to “be the Moses of her people”. She then sets out to use her strength and faith in o ...more
Malaika Hopson
This astonishing book is related to Harriet Tubman’s Underground Railroad. This book genre is an Autobiography, Biography and Poetry. The story begins with Tubman addressing God on a summer night as she is about to be sold south from the Maryland plantation where she and her husband live. Harriet states, "I am your child, Lord; yet Master owns me, /drives me like a mule." This book utilizes style and language that are appropriate for the children’s ages and interests. It is sketched between pass ...more
Jodie Greene
This is a biography about Harriet Tubman. It is based on her spiritual journey to be “the Moses of her people” and free them from slavery. There is an author’s note at the end that tells the biographical details and chronological events of her life. She was a famous conductor on the Underground Railroad and went to the south 19 times, freeing around 300 slaves and never lost a passenger.

I would recommend this book for grades K-3. Unfortunately, I don't know if this book would be allowed in a pub
The book itself is gorgeous. The illustrations are remarkably beautiful, very detailed, and soaked in sunlight and moonlight. The illustrator's work really is stunning. The story itself is a very good one, and while it does not shy away from the realities of slavery, including whippings, beatings, and a variety of horrible things, Harriet's inherent hope and faith are what make this truly remarkable. The problem with the book is that it is also very religious, which makes sense since Tubman deep ...more
Meridith Moore
Moses: When Harriet Tubman Led Her People to Freedom by Carole Boston Weatherford is the fictionalized story based on the true life events of Harriet Tubman and her journey towards freedom. This book has beautiful illustrations that captivate the reader and is both a Caldecott Honor Book as well as a winner of the Coretta Scott King Award. The text is mainly a conversation between Tubman and God, but it really shows the importance of religion and her dependence upon God during this time. The emo ...more
Weatherford, C.,B., (2006) Moses: When Harriet Tubman led her people to freedom. New York: Hyperion Books.

Caldecott Honor Book/Coretta Scott King Award- 2007

Picture Book Soak

I loved this multiple award winning book, Moses: When Harriet Tubman Led Her People to Freedom, which is a historical fiction story based on Tubman's spiritual journey on the Underground Railroad. The text is a beautiful, poetic-like dialogue between herself and God. Certain sentences are positioned like they are floating a
Daniele Merrick
This book is a multicultural book that shows how the slaves lived and their strive for freedom back when the Southern states were slave states. This book is extremely inspiring and moving because you feel for Harriet, who was born into slavery. The fact that this book is based on a true story just makes you feel more attached and moved by what she went through in order to be free and free her people. Is so sad that people, such as her, were treated the way they were and I think that this book sh ...more
Mrs. Romaniuk
Moses is a story about Harriet Tubman’s courageous escape from slavery. It is told as a conversation between Harriet and the Lord, as he offers encouragement for her to go on. The book also describes her efforts to smuggle people to freedom through the Underground Railroad. Overall, this book offers striking imagery throughout and is very engaging.
Oct 20, 2014 Rienzi added it
During the time of slavery in the United States, this story brings us on the journey of Harriet Tubman and the Underground Railroad. We are first introduces to Harriet when she is enslaved in Maryland, and follow her on her journey to free soil in Philadelphia. Along the way, she speaks to God, and God to her, about continuing on and being strong. We follow Harriet back to the "dreaded South" when she comes back to save other slaves like she once was herself, and learn about her courage as she r ...more
Courtney Dyer
Caldecott Honor and Coretta Scott King Award winner Moses: When Harriet Tubman Let Her People to Freedom is a fictional story about Harriet Tubman’s spiritual journey to freedom in the north. Written in lyrical verse, the text is displayed in three different typographies to show a change in perspective from third-person narrative to Harriet’s conversations with God to God’s responses to her questions and pleas.

The illustrations are absolutely stunning and typical Kadir Nelson fashion. In this b
Krista the Krazy Kataloguer
Stunning illustrations! A Coretta Scott King Award book and a Caldecott Award honor book.
Mandy Blackburn
Wonderful illustrations that add power and impact to the words.
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