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Moses: When Harriet Tubman Led Her People to Freedom

4.34  ·  Rating Details  ·  3,580 Ratings  ·  335 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 August 8th 2006 by Jump At The Sun
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Henry's Freedom Box by Ellen LevineMoses by Carole Boston WeatherfordMartin's Big Words by Doreen RappaportThrough My Eyes by Ruby BridgesDave the Potter by Laban Carrick Hill
African American Picture Book Biographies
2nd out of 146 books — 41 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
32nd out of 247 books — 168 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
J-Lynn
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.
Kathryn
Feb 08, 2011 Kathryn rated it it was amazing
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
...more
Luann
Dec 14, 2008 Luann rated it really liked it
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
Winter Sophia Rose
Jan 08, 2016 Winter Sophia Rose rated it it was amazing
Empowering, Emotionally Engaging & Moving! A Beautiful Read! We Loved It!
Laura Rumohr
Oct 01, 2009 Laura Rumohr rated it it was amazing
Shelves: picture-books
Summary-
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
...more
Jim Erekson
Feb 21, 2013 Jim Erekson rated it really liked it
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
...more
Angela
Nov 02, 2011 Angela rated it it was amazing
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
Marie
Feb 27, 2012 Marie rated it really liked it
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
...more
Cherry
Dec 03, 2012 Cherry rated it it was amazing
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
Mar 01, 2010 Christine Jensen rated it really liked it
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
...more
Lluvia
Jan 16, 2013 Lluvia rated it it was amazing
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
...more
Crystal Marcos
Feb 09, 2011 Crystal Marcos rated it it was amazing
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
528_Tracy
Nov 06, 2011 528_Tracy rated it really liked it
"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
Amnah
Feb 04, 2016 Amnah rated it really liked it
this book about Harriet Tubman and the journey she took to free slaves from the South. also, it described some sides of the black people history. there are many deep scenes of the dark nights which fill many double pages as the dramatic paintings which help us to understand her tortuous journey until she got the freedom in Philadelphia. so, this story is closed ending. however, this book has not avoiding unresolved emotions because Tubman story has some sadness and fear in her story even if the ...more
Charissa MacDonald
Jan 29, 2016 Charissa MacDonald rated it it was amazing
Harriet Tubman, a woman who was born into slavery, heard the Lord speak to her and tell her that she was going to escape the slavery she was in. Although Harriet was unsure and fearful, she obeyed the Lord’s voice. While the task was not easy, she found comfort through her journey and made it safely to free soil. Once she was free, she felt a burden for her family and returned in order to help free them. Finally, when her family is free, she feels called to become “Moses” to her people and help ...more
Emily Moog
Moses, written by Carole Boston Weatherford and illustrated by Kadir Nelson tells the story of Harriet Tubman’s courage and faith that freed many souls from the bondage of slavery. Moses, while telling of Harriet’s courageous acts, focuses more on her faith in God and internal battle with trusting His timing. Moses has thought-provoking content that invites critical analysis through the mention and use of specific words about slavery as well as in-depth treatment of issues. This is a children’s ...more
Mickey Malmgren
Oct 07, 2015 Mickey Malmgren rated it really liked it
Moses: When Harriet Tubman Led Her People to Freedom by Carole Boston Weatherford is a powerful peek into history, to say the least. A unique biography of Harriet Tubman's life and mission to save African Americans from slavery, this story highlights the caring and determined spirit of the woman who brought so many to freedom through the Underground Railroad. Earning the name "Moses" for her dedication to her people's escape and salvation, Tubman lives a life of courageous virtue, told fittingly ...more
Jessica LeBaron

Moses: When Harriet Tubman Led Her People to Freedom
Carole Boston Weatherford

This picture book has won a Caldecott Honor Award, a Coretta Scott King Award, and was on the list of Notable Books for a Global Society in 2006. The book details a fictional story about Harriet Tubman, who was a slave that escaped to freedom and then started working for the Underground Railroad. The book starts with a Foreword, which explains what slavery was, what slaves were put through, and how prominent slavery was
...more
Lisa Suchy
Mar 10, 2015 Lisa Suchy rated it really liked it
Moses: When Harriet Tubman Led Her people to Freedom is a fictional story about Harriet Tubman's journey as a slave. It is told with a spiritual depth, the entire book is set as Harriet's conversation with God. I believe this book may be borderline historical fiction, however it does a great job showing the life of a slave and their hope towards freedom. The pictures drape the entire page and add emotion and drama to the text. The colors and scenery make it feel as though the read is able to sli ...more
Kaitlyn
Dec 09, 2014 Kaitlyn rated it it was amazing
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
Jasmine
Dec 09, 2014 Jasmine rated it it was amazing


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
...more
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
Oct 28, 2014 Kiara Aytch rated it liked it
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 really liked it
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
Oct 15, 2014 Malaika Hopson rated it really liked it
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
Apr 22, 2014 Jodie Greene rated it it was amazing
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
...more
Meltha
Feb 17, 2014 Meltha rated it it was amazing
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
Summer Hemphill
Feb 24, 2015 Summer Hemphill rated it it was amazing
Shelves: childrens-lit
This book was impactful! Carole Weatherford, the author, did an impressive job capturing the essence of who was Harriet Tubman. Through the use of multiple voice, shown through obvious difference in text size, font, and text color, Weatherford is able to create a wonderful read aloud text for parents and teachers.

Weatherford touched on topics such as slavery, cruelty, bravery, God, and kindness in a straightforward manner without being too explicit for children.

The illustrator, Nadir Nelson cre
...more
Meridith Moore
Apr 20, 2014 Meridith Moore rated it really liked it
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
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Carole Boston Weatherford is a children's book author and poet who "mines the past for family stories, fading traditions, and forgotten struggles." A number of Weatherford's books tell the stories of African-American historical figures such as Harriet Tubman, Jesse Owens, and Billie Holiday. Other books recount historical events such as the Greensboro Sit-ins and the bombing of the Sixteenth Stree ...more
More about Carole Boston Weatherford...

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