Minty: A Story of Young Harriet Tubman
Minty: A Story of Young Harriet Tubman

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Annotation: Young Harriet Tubman, whose childhood name was Minty, dreams of escaping slavery on the Brodas plantation in the late 1820s.
Genre: Biographies
Catalog Number: #197813
Format: Perma-Bound Edition
All Formats: Search
Publisher: Penguin
Copyright Date: 1996
Edition Date: 2000
Illustrator: Pinkney, Jerry,
Pages: 40
Availability: Available
ISBN: Publisher: 0-14-056196-X Perma-Bound: 0-605-01028-5
ISBN 13: Publisher: 978-0-14-056196-8 Perma-Bound: 978-0-605-01028-4
Dewey: 921
LCCN: 95023499
Dimensions: 29 cm.
Language: English
ALA Booklist
Set on the Maryland plantation where Harriet Tubman (Minty ) was raised a slave, this fictionalized story dramatizes what daily life was like for her as a child. Schroeder's words are clear and strong. There's no gracious big house here, no happy slave. The angry Missus sends the difficult slave child Minty to work in the fields. When the overseer orders her to check the muskrat traps, she sets the animals free and is whipped for it. Pinkney's realistic portraits are powerful, and, as in John Henry (1994), the dappled double-page landscapes connect the strong child hero with the might of the natural world. Her mother tells her to pat the lion, but her father knows she means to run away, and several idyllic paintings show him teaching her to read the night sky and swim in the river and survive in the woods. The blend of fact and fiction is occasionally problematic (was she really planning escape at eight years old, or was that age chosen to suit the picture-book audience?), but kids will be moved by the picture of secret childhood rebellion in someone who grew up to lead hundreds to freedom. (Reviewed Feb. 15, 1996)
Horn Book
A fictionalized account based on fact details the early life of Harriet Tubman, whose 'cradle name' was Araminta, and who would later become a conductor on the Underground Railroad. Quick action and dialogue create a taut story and clearly depict Minty's strong-willed nature and her desire for freedom. Pinkney's watercolors provide detail and depth in this intriguing and emotional portrait.
School Library Journal
K-Gr 3--This beautifully illustrated and moving fictional story can be used to introduce Harriet Tubman and the injustice of slavery to young audiences. Minty (Harriet's "cradle" name was Araminta) is a spirited child who hides in order to shirk the commands of the temperamental Mrs. Brodas. When she spills a pitcher of cider, the mistress of the plantation throws the girl's beloved rag doll into the fire and sends her to work in the fields. There, she disobeys the overseer by freeing some muskrats from their traps and is whipped for her willfulness. After this incident, Minty's father takes her dreams of escape seriously and teaches her to survive in the wild. She is tempted to take a horse from in front of the Brodas house and to flee, but hesitates and loses the opportunity. Nevertheless, she vows that someday she will run away. An author's note tells of the realization of her dream and her work with the Underground Railroad. Pinkney's illustrations are outstanding, even when compared to his other fine work. His paintings, done in pencil, colored-pencils, and watercolor, use light and shadow to great effect, and his depictions of Minty are particularly powerful and expressive. This is a dramatic story that will hold listeners' interest and may lead them to biographical material such as David A. Adler's A Picture Book of Harriet Tubman (Holiday, 1992) and Ann McGovern's Wanted Dead or Alive (Scholastic, 1991). However, with so many real-life incidents from Tubman's childhood to choose from, one has to wonder why Schroeder decided to create fictional ones.--Louise L. Sherman, Anna C. Scott School, Leonia, NJ
Word Count: 2,765
Reading Level: 3.6
Interest Level: K-3
Accelerated Reader: reading level: 3.6 / points: 0.5 / quiz: 16647 / grade: Lower Grades
Reading Counts!: reading level:3.9 / points:2.0 / quiz:Q07688
Lexile: 640L

They called her "Minty."

When she grew up, she became Harriet Tubman, the courageous and heroic woman who helped hundreds of slaves escape to freedom through the Underground Railroad. But she was just a little girl for a while—and this is her story. Minty, short for Araminta, was a feisty and headstrong young slave, whose rebellious spirit often got her into trouble. She told stories to her doll, released animals from traps, and, above all, dreamed of running away. And when her father began to teach her the skills necessary for escape, she listened carefully, and learned. . . . 

*"Rich with melodrama, suspense, pathos, and, of course, a powerful vision of freedom. This exquisitely crafted book resonates well beyond its few pages."—Kirkus Reviews, starred review

Winner of the Coretta Scott King Award

An ALA Notable Book

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