Chasing Freedom: The Life Journeys of Harriet Tubman and Susan B. Anthony, Inspired by Historical Facts
Chasing Freedom: The Life Journeys of Harriet Tubman and Susan B. Anthony, Inspired by Historical Facts

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Annotation: In this imaginative piece of biographical fiction set in 1904, Harriet Tubman and Susan B. Anthony drink tea together as they reminisce about their struggles and triumphs in the service of freedom and women's rights.
Catalog Number: #97100
Format: Perma-Bound Edition from Publisher's Hardcover
All Formats: Search
Common Core/STEAM: Common Core Common Core
Publisher: Orchard Books
Copyright Date: 2015
Edition Date: 2015
Illustrator: Wood, Michele,
Pages: 53 pages
Availability: Available
ISBN: Publisher: 0-439-79338-6 Perma-Bound: 0-605-85765-2
ISBN 13: Publisher: 978-0-439-79338-4 Perma-Bound: 978-0-605-85765-0
Dewey: Fic
LCCN: 2014014835
Dimensions: 28 cm.
Language: English
Horn Book
In this lengthy picture book, best for mid-primary graders, Tubman and Anthony sit down for tea. In a chatty imagined narrative, the women discuss their own lives in the context of major historical events. Inspired by a series of dramatic monologues written by Grimes in 1988, this ambitious project is both intimate and illuminating. Wood's colorful, folksy paintings convey much emotional nuance. Extensive back matter adds value. Bib.
School Library Journal Starred Review
Gr 36 "History is often taught in bits and pieces, and students rarely get the notion that these bits and pieces are connected," writes Coretta Scott King Award-winning author Grimes in her author's note. Here, she and fellow Coretta Scott King-winning illustrator Wood imagine an afternoon tea conversation between suffragette Susan B. Anthony and Underground Railroad conductor Harriet Tubman, where the women take turns relating interconnected stories from their lives. Each spread, including a page of text and a full-page illustration, tells a single anecdote, including personal turning points in each woman's life and major historical events, such as John Brown's raid on Harpers Ferry. In keeping with both activists' strong religious convictions, God and biblical references are invoked often, and Wood's painterly illustrations feature patterns inspired by American patchwork quilts and traditional African motifs. Back matter includes short biographies, additional notes, a bibliography, and an author's note. Textual voice and bold pictorial color are strong, and Anthony's and Tubman's goals maintain relevance at a time when gender and race issues continue to be newsworthy. Skirting the edges of fictionalized biography can be tricky. Although Anthony and Tubman did meet repeatedly, Grimes states that this extended conversation comes purely from her imagination. Younger readers, who may not realize this immediately, may need guidance distinguishing the historical facts from the fictionalized musings. Audiences willing to embrace the unusual concept, though, may view this as a vanguard piece in an engaging newform that mixes nonfiction with historical fiction. Jill Ratzan, I. L. Peretz Community Jewish School, Somerset, NJ
Starred Review ALA Booklist
*Starred Review* This unusual picture book imagines a conversation that could have taken place if Susan B. Anthony had invited Harriet Tubman to tea in 1904. Each two-page spread introduces a new dialogue, stitching together their memories and their views on matters such as slavery, temperance, women's rights, and John Brown's fight for abolition. Susan describes the hostile reception to her 1861 speeches calling for the emancipation of slaves, while Harriet recalls her journey to South Carolina as "nurse, cook, and spy" with the all-black Massachusetts Fifty-Fourth Regiment. Even readers familiar with each woman individually may occasionally be surprised by what the two contemporaries had in common imes notes that they met several times "at antislavery and women's rights conventions." While some knowledge of American history is valuable as a framework for their stories, the text conveys a good deal of information in an involving way, and the back matter is uncommonly helpful. Across from each page of text is a striking, iconic full-page portrait, painted in oils and acrylics and often incorporating patchwork-quilt designs. Ready-made for reading aloud in three voices (Anthony, Tubman, and a narrator), this handsome picture book offers an original take on these significant Americans and fresh insights into their times.
Bibliography Index/Note: Includes bibliographical references (page 52).
Word Count: 4,385
Reading Level: 5.8
Interest Level: 2-5
Accelerated Reader: reading level: 5.8 / points: 1.0 / quiz: 173560 / grade: Lower Grades
Reading Counts!: reading level:7.5 / points:4.0 / quiz:Q64908
Lexile: 960L

Nikki Grimes offers a glimpse into the inspiring lives of Susan B. Anthony and Harriet Tubman, with breathtaking illustrations by Michele Wood!

What if Harriet Tubman and Susan B. Anthony sat down over tea to reminisce about their extraordinary lives? What would they recall of their triumphs and struggles as they fought to achieve civil rights for African Americans and equal rights for women? And what other historical figures played parts in their stories? These questions led Coretta Scott King Award winner Nikki Grimes to create CHASING FREEDOM, an engaging work of historical fiction about two of the nineteenth century's most powerful, and inspiring, American women.

With breathtaking illustrations by Coretta Scott King Award winner Michele Wood, CHASING FREEDOM richly imagines the experiences of Tubman and Anthony, set against the backdrop of the Underground Railroad, the Civil War, and the Women's Suffrage Movement.

Additional back matter invites curious young readers to further explore this period in history--and the larger-than-life figures who lived it.

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