Book Detail

Holiday House / Before She was Harriet

Buy the Book at:
Barnes & Noble

Before She was Harriet

by Lesa Cline-Ransome
Illustrator(s): James E. Ransome
Hardcover | Pages : 32
Size: 9 X 11 | USD $17.95
ISBN: 9780823420476 | Pub Date: 2017-11-07

Grade: FIRST | Age: 4 to 8
Other Editions: Ebook

Themes: Women's History, Poetry, African American Interest, 19th Century, Racism & Prejudice, Human & Civil Rights
Recommendations: ,A*,C,H,K*,PW*,SLJ*

About the Book

A lush and lyrical biography of Harriet Tubman, written in verse and illustrated by an award-winning artist.

We know her today as Harriet Tubman, but in her lifetime she was called by many names. As General Tubman she was a Union spy. As Moses she led hundreds to freedom on the Underground Railroad. As Minty she was a slave whose spirit could not be broken. An evocative poem and opulent watercolors come together to honor a woman of humble origins whose courage and compassion make her larger than life. A Junior Library Guild Selection.


★ "Simultaneously simple enough for young children to understand and sophisticated enough to inspire adults . . . Libraries likely already have many Harriet Tubman books, but this well-designed, unique approach warrants making room for one more."—Booklist, Starred Review

★ "A memorable, lyrical reverse-chronological walk through the life of an American icon. While the text introduces readers to the details of Tubman's life, Ransome's use of watercolor . . . reveals Tubman's humanity, determination, drive, and hope. Ransome's lavishly detailed and expansive double-page spreads situate young readers in each time and place as the text takes them further into the past. A picture book more than worthy of sharing the shelf with Alan Schroeder and Jerry Pinkney's Minty (1996) and Carole Boston Weatherford and Kadir Nelson's Moses (2006)."—Kirkus Reviews, Starred Review

★ “Striking . . . a powerful reminder of how all children carry within them the potential for greatness.”—Publishers Weekly, Starred Review

★ “Inspirational and gorgeous.”—Shelf Awareness, Starred Review

★ “This lovely tribute effectively communicates Tubman’s ¬everlasting bravery and resolve, and will -inspire curious readers to learn more.”—School Library Journal, Starred Review

Awards & Honors
A 2018 Charlotte Zolotow Award Highly Commended Title
An NCTE Notable Poetry Book (2018)
A Center for the Study of Multicultural Children’s Literature (CSMCL) Best Book of 2017
A Booklist Editors’ Choice (2017)
A Kirkus Reviews Best Picture Book (2017)
Original artwork included in the 2017 Society of Illustrators Original Art Exhibit (11/1/17-12/30/17)
2017 EUREKA! Nonfiction Honor Award
NAACP Image Award Nominee for Outstanding Literary Work – Children (2018)


Join Our
Holiday House

Stay updated with all the latest updates and upcoming book titles.

Join Our
Holiday House

Stay updated with all the latest updates and upcoming book titles.