Moses: When Harriet Tubman Led Her People to Freedom
by Carole Boston Weatherford
illustrated by Kadir Nelson
New York: Hyperion
Harriet Tubman's work as a conductor on the Underground Railroad is depicted as a series of conversations in prayer.
Most schoolchildren will know that Harriet Tubman was an escaped slave who guided other runaways to Canada via the secret network called the Underground Railroad. Carole Boston Weatherford gives the facts of Harriet Tubman's life in her Author's Note at the end of the book, but the story she tells is of Harriet's faith in God and the inner strength that sustained Harriet through her many trials. In two different styles of text, Harriet's prayers alternate with a larger voice that guides her through wilderness, comforts her in times of danger, and encourages her to continue helping others to freedom.
The illustrations are incorporated seamlessly into this text; the deep lines of Harriet's face are present, but so are the sweeping natural vistas behind and around her. Tall trees and vast skies symbolize the powerful goal of freedom. Kadir Nelson's palette is earth-toned, rich and dark, like his award-winning illustrations in Heart and Soul. The final image of Harriet depicted with a staff, haloed by clouds of glory, shows how she must have appeared in the hearts of those who followed her and called her Moses.
2007 Caldecott Honor
2007 Coretta Scott King Illustrator Award
2007 NAACP Image Award
Media: pencil, watercolor, oil paint