... Highly Recommended ... 5 stars
The book opens with a discussion
of what slavery is, touches on Abolition here in the United States
and explains the Under-ground Railroad. Minty Lou Ross and how
she came to be called Harriet is explained. Harriet was the child
of Ben Ross and Hattie Greene, she grew up living in slavery
on the Broadas Plantation, never learned to read or write, but
developed strong family ties. When grown she married John Tubman,
who had white relatives. Harriet determined she would buy her
freedom. She felt betrayed to discover that Hattie's old owner
had set up plan for Harriet and her children to be freed upon
his death, however there was a requirement that Hattie take her
children and leave within a stated time frame. The Heirs knew
that, but did not tell Harriet, so the family slavery continued.
After Tubman stole her savings
Harriet walked away north. Arriving in Pennsylvania she set about
helping others find freedom. The First seeking freedom that she
spirited on the Under-ground Railroad was her sister and her
sister's children. In 1851 disguised as man Harriet set out south
to find John, despite his bad treatment of her she wanted to
help him north. Soon she knew that John would never leave the
south and his white relatives. For eight years Harriet made nineteen
trips south to guide groups of runaway slaves north. Often she
led members of her own family to Canada where they no longer
feared being returned to owners. December 1854 Harriet went south
to bring her brothers out. Quilts hanging on the line behind
houses were used as signals, slave hunters with dogs were out
in force. By 1857 the old Broadas Plantation sold and the had
come for Harriet to get Ben Ross and Hattie Greene. The old folks
were then eighty years old and could not walk all the way to
Canada. Harriet managed to get them on board a northbound train
in middle of night.
In 1861 Harriet went south to
help doctor the union soldiers. Called General Tubman, Harriet
financed herself and was not paid by the army. After the war
she was denied compensation promised by the Federals. Harriet
never wavered in her determination that all should have rights.
Speaking out for right of women to work and vote she was tireless
in her efforts. She died in 1913 of pneumonia at age 93.
Writer Chase has produced an
excellent work in her book "Go Down Moses". Based on
the life of one of our nation's earliest advocates for the rights
of all people to enjoy freedom, the right to work, the vote and
the right to determine their own life Writer Chase had crafted
a book sure to please teachers, parents and young people alike.
The name Harriet Tubman is found on the pages of history books,
Writer Chase brings her alive. Tubman was an extraordinary woman
under any circumstance. Writer Chase has taken facts of her life
to weave a tale filled with excitement, the right amount of history
and machination to keep kids turning the pages.
This is a book I would use in
my own classroom. We can never have too many good, child geared
materials based on historical fact available for teachers. This
is an excellent addition to the teaching unit, and lends itself
as a 'fun read' book for children to use for free reading time.
Vocabulary found in "Go Down Moses" is a little advanced.
"Go Down Moses" is a read-to for younger readers in
the 5-7 group, is a read with help for the more mature 7-8 and
a read alone for the skilled 8-11 set.
One suggestion a few simple line
drawing illustrations would help clarify some of the terminology.
Children today often have not seen either a quilt or clothesline,
illustration of digging for roots would aid understanding for
children who are used to medicine from a bottle.
Enjoyed the book.