Search Picture Book Palooza

Tuesday, February 3, 2015

Terrific Tuesday

Chasing Freedom: The Life Journeys of Harriet Tubman and Susan B. Anthony Inspired by Historical Facts by Nikki Grimes, illustrated by Michele Wood is a stirring read.  This book pays tribute to two fascinating and important, historical women, that fought for freedom, Harriet Tubman, who saved countless slaves from the South and Susan B. Anthony who championed women and slaves.
This title, using historical facts, fictionalizes a conversation the two women might have had.  I found this story engrossing.  I couldn't put it down.  The idea of what these two remarkable ladies would have said to each other, talked about, and possibly  chatted on during an afternoon of tea before a convention kept me riveted.  The acrylic and oil paint illustrations are equally as gripping.  They were inspired by numerous symbols and geometric designs found in American patchwork quilts, and African motif patterns. 
I love this book.  The text and pictures work so well together.  This book makes me feel like I know both these amazing women now.  I really love the personal, conversational aspect of how this story works.
It's not a long story, and would be used best with second grade students and older.  With older elementary and middle school students, I would recommend using the idea expressed in this story and encouraging students to pick two people that would have lived about the same time and imagine what they would say to each other. It's a fresh idea on dealing with biographies.

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