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

Overview


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 ...

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

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Overview


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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Editorial Reviews

The New York Times Book Review - Katheryn Russell-Brown
…[a] beautiful, richly detailed book…Along with presenting absorbing portraits of both women, this story of cross-racial friendship will allow older elementary-school readers to see connections between the abolitionist and women's rights movements. Each of Michele Wood's illustrations is a museum-worthy visual treasure…This is a book that works on all levels.
Publishers Weekly
11/17/2014
Grimes (Words with Wings) creates an absorbing fictional conversation, based on historical incidents and documented quotations, between two indefatigable 19th-century crusaders for equal rights. The author imagines Tubman paying a visit to Anthony’s home on the day of the 1904 convention of the New York State Suffrage Association in Rochester, N.Y., where Anthony introduced Tubman as guest speaker. As the two women trade stories about their callings, accomplishments, and aspirations, Grimes adeptly reveals their shared philosophies, faiths, passion, and courage. The women’s distinct personalities also surface, as do Tubman’s storytelling talents and Anthony’s oratory skills. Inspired by American patchwork quilts and African motifs, Wood’s (Going Back Home) primitive acrylic and oil paintings incorporate handsome geometric and floral patterns, but it’s her piercing portraits of these women that stand out most, accentuating their compassion and resolve. Back matter provides relevant historical notes and brief biographies of Tubman, Anthony, and other like-minded contemporaries mentioned in their conversation, including John Brown, Frederick Douglass, and Elizabeth Cady Stanton. Ages 7–10. Author’s agent: Elizabeth Harding, Curtis Brown. Illustrator’s agent: Caryn Wiseman, Andrea Brown Literary Agency. (Jan.)
From the Publisher

Praise for Chasing Freedom : The Life Journeys of Harriet Tubman and Susan B. Anthony

• “Audiences willing to embrace the unusual concept may view this as a vanguard piece in an engaging newform that mixes nonfiction with historical fiction.” -- School Library Journal, starred review

Talkin' About Bessie (written by Nikki Grimes and illustrated by E.B. Lewis)

A Coretta Scott King Honor Book

"While fictional, this is a fine piece to use to set a tone or inspire more research into Coleman's life. It could also serve as an exceptional writing model for students." -- School Library Journal

I See The Rhythm (written by Toyomi Igus and illustrated by Michele Wood)

"Wood's vibrant paintings are based in historical detail, and resonate with emotion. The color choices, postures of the figures, as well as the expressions on their faces, reflect various aspects of African-American music; the pictures broadcast joy, innovation, and exuberance in the face of systematic oppression." -- Kirkus Reviews

Going Back Home (written by Toyomi Igus and illustrated by Michele Wood)

"Through vivid, mosaiclike paintings, Wood skillfully depicts her African-American family, her rich heritage, and ethnic motifs. ... The full-page, full-color reproductions are arrestingly beautiful." -- School Library Journal

Children's Literature - Leona Illig
It is 1904, and Harriet Tubman is visiting Susan B. Anthony at her home in Rochester, New York, prior to the occasion of the 28th Annual Convention of the New York State Suffrage Association. The two women have a lot to talk about and they take turns telling each other about the tumultuous events that have shaped their lives. While Tubman was primarily concerned with slavery and civil rights, and Anthony was focused on suffrage and women’s rights, their ideas and actions often overlapped. In some instances their own lives intersected, as in the circumstances surrounding the raid on Harper’s Ferry; and in both women’s lives, the power of religion played a dominant role. Each woman’s story complements the other’s: when Tubman relates a particularly harrowing episode concerning her role as a conductor on the Underground Railroad, Anthony supplies an equally gripping account of walking from house to house in brutal winter weather, petitioning for the woman’s right to vote. When the conversation ends, the two women agree that although progress has been made, there is more work to be done. Although the particular conversation in this book is imaginary, it is inspired by historical events; and, in fact, Tubman and Anthony had met before. The layout of the book is superb: the left-hand page contains the text of the conversation, while the right-hand page contains illustrations complementing the text. These illustrations are full-page, often with a block pattern in the background reminiscent of early American quilts. At the back of the book are some notes, short biographies, a bibliography, and an author’s note. While this book stands on its own as a beautiful and stirring testament to two courageous women, it would also be a wonderful idea for an audio book or as a theatre production by a school. Reviewer: Leona Illig; Ages 6 to 10.
School Library Journal
★ 01/01/2015
Gr 3–6—"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
Kirkus Reviews
★ 2014-10-15
Two iconic women recount their stories. In New York state in 1904, a suffragist convention is about to begin, and Susan B. Anthony is scheduled to introduce Harriet Tubman. But first the two women meet at Anthony's home for tea and talk. Grimes artfully creates an afternoon of conversation and reminiscence in carefully constructed, fact-based vignettes that allow each to recount her life, accomplishments and continuing dreams. Each piece—there are 21—consists of both narration and dialogue that draw readers into the world of slavery, the Underground Railroad, the struggle for women's rights, the fight for temperance and the dangers of public speaking on unpopular subjects. While not a dual biography, there is a plethora of information about both Tubman and Anthony as well as their times. Intended for reading aloud, the text can be an excellent supplement to 19th-century American studies. Wood's full-page portraits are stunning. The folk-style acrylic-and-oil paintings are vibrant, detailed and emotionally charged. American quilt patterns and African motifs add to the depth of artistry. A tremendous opportunity for children to understand what these women worked so hard to accomplish—one succeeding and one coming close. (capsule biographies, additional notes, bibliography, author's note) (Picture book. 8-12)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780439793384
  • Publisher: Scholastic, Inc.
  • Publication date: 1/6/2015
  • Pages: 56
  • Sales rank: 262,969
  • Age range: 6 - 10 Years
  • Lexile: 960L (what's this?)
  • Product dimensions: 9.10 (w) x 11.00 (h) x 0.50 (d)

Meet the Author


Nikki Grimes won a 2014 Coretta Scott King Honor for WORDS WITH WINGS, and she is the author of BRONX MASQUERADE, which won the Coretta Scott King Award. Nikki is also the author of four other Coretta Scott King Honor books: TALKIN' ABOUT BESSIE, JAZMIN'S NOTEBOOK, THE ROAD TO PARIS, and DARK SONS. She won the 2006 NCTE Award for Excellence in Poetry for Children. Nikki lives in Corona, California. Visit her online at www.nikkigrimes.com.

Michele Wood is a painter, illustrator, and designer. She won the American Book Award for GOING BACK HOME and the Coretta Scott King Illustrator Award for I SEE THE RHYTHM. Michele lives in Atlanta, Georgia. For more information, go to www.michelewood.com.

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