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

Nikki Grimes, illus. by Michele Wood. Scholastic/Orchard, $18.99 (56p) ISBN 978-0-439-79338-4
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.)
Reviewed on: 11/17/2014
Release date: 01/01/2015
Genre: Children's
Compact Disc - 978-1-4906-9276-0
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