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Freedom Train: The Story of Harriet Tubman Paperback – May 1, 1987

4.8 out of 5 stars 48 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Dorothy Sterling is a native New Yorker now living on Cape Cod in Wellfleet. She has made many trips to Nantucket, Block Island, Martha's Vineyard, and Long Island. She is a painstaking and thorough researcher with a long list of natural history, biography, and fiction books to her credit.
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Product Details

  • Age Range: 8 - 12 years
  • Grade Level: 3 - 7
  • Lexile Measure: 910L (What's this?)
  • Paperback: 192 pages
  • Publisher: Scholastic Paperbacks (May 1, 1987)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0590436287
  • ISBN-13: 978-0590436281
  • Product Dimensions: 0.5 x 5.5 x 7.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (48 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #42,792 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By A. Woodley on February 24, 2006
Format: Paperback
Harriet Tubman has to rate as one of the most amazing heroines in history. A slave born in America in about 1820, (I say about as she never really new her birth date). She was always fired with a stronger will than her 'master' and 'mistress' liked. As a very young girl she was taken to the big house but she never got on with the mistress. She ended up whipped and sent back to be a field hand. She was short, but she worked so hard she soon was capable of doing a mans work. However she never wished to bow her head to any one.

When she was quite young she helped another slave escape and in the process was badly injured. Despite leaving her with sudden sleeping spells she escaped and went on to join the freedom train. Her inspirational way, strength and sheer will made her extremely successful at freeing many others - even when they eventually had to take the 'train' all the way to Canada. She even helped her elderly parents escape.

This is as much a story of slavery in America as this outlines the background of what Harriet was doing. Why she suddenly had to take her 'passengers' beyond the Delaware border to Canada. The wrangling of the slave-owning congress who wanted all slaves returned, that Lincoln refused to allow black troops in the civil war at first - and paid them only 2/3rds of what the white troops were earning.

It also talks about Harriet's life after the end of the civl war and her support of her family, friends and freedmen institutions to better her community.

This is a very well written, informative and entertaining book suitable for 8-12 year olds and I would highly recommend it. It is inpirational - about a girl who would not give up hope and when she could acted on it. I really liked the fact that this story is about someone who actually made change. This is not a glamouress herione, but one who really changed the face of America.
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A Kid's Review on November 5, 2001
Format: School & Library Binding
In the beginning of the book Harriet Tubman was planning how to escape from slavery. She worked on a plantation in the south like so many other slaves. Harriet Tubman escaped with another slave and they got caught a white man hit Harriet in the head with a heavy object which caused her to have a concusion. When she got better she tried it again and made it to the north, were she got a job. She went back and got her family and friends. Harriet started making friends on the way that would help her and other slaves escape to the north, so Harriet started going back to the south and freeing slaves. She freed more then 300 slaves over the year.
Also Harriet fought in the army, became a nurse in an Negro hospital and trained other women to be nurses and founded the African Methodist Episcopal Zion Church. She was a very tall black women that could not read or write. But she did so much for the slaves and to help free them.
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Format: Paperback
This book was very informative, about the life of Harriet Tubman. What a wonderful, caring woman she was. She was truly a modern day Moses. She loved her people so much and helped them as much as she could. I would like to thank the author, for writing such a wonderful biography of Harriet Tubman. Thank you, Nick Sicignano 7th grade
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By A Customer on August 17, 1999
Format: Paperback
A wonderful book. When I say masterpiece, I mean masterpiece. A brillent true story of a brave young woman who lives in the hearts of children as a role model. When I read the book I felt like I was really there. It is very realistic. Harriet Tubman is an exellent book. Read it!
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This was an excellent book; well written, and fantastically interesting. A 3rd grader I mentor showed me a simpler version of Harriet Tubman's story and was excited to have read it. I had an old copy of this exact book (different cover, earlier publication) that I read and was amazed at Harriet's life. I had heard only the abbreviated, textbook version in my youth, so this was an eye-opener as far as understanding history. Her individual story makes that part of history come alive. I bought this copy so I could give my student this more detailed accounting of Harriet's story. (Since she had so recently read the short version (golden book style), I told her to save it for summer.)
I would certainly recommend this book to anyone with any interest in history, good biography, or just an engrossing story. It is all that. Harriet Tubman was an exceptional person. Much of the story is taken from notes transcribed after each of her trips "driving" the "Freedom Train", so the facts were gathered contemporaneously to her adventures, making them probably more reliable and detailed. Read it, you'll like it.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
As a spy, she used disguises and passwords, forged documents and secret signals. But these weapons of warfare were always selected with the greatest simplicity.
~ From Freedom Train: The Story of Harriet Tubman

My kiddo and I both gave Freedom Train 5 stars. For intermediate and middle grade readers, I can't ask too much from it because there are some chapters where a lull of excitement sets in, and you don't want that for young readers. Even as an adult, if this book had've been any longer, I would have put it aside for a few days - maybe longer - and then returned because of that. When readers are in training (and they're in training until they can hold a conversation about a book without any coaching, in my professional opinion) you want them hungry and being fed, not having the opportunity for the mind to wander.

But, this is an extremely important book for Americans to read. There are also decent snippets of European and Canadian history included as well, for those of you reading from outside the States. Thank you, btw, for your perusal. This book is a chapter of American history that must be remembered. It inspires a sense of appreciation and reality. Recounting how Harriet Tubman was fiercely focused and overcame any circumstance helps me to acknowledge that I don't really have anything worth complaining about. And, not only that, but I can overcome anything I may face because she did with less of everything than I have in my life. That's a lesson for subsequent generations - they always have more; more access, more information, more rights, more freedom. So are they overcoming or wasting their resources?

It's also important because it deals with the problem solving of societal, anthropological and sociological issues. As well as everyday life solutions.
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