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Minty: A Story of Young Harriet Tubman (Picture Puffin) Paperback – December 1, 2000

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

This fictionalized account of Tubman's childhood on a Maryland plantation provides a cruel snapshot of life as a slave and the horrid circumstances that fueled the future Underground Railroad leader's passion and determination. At eight years old, Minty (so-called as a nickname for Araminta) boils with rebellion against her brutal owners and bucks their authority whenever possible. Deeming her too clumsy for housework, Mrs. Brodas banishes Minty to harder work in the fields. Toiling in the hot sun only intensifies Minty's desire to run away to freedom, and soon her father teaches her how to survive in the wild, so that she'll be prepared to make her break one day. Schroeder's (Ragtime Tumpie; Carolina Shout!) choice of lively vignettes rather than a more traditional biography is a wise one. With color and feeling he humanizes a historic figure, coaxing readers to imagine or research the rest of the story. Pinkney's (John Henry) full-bodied watercolors evoke a strong sense of time and place. Laudably, Pinkney's scenes consistently depict young Minty's point of view, giving the harshness of her reality more resonance for readers. A formal author's note follows the text and both Schroeder and Pinkney have included personal messages about the history of the book project. A firm stepping stone toward discussions of slavery and U.S. history. Ages 5-9.
Copyright 1996 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From School Library Journal

Kindergarten-Grade 3?This beautifully illustrated and moving fictional story can be used to introduce Harriet Tubman and the injustice of slavery to young audiences. Minty (Harriet's "cradle" name was Araminta) is a spirited child who hides in order to shirk the commands of the temperamental Mrs. Brodas. When she spills a pitcher of cider, the mistress of the plantation throws the girl's beloved rag doll into the fire and sends her to work in the fields. There, she disobeys the overseer by freeing some muskrats from their traps and is whipped for her willfulness. After this incident, Minty's father takes her dreams of escape seriously and teaches her to survive in the wild. She is tempted to take a horse from in front of the Brodas house and to flee, but hesitates and loses the opportunity. Nevertheless, she vows that someday she will run away. An author's note tells of the realization of her dream and her work with the Underground Railroad. Pinkney's illustrations are outstanding, even when compared to his other fine work. His paintings, done in pencil, colored-pencils, and watercolor, use light and shadow to great effect, and his depictions of Minty are particularly powerful and expressive. This is a dramatic story that will hold listeners' interest and may lead them to biographical material such as David A. Adler's A Picture Book of Harriet Tubman (Holiday, 1992) and Ann McGovern's Wanted Dead or Alive (Scholastic, 1991). However, with so many real-life incidents from Tubman's childhood to choose from, one has to wonder why Schroeder decided to create fictional ones.?Louise L. Sherman, Anna C. Scott School, Leonia, NJ
Copyright 1996 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Product Details

  • Age Range: 4 - 8 years
  • Grade Level: Preschool - 3
  • Lexile Measure: 0560 (What's this?)
  • Series: Picture Puffin
  • Paperback: 40 pages
  • Publisher: Puffin Books; Reprint edition (December 1, 2000)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 014056196X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0140561968
  • Product Dimensions: 9.5 x 0.1 x 11.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 7.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #301,807 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

11 of 12 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on July 12, 1999
Format: Hardcover
As a teacher, I found this book to be helpful in introducing my students to one of America's famous female heroines. This is an appropriate book for third to sixth grade students. Fifth and sixth graders should have an easy time reading this book; however, third and fourth graders will probably enjoy it more if it is read to them. Pinkney's illustrations are wonderful. If you enjoyed his use of pencil, colored pencils, and watercolors in other books (e.g. The Patchwork Quilt) then you'll cetainly enjoy the work he's done in this book. I recommend this book to anyone who wants to remind children that it's important to dream, hope, and have faith.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on July 3, 2000
Format: Hardcover
A fictionalized story mixed with facts about the young Harriet Tubman. It chronicles her life from the Maryland plantation from which she escaped, and provides details of what life was like as a slave on a plantation. Wonderful book that is dramatic and full of interesting details about a famous American. Harriet Tubman was a hero of her time and this book does an excellent job of telling her story. Schroeder's mixture of fact and fiction make this book a joy to read.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Lynda Preston on December 30, 2002
Format: Hardcover
Eight-year-old "Minty," a fictionalized version of a young Harriet Tubman, suffers greatly while working as a slave on a Maryland plantation. Her rebellious nature adds an extra degree of conflict, and she has several traumatic experiences. With the guidance of her father, she starts planning to escape.
Scenes of Minty with her family are very tenderly rendered in this 1997 Coretta Scott King Award winner. Illustrator Jerry Pinkney effectively combines pencils and watercolors to add an appropriately subdued, somewhat dreary cast even to bright, sunny scenes. The strong text describes the horrors of scenes too disturbing to show in the illustrations.
The story really tugged at my heartstrings. It is a very moving story, well told, but still very sad.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful By no on January 16, 2002
Format: Hardcover
Minty was treated awful wiped to her bones. Most of us don't know how badly Minty was treated and this story will help you under stand Black history please read this book and you will know how i feel.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By S. N. Regan on March 11, 2006
Format: Paperback
I used this book as part of a Black History Month. The class loved it.
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Minty: A Story of Young Harriet Tubman (Picture Puffin)
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