The Underground Abductor (An Abolitionist Tale About Harriet Tubman) by Nathan Hale

Published by Harry N. Abrams

Summary:  Nathaniel Hale is about to be executed, but his executioners want to hear another one of his tales.  One of them accuses him of always making America sound perfect.  So Nathaniel tells the story of Harriet Tubman, which is also the story of slavery and the Underground Railroad.  Told in graphic novel format, the story spans the years from Harriet’s (or Minty’s, as she was known as a child) birth through the end of the Civil War.  Brief stories of Frederick Douglass and John Brown are woven into Harriet’s tale, and additional resources are listed at the end.  Ages 9 and up.

Pros:  This is the fifth installment in Nathan Hale’s Hazardous Tales. (It’s a little confusing. Nathan Hale is the real name of the author, but Nathaniel Hale of Revolutionary War fame narrates the stories). These books do an amazing job of teaching history through an appealing graphic novel format.  I learned a lot from reading this book, and it reads like a great story from start to finish.  I have a small but dedicated group of fifth grade boys in my school who have read all these books, and I can’t wait to give them a copy of this one.

Cons:  It’s impossible to tell Harriet Tubman’s stories without relating some of the horrors of slavery, so make sure readers are prepared.

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