Monday, February 26, 2018

Before She Was Harriet

Before She Was Harriet. Lesa Cline-Ransome. Illustrated by James Ransome. 2017. [November] Holiday House. 32 pages. [Source: Library]

First sentence: Here she sits/ an old woman/ tired and worn/ her legs stiff/ her back achy/ but before wrinkles formed/ and her eyes failed/ before she reached/ her twilight years/ she could walk for miles/ and see clearly/ under a sky lit only with stars.

Premise/plot: Before She Was Harriet is a picture book biography of Harriet Tubman written in verse. The picture book opens and closes with Harriet as an old woman. The poem looks backwards on her life. Each section begins with "Before she was..." For example,
  • Before she was an old woman/ she was a suffragist/
  • Before she was a suffragist/ she was General Tubman/
  • Before she was General Tubman/ she was a Union spy/
The poem packs in a lot of information while remaining very much a poem. It is beautiful!

My thoughts: I enjoyed this one very much! I loved the writing. I loved the illustrations. This picture book was honored with a Coretta Scott King Illustrator Honor. I must admit that I loved the text even more than the illustrations. But both are great.

The narrative is so beautiful!

Text: 5 out of 5
Illustrations: 4 out of 5
Total: 9 out of 10

© 2018 Becky Laney of Becky's Book Reviews

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