15 Books To Help Familiarize Readers of All Ages with Harriet Tubman

Harriet Tubman, who was sold into slavery and endured a perilous voyage to the North, felt that her independence was insufficient. She was aware that she had to aid in the liberation of other enslaved people. After that, Tubman worked as a nurse, a spy for the Union, and a women’s liberation movement member, in addition to her conductor duties on the Underground Railroad. For readers of all reading abilities, these novels about Harriet Tubman provide deeper insights into her life.

Harriet Tubman Books for Kids

  1. Moses: When Harriet Tubman Led Her People to Freedom, by Carol Boston Weatherford

To portray Tubman’s narrative, this Caldecott Honor Book and Coretta Scott King Award-winning picture book mixes poetic prose with exquisite pictures. It describes how she made 19 additional trips to assist her fellow slaves in making the same trek after hearing the word of God encourage her to pursue freedom.

  1. Harriet Tubman: Conductor on the Underground Railroad, by Ann Petry

The Street, written by Ann Petry, was her best-known work. She was also an activist, pharmacist, teacher, and reporter. It was the first work written by a Black woman that sold over a million copies. Her biography of Harriet Tubman for middle schoolers is both readable and interesting. Additionally, Jason Reynolds, a finalist for the National Book Award, wrote the foreword.

  1. Harriet Tubman: The Road to Freedom, by Catherine Clinton

Although little information is available about Tubman’s job as an Underground Railroad conductor, Clinton can cobble together one of the most in-depth depictions of her life. She also provides a thorough picture of the period, illustrating the horrors of slavery and introducing readers to lesser-known abolitionists.

  1. Who Was Harriet Tubman?, by Yona Zeldis McDonough

This work for the school-age group, which is a part of the Who Was? A Series of biographies written for children aged 8 to 12 introduces students to Tubman’s life and times. For more reluctant readers, it’s a good biography to start with.

  1. The Story of Harriet Tubman: A Biography Book for New Readers, by Christine Platt

This book, a part of The Story Of series (another biography series aimed at early independent readers), uses full-color drawings and educational graphics to give kids a thorough understanding of American slavery and the time leading up to the Civil War.

  1. National Geographic Readers: Harriet Tubman, by Barbara Kramer

This Harriet Tubman biography for the tiniest independent readers from National Geographic capitalizes on its stellar reputation (ages 5 to 8). This book is a fantastic introduction to Tubman’s life narrative, filled with vibrant photos, artwork, and educational graphics.

  1. The Story of Harriet Tubman: Conductor of the Underground Railroad, by Kate McMullan

This 1990 biography, written for readers in the third through sixth grades, is still a top choice. The extensive but readable essay by McMullen describes how, as a conductor, Tubman assisted in the liberation of more than 300 enslaved people. This also clarifies her service as a nurse, scout, and spy for the Union Army.

  1. I Am Harriet Tubman, by Brad Meltzer

The Ordinary People Change the World series by Meltzer, which has been turned into a PBS Kids program, includes this picture book biography. Thanks to appealing images and a practical timeline, kids have enough to look over and talk about.

  1. Freedom Train: The Story of Harriet Tubman, by Dorothy Sterling

Thanks to Sterling’s great research and captivating narrative, this 1987 publication is one of the most well-known novels about Harriet Tubman. A compelling account of Tubman’s life and times is provided through the novelistic portrayal of his life, which incorporates conversation and spiritual songs passed down through the generations of enslaved people.

  1. She Came to Slay: The Life and Times of Harriet Tubman, by Erica Armstrong Dunbar

Older students must read Dunbar’s contemporary and compelling examination of Tubman’s life, which was a finalist for the National Book Award. Readers will learn a lot from this book after just one short page turn because it includes pictures, images (not just the usual ones), and informational graphics.

  1. Aunt Harriet’s Underground Railroad in the Sky by Faith Ringgold

The narrative of Tubman and the Underground Railroad is told by award-winning author and illustrator Ringgold using Cassie (from the picture book Tar Beach). Beautiful illustrations and the author’s determination to speak candidly about the horrors of slavery make the book sparkle.

  1. The Underground Abductor: An Abolitionist Tale about Harriet Tubman, by Nathan Hale

The fifth installment of Hale’s Hazardous Tales series, Tubman and the Underground Railroad is a graphic novel. Like the other works in his collection, Tubman’s story is told in the form of a comic book, complete with suspense, humor, and striking illustrations. This also includes a useful bibliography of other relevant works, which will be valuable to tween readers who enjoy visual storytelling.

  1. Little People, Big Dreams: Harriet Tubman, by Maria Isabel Sánchez Vegara

Although it is not a comprehensive description of her life, this Harriet Tubman biography for preschoolers is a terrific place for the youngest students to begin to get a taste of her remarkable life and daring expeditions.

  1. What Was the Underground Railroad?, by Yona Zeldis McDonough

The collection of tales in this book about “passengers” on the Subterranean Railroad—which was neither underground nor a railroad—even though it isn’t explicitly about Harriet Tubman—provides a useful introduction for children who want to learn more about the work of which Tubman is most well-known.

  1. Before She Was Harriet, by Lesa Cline-Ransome

Beautiful poetry and exquisite watercolor drawings come together in this multiple-award-winning picture book to tell the tale of Tubman’s life. She starts as an older woman going back in time to see herself in all the different roles she’s performed throughout history.

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