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She Came to Slay: The Life and Times of Harriet Tubman

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In the bestselling tradition of The Notorious RBG comes a lively, informative, and illustrated tribute to one of the most exceptional women in American history—Harriet Tubman—a heroine whose fearlessness and activism still resonates today. Harriet Tubman is best known as one of the most famous conductors on the Underground Railroad. As a leading abolitionist, her bravery In the bestselling tradition of The Notorious RBG comes a lively, informative, and illustrated tribute to one of the most exceptional women in American history—Harriet Tubman—a heroine whose fearlessness and activism still resonates today. Harriet Tubman is best known as one of the most famous conductors on the Underground Railroad. As a leading abolitionist, her bravery and selflessness has inspired generations in the continuing struggle for civil rights. Now, National Book Award nominee Erica Armstrong Dunbar presents a fresh take on this American icon blending traditional biography, illustrations, photos, and engaging sidebars that illuminate the life of Tubman as never before. Not only did Tubman help liberate hundreds of slaves, she was the first woman to lead an armed expedition during the Civil War, worked as a spy for the Union Army, was a fierce suffragist, and was an advocate for the aged. She Came to Slay reveals the many complexities and varied accomplishments of one of our nation’s true heroes and offers an accessible and modern interpretation of Tubman’s life that is both informative and engaging. Filled with rare outtakes of commentary, an expansive timeline of Tubman’s life, photos (both new and those in public domain), commissioned illustrations, and sections including “Harriet By the Numbers” (number of times she went back down south, approximately how many people she rescued, the bounty on her head) and “Harriet’s Homies” (those who supported her over the years), She Came to Slay is a stunning and powerful mix of pop culture and scholarship and proves that Harriet Tubman is well deserving of her permanent place in our nation’s history.


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In the bestselling tradition of The Notorious RBG comes a lively, informative, and illustrated tribute to one of the most exceptional women in American history—Harriet Tubman—a heroine whose fearlessness and activism still resonates today. Harriet Tubman is best known as one of the most famous conductors on the Underground Railroad. As a leading abolitionist, her bravery In the bestselling tradition of The Notorious RBG comes a lively, informative, and illustrated tribute to one of the most exceptional women in American history—Harriet Tubman—a heroine whose fearlessness and activism still resonates today. Harriet Tubman is best known as one of the most famous conductors on the Underground Railroad. As a leading abolitionist, her bravery and selflessness has inspired generations in the continuing struggle for civil rights. Now, National Book Award nominee Erica Armstrong Dunbar presents a fresh take on this American icon blending traditional biography, illustrations, photos, and engaging sidebars that illuminate the life of Tubman as never before. Not only did Tubman help liberate hundreds of slaves, she was the first woman to lead an armed expedition during the Civil War, worked as a spy for the Union Army, was a fierce suffragist, and was an advocate for the aged. She Came to Slay reveals the many complexities and varied accomplishments of one of our nation’s true heroes and offers an accessible and modern interpretation of Tubman’s life that is both informative and engaging. Filled with rare outtakes of commentary, an expansive timeline of Tubman’s life, photos (both new and those in public domain), commissioned illustrations, and sections including “Harriet By the Numbers” (number of times she went back down south, approximately how many people she rescued, the bounty on her head) and “Harriet’s Homies” (those who supported her over the years), She Came to Slay is a stunning and powerful mix of pop culture and scholarship and proves that Harriet Tubman is well deserving of her permanent place in our nation’s history.

30 review for She Came to Slay: The Life and Times of Harriet Tubman

  1. 4 out of 5

    Diane S ☔

    3.5 Harriet Tubman. All I remember learning about this remarkable woman, in my high school history class, was her work in the Underground railroad. She did so very much more, quite astonishing in that time, well really her accomplishments would even now be considered astonishing. I'm not going to give chapter and verse on all the things she did do, you can read the book or even look her up on WIkI. This book itself, is a rather slim volume, less than 200 pages, is told in a simple and clear 3.5 Harriet Tubman. All I remember learning about this remarkable woman, in my high school history class, was her work in the Underground railroad. She did so very much more, quite astonishing in that time, well really her accomplishments would even now be considered astonishing. I'm not going to give chapter and verse on all the things she did do, you can read the book or even look her up on WIkI. This book itself, is a rather slim volume, less than 200 pages, is told in a simple and clear manner. Definitely a YA crossover, and I do wish I would have gotten a better look at the interior Harriet. One thing I was surprised about, among many, was that the Emancipation Proclamation only freed the slaves in the Southern States, those that seceeded, but was still legal in the North. This caused Tubman to take the slaves she rescued all the way to Canada. Slavery in totality wouldn't be abolished until ratification of the thirteenth amendment, which didn't happen until four months before wars end. Of course, it was only on paper, slavery in some form of another went on in all it's injustices for many years after that. A truly amazing human being, the world could use more of her ilk, even now or maybe especially now.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Jaclyn (sixminutesforme)

    A really quick and informative read - there were so many things I learned about Tubman from this, and while her role in the Underground Railroad was what I most associated her role in history with, there was a whole range of other incredible contributions made that this really shone light on, including her role in the Civil War and her socio-entrepreneurial drive to fund various abolition and anti-slavery missions. A really well done history that is accessible and would be great to hand to A really quick and informative read - there were so many things I learned about Tubman from this, and while her role in the Underground Railroad was what I most associated her role in history with, there was a whole range of other incredible contributions made that this really shone light on, including her role in the Civil War and her socio-entrepreneurial drive to fund various abolition and anti-slavery missions. A really well done history that is accessible and would be great to hand to younger readers too.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Sara

    The content of this book was good. It's great to have a very easy to read book that tells a more holistic story of an incredibly important woman in US history. What was disappointing was the writing style. The book is meant to be accessible to non-academics but that doesn't mean that it has to be staccato. It read like an academic trying to dumb down a story, rather than like a book written for a general audience. By far the most well written passages are direct quotations of Harriet Tubman. In The content of this book was good. It's great to have a very easy to read book that tells a more holistic story of an incredibly important woman in US history. What was disappointing was the writing style. The book is meant to be accessible to non-academics but that doesn't mean that it has to be staccato. It read like an academic trying to dumb down a story, rather than like a book written for a general audience. By far the most well written passages are direct quotations of Harriet Tubman. In addition, there is a lot to it that feels kitschy and trendy and will date this book very quickly (including the title).

  4. 4 out of 5

    Mary

    Okay, this book is fire. Admittedly, I had only basic knowledge about Harriet Tubman before reading this book, and usually books about history aren't my thing. But this is a book about an incredible woman who did the impossible over and over, and who will hopefully soon be featured on the $20 bill as she rightfully should. Told in a voice that is accessible to young readers (and people like me), I highly recommend this book to literally everyone. Harriet Tubman deserves much more recognition, Okay, this book is fire. Admittedly, I had only basic knowledge about Harriet Tubman before reading this book, and usually books about history aren't my thing. But this is a book about an incredible woman who did the impossible over and over, and who will hopefully soon be featured on the $20 bill as she rightfully should. Told in a voice that is accessible to young readers (and people like me), I highly recommend this book to literally everyone. Harriet Tubman deserves much more recognition, and this is how we start. P.S. I listened to the audiobook version, and it was wonderful!

  5. 4 out of 5

    Markela Parsons

    A quick listen and so informative! I was amazed by Tubman’s life and look forward to seeing her legacy continue on the 20$ bill!

  6. 4 out of 5

    Heidi Mcjunkin

    Fascinating story of a woman who I only knew as a conductor on the Underground Railroad. She was MUCH more than that, she was the ultimate bad a$$!

  7. 4 out of 5

    Jose Vazquez

    Detailed and profound; Dunbar paints a vivid image of the trials and tribulations of Harriet Tubman.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Sonia Schoenfield

    This is just the kind of biography I want to read. 136 pages, photographs, maps, family tree, and an engaging style kept me interested throughout. After reading The Tubman Command I've been curious about Harriet Tubman and this was the perfect book for me to read to find out more about her. What a woman! She seems larger than life, the way she rescued so many family and friends through the Underground Railroad without losing a single person along the way. And she herself had a price on her head This is just the kind of biography I want to read. 136 pages, photographs, maps, family tree, and an engaging style kept me interested throughout. After reading The Tubman Command I've been curious about Harriet Tubman and this was the perfect book for me to read to find out more about her. What a woman! She seems larger than life, the way she rescued so many family and friends through the Underground Railroad without losing a single person along the way. And she herself had a price on her head as a runaway slave. She came to the aid of her country during the Civil War as a nurse, scout, and spy, although it took decades for her to receive the pay she was due. I highly recommend this book to anyone who wants to know more about this heroic woman.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Rachel

    This was a really fast, engaging read. I actually wanted it to slow down a few times, and I'm glad I've got another biography of her from the library to try as well (if I can only snatch the time before it's due). This is definitely a step up from the junior-nonfiction bio Freedom Train, but kind of aimed at teens/young adults, I think. It has a lot of infographics and illustrations by Monica Ahanonu, which are neat, but make it feel... not quite serious, if that makes sense. Still, I did learn a This was a really fast, engaging read. I actually wanted it to slow down a few times, and I'm glad I've got another biography of her from the library to try as well (if I can only snatch the time before it's due). This is definitely a step up from the junior-nonfiction bio Freedom Train, but kind of aimed at teens/young adults, I think. It has a lot of infographics and illustrations by Monica Ahanonu, which are neat, but make it feel... not quite serious, if that makes sense. Still, I did learn a lot from this book, both about Harriet Tubman and the world she inhabited. If you're looking for one book to learn about her life, this is a good one to pick, I think.

  10. 4 out of 5

    vanessa

    There's good information in this book and Harriet Tubman is a worthy subject. Unfortunately, I thought I'd give this five stars, but had too many issues with the writing and the way it's laid out. Too often the author supposes Tubman's thoughts and feelings ("she must have felt" "she must have thought"). When comparing it to Notorious RBG (which the back of the book does), it's hard to suppose what RBG felt and thought when she is still alive to answer questions. I wanted to like this more.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Emma-Kate Schaake

    Great information on a truly inspiring woman! I didn’t feel like it was as kitschy and humorous as the RBG book this was compared to, so it fell a little awkwardly in between hyper accessible and just straight factual. While it wasn’t the most gripping or enjoyable read, per say, the stories it tells are central to understanding Tubman, and America’s disturbingly racist history (which we all know informs the present...)

  12. 5 out of 5

    MandM

    Everyone should read this book about this tough, amazing woman who did so much for her family, her country, women, elderly, military..... She deserves to be known and honored by all. A true hero. It is not a long book, but covers so much. Could be read by all ages for listened to by a well told audio book.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Diamond Lambert

    Such a great story! I swear I learned so much. Harriet came a long way and lived a long, rich life. I would love to have a conversation with her. Or even hear her thoughts about the USA and Canada in 2019. Highly recommend!

  14. 5 out of 5

    Tamesha ❤️

    Very informative!!! Entertaining!!! Inspiring!!! Super quick read!!! The audiobook was EVERYTHING!!!

  15. 5 out of 5

    Matt Robinson

    A great life encapsulated by a concise, short, poignant biography. WelL done

  16. 5 out of 5

    Jeimy

    Good, but too brief.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Katelyn

    3.5

  18. 4 out of 5

    Laura

    Perfect length with appropriate but relaxed language.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Vanessa Holloway

    A nice short biography filled with an abundance of information about a great historical figure.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Luke Martin

    Good, quick and inspiring read. Good for young readers, and a nice overview for adults who need it (we all need it). Harriet was a true badass.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Meganators

    accessible, informative, history I learned several things I didn't know about Harriet Tubman in this quick and engaging read about her life. I am in awe of her.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Leia

    Concise and well-written. It all felt like the tip of the iceberg—this was about so much more than Harriet Tubman. What a life.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Laura

    An absolutely stunning "Notorious RBG" kind of treatment of the amazing Harriet Tubman. What she did -- the lives she saved -- on the Underground Railroad was just one part of this incredible woman's life.

  24. 5 out of 5

    Kelly

  25. 4 out of 5

    Christine

  26. 4 out of 5

    Mike Snyder

  27. 4 out of 5

    Mariamo Issufo

  28. 4 out of 5

    Elizabeth Poglitsch

  29. 4 out of 5

    Sandee

  30. 5 out of 5

    Margaret

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