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

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

AuntHarrietThis beautiful picture book will capture you with its colorful and engaging illustrations. Faith Ringgold tells the story of Cassie and Be Be, two children who encounter a train full of people and meet the conductor “Aunt Harriet” (Harriet Tubman). Be Be boards the train but Cassie is left behind. Cassie is distraught and wants to find her brother. So Harriet Tubman takes Cassie on a journey, retracing the steps of slaves who escaped using the real Underground Railroad and learning about the experiences of fugitive slaves. At the end, Cassie is reunited with Be Be and they celebrate the anniversary of Harriet Tubman’s first flight to freedom.

This book provides historical information in an accessible, narrative format that will appeal to children and teachers alike. In the classroom, this book provides an excellent opportunity for students to learn of Harriet Tubman and her underground railroad, leading so many slaves to freedom. There are multiple opportunities for lessons, text sets and connections using this engaging picture book.

Topics for Exploration and Connections

     Harriet Tubman

Minty: A Story of Young Harriet Tubman by Alan Schroeder

Moses: When Harriet Tubman Led Her People to Freedom by Carole Boston Weatherford (Caldecott)

Harriet Tubman information (National Geographic for Kids)

Harriet Tubman Biography (Ducksters site)

Timeline and other resources (Buffalo)

     Underground Railroad Information

Underground Railroad – PBS Site  

Teacher’s Guide at PBS

National Underground Railroad Freedom Center

National Geographic Underground Railroad: Journey to Freedom (with Educator Guide link)

Pathways to Freedom: Maryland and the Underground Railroad


More Picture Books About the Underground Railroad

  • The Last Safe House by Barbara Greenwood
  • Under the Quilt of Night by Deborah Hopkinson
  • The Patchwork Path: A Quilt Map to Freedom by Bettye Stroud
  • Follow the Drinking Gourd by Jeanette Winter
  • Sweet Clara and the Freedom Quilt by Deborah Hopkinson
  • Unspoken: A Story from the Underground Railroad by Henry Cole
  • Barefoot: Escape on the Underground Railroad by Pamela Duncan Edwards

More Picture Books About Slavery

  • Henry’s Freedom Box by Ellen Levine
  • Big Jabe by Jerdine Nolen
  • The Escape of Oney Judge: Martha Washington’s Slave Finds Freedom by Emily Arnold McCully
  • If You Lived When There Was Slavery in America by Anne Kamma
  • From Slave Ship to Freedom Road by Julius Lester
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