I have to admit, I am late to the party with the She Persisted series. For those of you who missed the memo like me, She Persisted: 13 American Women Who Changed the World is a picture book that was published back in 2017, written by Chelsea Clinton and illustrated by Alexandra Boiger. With a title inspired by a feminist rally cry (accidently coined by Mitch McConnell of all people), this picture book shared inspiring stories of 13 women who continued to persist and follow their dreams to accomplish extraordinary achievements. This book was followed up by two more picture books, She Persisted Around the World (published in 2018) and She Persisted in Sports (published in 2020).
I was so excited to find this series this year, because it’s a fantastic introduction to lots of different female role models and the concept of feminism as a whole. But I was even more excited to learn that Philomel Books is continuing the series in chapter books! There will be 13 books in the series released this year, one dedicated to each woman mentioned in the original picture book She Persisted: 13 American Women Who Changed the World.
I am thrilled to have the opportunity to review the first release in the chapter book series, She Persisted: Harriet Tubman, written by Andrea Davis Pinkney.
I know many of us are familiar with Harriet Tubman, but this book is perfect for young readers to learn more about her story.
Starting at her birth on the Edward Brodess plantation in Dorchester, Maryland, She Persisted: Harriet Tubman follows our heroine throughout the struggles of her childhood of being “rented” to cruel people. In six chapters, we learn about how Harriet Tubman grew up and escaped slavery, and how she risked her freedom to ensure others had theirs.
This book does not shy away from the ugly truths of slavery (including the traumatic brain injury Harriet Tubman suffered, causing a lifetime of seizures and hypersomnia), but cruelty and violence is introduced in an age-appropriate manner. I really appreciate the attention to Harriet’s disability, because I feel like this fact is often left out of her story.
There is an additional chapter at the end of the book with a list of activities for young readers to honor Harriet Tubman’s bravery, which I thought was a great idea to inspire children to take their reading a step further.
I absolutely loved this book and would highly recommend it for any young reader in your life. I have four nieces who are reading chapter books, and I am so excited to share this one with them.
She Persisted: Harriet Tubman is officially released next week (January 5, 2021), but you can preorder it today wherever you purchase books, including Bookshop and Amazon. (Please note: These are affiliate links. I will receive a small commission from purchases made using these links at no additional cost to you. This commission is used to maintain this site and continue bringing content to you.)
Thank you so much to Philomel for providing me with the review copy and the opportunity. I can’t wait to read the rest of this series!