FINISH THE STORY!: HARRIET TUBMAN’S SECRET RAID (MCBD2022)

As an 80s baby, I’m always here for a Choose Your Own Adventure book… though had never seen it with history before. It’s a concept so out there it would either be epic disaster or amazing… fortunately Jeffrey Bensam made FINISH THE STORY! HARRIET TUBMAN’S SECRET RAID a fun and informative romp through history.

Thank you to Storyopolis Press, who provided a review copy for Multicultural Children’s Book Day 2022.

Danny (the great-great-great grandson of one of the slaves Tubman freed) and his friend Kenna are sucked back in time during a lightning storm, and find themselves in Civil War time South Carolina; helping Harriet plan and execute the pivotal Combahee River Raid (slave rescue mission).

It’s not quite the standard Choose Your Own Adventure: The story is told in the third person; with the fourth wall breaking happening so that the reader can solve math and logic puzzles to fill in pieces of the narrative and help Danny decide.

Loved

  • The reader can choose to read the story straight through or to stop and do the puzzles throughout the text (in paper or use the book’s QR code and play online).
  • With a puzzle or a picture on almost every page spread, this book is a great pick for a reluctant reader.
  • Subtle but crystal clear nod to the fact that history class doesn’t always give us the true or full story
  • Yay for the reference to Harriet’s little-discussed TBI (I’m diagnosing it post-humously and without a medical degree) and honest discussion of how it interfered with her life. Inclusion and accomodations empower people to move mountains…

Content Warning

  • This book is set in a war zone; so there are mentions of soldiers chasing and beating people, guns, fire, blood, etc.

Verdict

A fun ways to learn about history at a granular level.

FINISH THE STORY! HARRIET TUBMAN’S SECRET RAID is available now from Storyopolis Press.

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