A fictional extrapolation of a few facts about Harriet Tubman's childhood--her unruliness, her punishments, and her plans for escape from slavery. ""Minty"" is a small, high-spirited child, cherishing a few moments away from the mistress, Mrs. Brodas, who burns Minty's doll when the girl doesn't come when she's called. From that day, Minty becomes a field slave and begins to acquire the information she needs from others for her future journey. Schroeder (Carolina Shout!, 1995, etc.) is a miniaturist, creating a narrative of handpicked details (Minty's doll with cracked buttons for her eyes) and inspired episodes (Minty's father teaching her to follow the North Star). Told in rhythmic prose and colloquial dialogue, the plot has actual events that are small, but it is rich with melodrama, suspense, pathos, and, of course, a powerful vision of freedom. Pinkney's illustrations exhibit, characteristically, his refined draftsmanship; the complicated compositions convey psychological aspects of slavery and make the individual characters even more distinct. This exquisitely crafted book resonates well beyond its few pages.