Finding non-fiction for young readers is sometimes challenging. Finding good biographies about women is also a challenge. This book meets those challenges in an exceptional way. Sojourner Truth’s belief in God shines through clearly without being “preachy.” Her strength of character is obvious, but she is also shown as having fears and sometimes doubts about herself. She is a very real woman.
Ann Turner tells the story of Sojourner Truth to younger readers using Truth’s own words. James Ransome has done a fantastic job with the illustrations. Sojourner Truth was born Isabella Baumfree. She was one of at least 10 children born to her parents. Her mother instilled in her a love for God and a good knowledge of right and wrong.
Her last owner was very cruel and worked Isabella like a draft horse because she was tall and strong. New York was set to abolish slavery in 1827 and her owner had told her that she would go free a year before that happened, but she was injured and her owner refused to let her go, so she escaped with her baby Sophia.
She had to leave her three other children with her former owner because she could not take all four of them on her flight to freedom. When she found out that Mr. Dumont, her former owner has sold her son, Peter, she went to court and won his release. (This was the first case of its kind in the U.S.).
She took the name Sojourner Truth many years later and became a strong voice in the abolitionist movement and with William Lloyd Garrison to free all slaves. I think the book will appeal to children of all ages; however, is specifically designed for grades 1-3. I would highly recommend its purchase for any elementary library.