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Only Passing Through: The Story of Sojourner Truth

de Anne Rockwell

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2321592,107 (4)5
A powerful picture book biography of one of the abolitionist movement's most compelling voices. Sojourner Truth traveled the country in the latter half of the 19th century, speaking out against slavery. She told of a slave girl who was sold three times by age 13, who was beaten for not understanding her master's orders, who watched her parents die of cold and hunger when they could no longer work for their keep. Sojourner's simple yet powerful words helped people to understand the hideous truth about slavery. The story she told was her own. Only Passing Through is the inspiring story of how a woman, born a slave with no status or dignity, transformed herself into one of the most powerful voices of the abolitionist movement. Anne Rockwell combines her lifelong love of history with her well-known skill as a storyteller to create this simple, affecting portrait of an American icon.… (més)
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Only Passing Through: The Story of Sojourner Truth is a wonderful book with excellent illustrations. It can serve as an effective introduction to one of the key figures in African-American and Women’s history in the United States. Truth’s story, communicated with quiet passion, includes key moments and details which demonstrate the tough choices she had to make in her journey from being an everyday "every woman" struggling under the hardships of slavery to becoming a vocal witness testifying to the brutality of slavery and an advocate for full inclusion in the women’s suffrage movement – sadly, a crucial aspect of her story which is not included in the main narrative of this otherwise compelling edition. Clearly, it’s the author’s intent to highlight Sojourner Truth’s work on behalf of the abolitionist movement, and no doubt that is important; however, a portrait of Sojourner Truth is incomplete without addressing or mentioning her desire to be included in the emerging women’s rights movement, then taking shape in the latter half of the 19th century. Interestingly, the author all too briefly makes mention of this fact in the “author’s note” section at the book’s end; then, the author commits another startling faux pas. Closing the author’s notes with a timeline, the author wrote, “Here are some of the events that took place during Sojourner Truth’s long life…”. The timeline did not end with the notation of Truth’s death in 1883; rather, it ended by mentioning the adoption of the landmark 19th Amendment giving women the right to vote. After referencing that “none of the women who started the women’s rights movement (were) alive to see this happen,” no mention is made of the landmark Voting Rights Act of 1965, an act that Truth and many other African-American activists would have, no doubt, celebrated. That these two seemingly small details should mar this telling of Sojourner Truth’s life is unfortunate, and perhaps, the author should not have mentioned these details without including a reference in the main part of the text/narrative. But, to have included a reference without a fair presentation of the facts or, in the case of voting rights, to mention one landmark instance and fail to acknowledge another is a shortcoming which should be remedied in a future edition. ( )
  raboissi | Feb 5, 2018 |
Sojourner Truth was born a slave, sold three times before she was thirteen. Telling the story in a way that is appropriate for young readers, the author explains how the little slave girl Isabella transformed herself into the free woman “Sojourner Truth,” an itinerant preacher against the evils of slavery and one of the most powerful voices of the antebellum abolitionist movement. Hers is an amazing story, and cannot help but inspire all who read it. ( )
  nbmars | Feb 10, 2017 |
This is a very graphically detailed historical fiction story of a Sojourner Truth (Isabella) being sold into slavery and the process of her life as she grows older, is forced to marry, and eventually freed from slavery. Author, Anne Rockwell, clearly depicts Sojourner Truth's struggles to be free, her fight to protect her son sold out of state (the winning of a black woman vs. a white man), her learnings about the Bible and God, and her calling to share her story boldly through her freedom. ( )
  Ebarclift13 | Sep 6, 2015 |
This book is about the life of Sojourner Truth and her time as a slave and her time in freedom. The story starts when she is 9 years old and being sold into slavery. It later jumps to when she is 28 and she is set free. During her freedom she learns more about Gob and the Bible and she has a vision where she is roaming around the country giving sermons about her time as a slave to teach people what really happened to them as a slave. She goes and changes peoples lives because of her bravery. I would use this in the classroom during a lesson on slavery or during black history month. Genre: Historical fiction, informational, biography ( )
  amassingale | Feb 3, 2015 |
Only Passing Through
Bryan O'Keeffe

I had previously never heard of this book, but had heard of the character the story talked about. I really enjoyed reading this book and learned a lot from it as well. The best thing I enjoyed about this book was the illustrations. I think they fit the story well, the illustrations gave the story and old timely feel. The story was set in the 1800's and was historical and I think the illustrations gave the story authenticity. Which led to me believing that the characters were real. Sojourner Truth was a real person and I felt that the story portrayed her well. The character went through real struggles that a female slave at the time would have gone through. Not once did I begin to question whether or not this character was real or not. I was really into the plot of the story as well. Sojourner was sold into slavery and sold again. She was promised her freedom and was tricked into staying a slave. Then she was able to run away and become free. I really felt that there was a great climax in the story when she renamed herself and began to speak to people about her struggles as a slow. Stories like hers always deserve a happy ending and have a great message; never give up on life and always be grateful. ( )
  bokeef2 | Nov 18, 2014 |
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A powerful picture book biography of one of the abolitionist movement's most compelling voices. Sojourner Truth traveled the country in the latter half of the 19th century, speaking out against slavery. She told of a slave girl who was sold three times by age 13, who was beaten for not understanding her master's orders, who watched her parents die of cold and hunger when they could no longer work for their keep. Sojourner's simple yet powerful words helped people to understand the hideous truth about slavery. The story she told was her own. Only Passing Through is the inspiring story of how a woman, born a slave with no status or dignity, transformed herself into one of the most powerful voices of the abolitionist movement. Anne Rockwell combines her lifelong love of history with her well-known skill as a storyteller to create this simple, affecting portrait of an American icon.

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