Through the Looking Glass Children's Book Reviews

Sojourner Truth

Sojourner Truth

Gwenyth Swain
Illustrator:  Matthew Archambault 
For ages 6 to 8
Lerner, 2005   ISBN: 978-1575058276

Isabella was born and lived in Hurley, New York. She lived with her mother, her father, and one of her brothers. Bell and her family were owned by Charles Hardenbergh "just as he owned a flock of sheep." As slaves everyone in Bell's family had to work, and they had to work hard. In the evenings, when they were tired and finally able to rest, Bell's father would tell her about his other children who were sold of by their master. Her mother would tell her about God who would "always hear and help you."

After Mr. Hardenbergh died Bell and her brother Peter were sold. Bell did her best to please her new master but he still beat her. When she was thirteen Bell ended up with a master who realized her worth. He valued her hard work, and later he valued her children. After all, all Bell's babies were money in his pocket.

One day Bell heard that slaves were going to be freed. She asked her master if he would free her. He said he would but then he broke his word. One evening Bell talked to God and then she decided that the time had come to run away. Taking her newest baby with her Bell left the only home she knew. Taking on a new name, Sojourner Truth, Bell began to build a new and meaningful life for herself

In this On My Own Biographies title the author finds a way to tell the incredible story of Sojourner Truth in a touching way that is accessible to young readers. An afterword at the end of the book provides readers with more information about this "extraordinary woman."

Readers who enjoy this book might like to look at the other titles in this series.