BN.com Gift Guide

Only Passing Through: The Story of Sojourner Truth

Overview

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 ...

See more details below
Other sellers (Paperback)
  • All (20) from $1.99   
  • New (11) from $4.02   
  • Used (9) from $1.99   
Note: Kids' Club Eligible. See More Details.
Sending request ...

Overview

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.

Read More Show Less

Editorial Reviews

From Barnes & Noble
The Barnes & Noble Review
In most history classes, the life and career of Sojourner Truth is only touched upon briefly. It is mentioned that she was part of the abolitionist movement and spoke all over the country about the evils of slavery. But Sojourner's whole story has more was much more intriguing and inspiring.

At the age of nine, Sojourner Truth, known then as Isabella, is purchased at a slave auction by John Dumont, a cruel slave master who often beats her for not understanding English (her first language was Dutch). At 16, Isabella is given to a male slave as a gift, in the hope that she will breed more slaves for her master's profit. Five babies and five years later, Dumont promises to free Isabella; unbeknownst to her, a state law has been decreed, encouraging slave owners to free adult slaves. But when the big day arrives, Dumont claims that Isabella did not work hard enough for him and denies her her freedom. Unwilling to accept this, Isabella runs away and luckily finds a white couple who believe that slavery is wrong. They officially buy her from Dumont and give Isabella her freedom.

Living near the Dumont farm, Isabella is able to visit her children, who are still enslaved. But on one visit, she finds that her son Peter is missing; Dumont has sold him to someone in Alabama. Knowing that it is against the law to sell a slave across state lines, Isabella gathers all her courage, gets a lawyer, and decides to fight -- and she wins. From that moment on, she knows that her mission is to spread the word about her time as a slave. She renames herself Sojourner, which means one who travels from place to place.

The text in this book is beautifully and clearly written, detailing some lost facts about this courageous woman. The illustrations are just as compelling, rendered sometimes in intense colors and at other times in subdued earth tones. Each picture perfectly reflects the agony of slavery and the determination of an unlikely hero like Sojourner Truth.

--Amy Barkat

From the Publisher
Reviewed in Bookselling Kids' Pick of the Lists Part Two for October 2000.

"The facts in this picture-book biography speak as eloquently as its illustrations, which have an authority and passion recalling Jacob Lawrence's Harriet and the Promised Land."—The Horn Book, Starred Review

"The look and feel of a children’s classic . . . a valuable addition to any child’s library.”
The New York Times

“Rockwell’s vibrant storytelling, powerful content and moving author’s note will likely send readers off to further reading about this extraordinary heroine.”
Publishers Weekly, Starred

"It's a powerful story, well told and handsomely set; worth of its courageous subject." — The Horn Book Magazine, Starred

From the Publisher
Reviewed in Bookselling Kids' Pick of the Lists Part Two for October 2000.

"The facts in this picture-book biography speak as eloquently as its illustrations, which have an authority and passion recalling Jacob Lawrence's Harriet and the Promised Land."—The Horn Book, Starred Review

"The look and feel of a children’s classic . . . a valuable addition to any child’s library.”
-- The New York Times

“Rockwell’s vibrant storytelling, powerful content and moving author’s note will likely send readers off to further reading about this extraordinary heroine.”
-- Publishers Weekly, Starred

"It's a powerful story, well told and handsomely set; worth of its courageous subject." -- The Horn Book Magazine, Starred

From the Hardcover edition.

Publishers Weekly
ONLY PASSING THROUGH: The Story of Sojourner Truth Anne Rockwell, illus. by R. Gregory Christie. Dell/Dragonfly, $6.99 ISBN 0-440-41766-X. ~ The author follows the heroine from age nine, when she is sold at auction, through her transformation into an itinerant preacher against the evils of slavery. In a starred review, PW called it a "vibrant story with powerful content. The artwork skillfully approaches the abstract-twisting traditional perspective in a way that illuminates Sojourner's groundbreaking vision and voice." Ages 7-10. (Dec.) Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information.
Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Though writing in the third person, Rockwell (Bumblebee, Bumblebee, Do You Know Me?) here gives Sojourner Truth an authentic, resonant voice. Ably tailoring her account to a young audience, the author opens her story as nine-year-old Isabella is being sold at a slave auction in Kingston, N.Y., in 1806. The narrative follows the heroine through her transformation into "Sojourner Truth," an itinerant preacher against the evils of slavery. After being denied the freedom that her master had promised her in 1826, the young woman escapes to the home of a nearby couple who abhor slavery; they then buy Isabella from her deceitful master and free her. Rockwell documents some remarkable incidents and demonstrates how far ahead of her time Isabella was: when her son is illegally sold to a plantation owner in another state, Isabella takes the perpetrator to court and wins the boy's freedom. "No one had ever heard of such a thing. Slaves didn't do such things. Women didn't do such things. But Isabella did." The author dramatically builds up to and convincingly recounts the pivotal moment when Isabella changes her name and vows to travel the country as "a voice for all the silent slaves still in bondage." Rockwell's vibrant storytelling, powerful content and moving author's note will likely send readers off to further reading about this extraordinary heroine. Christie (The Palm of My Heart: Poetry by African American Children) contributes stylized paintings that suggest a complex interior life for Sojourner. The artwork skillfully approaches the abstractDtwisting traditional perspective in a way that illuminates Sojourner's groundbreaking vision and voice. Ages 7-10. (Dec.) Copyright 2000 Cahners Business Information.
School Library Journal
Gr 3-6-Anne Rockwell's poignant telling of the life of Sojourner Truth (Knopf, 2000) is beautifully presented in this exquisite book on tape. Renee Joshua-Porter reads the book, capturing its spirit in her measured and expressive tones. The tape begins and ends with Joshua-Porter's singing of two significant hymns from Sojourner Truth's life. The audiobook follows her from slavery to emancipation, then shows her speaking out against the horrors of slavery. Her powerful words influenced a nation. Her famous "Ain't I a Woman?" speech is included, as well as a recounting of her visit with President Abraham Lincoln. The book clearly shows Sojourner's courage in standing up for what she believed in despite threats against her personal safety. Sojourner Truth's story can set an example and inspire today's generation. Teachers will find this exceptional production valuable during Black History Month and throughout the year.-Teresa Bateman, Brigadoon Elementary School, Federal Way, WA Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information.
Leonard S. Marcus
The story of Sojourner Truth, the freed slave who became a spokesperson and an inspiration for her people, receives an unflinchingly honest and eloquent airing in this narrative with dramatic expressionist illustrations.
Parenting
Kirkus Reviews
A lot of information is packed into this picture-book biography. Sojourner, originally named Isabella, was a Dutch-speaking child born into slavery. Details about her life in slavery, when she was purchased by an English-speaking master, her marriage to a man selected by her master, the birth and loss of her children, and the events leading up to her transformation to an advocate for freedom, are recounted with passion. Rockwell (Career Day, p. 720, etc.) adds an author's note explaining her motivation for writing this biography and cites Sojourner's autobiography as her most helpful source. Additional information includes data about the subject's life beyond the events chronicled and a timeline. The book is written in serial style, with a cliffhanger phrase at the end of each page. Coretta Scott King Honor Award winner Christie's (The Palm of My Heart: Poetry by African American Children, 1996) primitive-style illustrations are striking. Oversized, mask-like heads, often fierce and foreboding, dominate many of the drawings. Earth-toned colors predominate in the stark depiction of Sojourner's early life and the slave owners who mistreated her, but her strength shines through in all the illustrations. An excellent addition to the biography shelf as a compelling story of an extraordinary woman, as well as for its pertinence to school assignments. (Picture book/biography. 7-10)
Read More Show Less

Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780440417668
  • Publisher: Random House Children's Books
  • Publication date: 12/28/2002
  • Edition description: Reprint
  • Pages: 40
  • Sales rank: 575,344
  • Age range: 6 - 9 Years
  • Product dimensions: 11.11 (w) x 8.46 (h) x 0.20 (d)

Meet the Author

Anne Rockwell has been an innovator in children's books for more than 30 years and has written well over 100 books.

Gregory Christie's first book, The Palm of My Heart: Poetry by African American Children, received a Coretta Scott King Honor for illustration in 1997.

Read More Show Less

Customer Reviews

Be the first to write a review
( 0 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(0)

4 Star

(0)

3 Star

(0)

2 Star

(0)

1 Star

(0)

Your Rating:

Your Name: Create a Pen Name or

Barnes & Noble.com Review Rules

Our reader reviews allow you to share your comments on titles you liked, or didn't, with others. By submitting an online review, you are representing to Barnes & Noble.com that all information contained in your review is original and accurate in all respects, and that the submission of such content by you and the posting of such content by Barnes & Noble.com does not and will not violate the rights of any third party. Please follow the rules below to help ensure that your review can be posted.

Reviews by Our Customers Under the Age of 13

We highly value and respect everyone's opinion concerning the titles we offer. However, we cannot allow persons under the age of 13 to have accounts at BN.com or to post customer reviews. Please see our Terms of Use for more details.

What to exclude from your review:

Please do not write about reviews, commentary, or information posted on the product page. If you see any errors in the information on the product page, please send us an email.

Reviews should not contain any of the following:

  • - HTML tags, profanity, obscenities, vulgarities, or comments that defame anyone
  • - Time-sensitive information such as tour dates, signings, lectures, etc.
  • - Single-word reviews. Other people will read your review to discover why you liked or didn't like the title. Be descriptive.
  • - Comments focusing on the author or that may ruin the ending for others
  • - Phone numbers, addresses, URLs
  • - Pricing and availability information or alternative ordering information
  • - Advertisements or commercial solicitation

Reminder:

  • - By submitting a review, you grant to Barnes & Noble.com and its sublicensees the royalty-free, perpetual, irrevocable right and license to use the review in accordance with the Barnes & Noble.com Terms of Use.
  • - Barnes & Noble.com reserves the right not to post any review -- particularly those that do not follow the terms and conditions of these Rules. Barnes & Noble.com also reserves the right to remove any review at any time without notice.
  • - See Terms of Use for other conditions and disclaimers.
Search for Products You'd Like to Recommend

Recommend other products that relate to your review. Just search for them below and share!

Create a Pen Name

Your Pen Name is your unique identity on BN.com. It will appear on the reviews you write and other website activities. Your Pen Name cannot be edited, changed or deleted once submitted.

 
Your Pen Name can be any combination of alphanumeric characters (plus - and _), and must be at least two characters long.

Continue Anonymously

    If you find inappropriate content, please report it to Barnes & Noble
    Why is this product inappropriate?
    Comments (optional)