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HRW Library: Sojourner Truth: Ain t I A Woman Middle School Paperback – September 1, 2003
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From Publishers Weekly
This work by the authors of A Long Hard Journey--The Story of the Pullman Porter is a great deal more than a biography of a remarkable woman. The forceful narrative also offers a startling portrayal of a pivotal yet appalling era in American history. Born a slave in Ulster County, N.Y., in 1797, "Hardenbergh's Belle" (so named after her first owner) had been bought and sold by several masters by the time she was a teenager. In 1826, betrayed by an owner who reneged on his promise to free her if she "worked extra hard," Belle made the first of many intrepid moves, and escaped with her youngest child. After living for some time in New York City, in 1843 the deeply religious woman followed what she interpreted as a directive from God and, assuming the name of Sojourner Truth, went off "to do the Lord's work." For the rest of her long life, the indefatigable abolitionist and feminist journeyed from one state to another, delivering her impressively articulate message at anti-slavery and women's rights conventions--often to hostile, jeering audiences. The authors' meticulously researched account describes Truth's relationships with such noted figures as William Lloyd Garrison, Frederick Douglass, Harriet Beecher Stowe and Abraham Lincoln, underscoring the book's value as a chronicle of not just one, but many courageous individuals' battles against injustice. Ages 8-12.
Copyright 1992 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to the School & Library Binding edition.
From School Library Journal
Grade 5-8-- With compassion and historical detail, the McKissacks offer a rich profile of Isabella Van Wagener. Her experiences as both slave and freed slave in New York shaped her midlife commitment to abolition and women's rights. At age 46, she received a call to "walk in the light of His truth." Henceforward, her name was Sojourner Truth and, although she never learned to read or write, the six-foot tall woman became a striking, eloquent spokesperson whose wit, common sense, and candor popularized her with audiences throughout New England and the Midwest. This biography draws personal information from many of the same sources cited in other recent biographies by Lindstrom (Messner, 1980; o.p.), Taylor-Boyd (Gareth Stevens, 1990), and Macht (Chelsea, 1992). But the McKissacks emphasize the condition of African-Americans from 1797-1883, their subject's convictions and magnetism, her contributions to the welfare of her people, and her involvement with other influential abolitionists and activists during the last 40 years of her life. Brief profiles of these acquaintances, from Susan B. Anthony to Harriet Tubman, are appended. Middle grade readers and researchers will enjoy the readability, quotes, and documentary photos, all of which breathe life into the personality and times of Sojourner Truth. --Gerry Larson, Chewning Junior High School, Durham, NC
Copyright 1993 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to the School & Library Binding edition.
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Top Customer Reviews
Yes, the book is written very simply so that it is easily understood but it is full of so much useful information. It turns out I didn't know ANYTHING about Sojourner Truth, not even her name (she was born Isabella Van Wagener). As plainly as the book is written I still found myself hung on every word. In addition there are pictures from the 19th century of Sojourner Truth and other essential people of that time.
The book is brief at 186 pages with eight pages dedicated to notes and bibliography. It just hits the high level facts about Sojourner without going into much detail (i.e. when and where she was born, who she married, who she birthed, the important people she met, etc.). Still, I was amazed. I didn't know she'd met Frederick Douglass, Abraham Lincoln, Andrew Johnson and other famous historical figures. She was a celebrity. With no formal education or ability to read and write she found herself touring the country giving speeches against slavery.
But what impressed me the most about Sojourner Truth is that she was flat out strong. Strong spiritually, strong physically, strong emotionally and strong mentally. It's no wonder that some people accused her of being a man because she had--as they say--the strength of ten men. Sojourner Truth's story is a must read for all ages.
I personally did not know much about Sojourner Truth, but I do now.
If you are looking for a great novel to entertain you or for something to keep you on the edge of your seat, then this book probably isn't what your looking for. If you want to learn about history and an inspiring lady than I would say pick up this book and read. There is nothing worng with knowledge and this book is a great way to learn.
This story is about black people being slaves. Sojouner works for a family that beats her. She works for them for about 13 years. Then she gets sold again and the family tells her she can leave at 27 years (a year before she is suppose to.) The family says, "No you can't leave we changed our mind," when she was about to leave. They finally make a deal and say, "Okay, you can leave."
She knows she has no place to live and people invite her to live with them, but she has to work for them to get money. Then she leaves and tells stories of her life and people like the stories!
When I read this book, I thought to myself, I feel sorry for black people back then. I really loved this book so much! My opinion is if you are prejudiced then you should read this book, and that might change your mind.