Title: Sojourner Truth's Step-Stomp Stride
Author: Andrea Davis Pinkney
Illustrator: Brian Pinkney
Publisher: Disney Book Group
Concepts: slavery, discrimination, social justice, racial and gender equality
Review: Sojourner Truth, named Isabella (Belle) Baumfree at birth, lived her childhood and early adult years as a slave in New York State. Not only did she have to endure the drudgery of slave labor, she also was separated from her parents at an early age and sold to several different owners who valued her size and strength. Fed up with her treatment and a broken promise of freedom in exchange for hard work, Belle escaped with her infant child, gained her freedom with the assistance of an abolitionist couple, and found paid work in New York City. Not long thereafter she changed her name to Sojourner Truth and devoted the rest of her life to traveling and speaking out against slavery and women’s treatment as second-class citizens.
Sojourner Truth’s Step-Stomp Stride is quite effective in its use of clear text and bold illustrations to introduce young children to this highly influential abolitionist and women’s rights advocate. The book portrays memorable events, including Truth’s escape from slavery and her famous “Ain't I a Woman?” speech, in a tone that will catch the attention of younger learners and encourage them to learn more about Truth’s crusade for social justice.
Review by: Rutgers University Project on Economics and Children