The Story of Sojourner Truth: A Biography Book for New Readers

Callisto Media. (The Story Of). Jan. 2024. 64p. pap. $7.99. ISBN 9798886509397; Tr $15.99. ISBN 9798886509540. .
Gr 2-4–This latest entry in “The Story Of” biography series explores the inspiring and vibrant life of Sojourner Truth. Born Isabella Baumfree around 1797 in New York, she began her life enslaved on a small farm with her family. Clark’s biography touches upon Baumfree’s many challenges and achievements, including how she spoke out against the evils of slavery in a court of law and won her son back from his enslaver. Young readers will also learn how Baumfree was inspired to begin preaching and sharing God’s word, eventually changing her name to Sojourner Truth. She spoke up for women’s rights and was an important leader in the anti-slavery movement, meeting with presidents and abolitionists and dictating “The Narrative of Sojourner Truth.” Clark, along with illustrators Cloud and Douglas, have created an appealing layout for new readers through frequent use of question boxes and Myth & Fact checks that challenge traditional ideas on both their subject’s life and history in general. Level-appropriate sentences throughout include more challenging words in bold to help keep the prose and concepts from becoming too overwhelming. Warm, engaging artwork depicting key moments of Baumfree/Truth’s life, as well as maps and time lines, further enhance this approachable biography. A quiz, discussion questions, bibliography, and glossary are appended.
VERDICT A worthy addition to the growing number of biographies for new readers. Recommended for all collections.

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