Only Passing Through: The Story of Sojourner Truth
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Only Passing Through: The Story of Sojourner Truth

3.88 of 5 stars 3.88  ·  rating details  ·  78 ratings  ·  31 reviews
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 t...more
Paperback, 40 pages
Published December 10th 2002 by Dragonfly Books (first published 2000)
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The story of Sojourner Truth, beautifully told. We don't seem to hear as much about her as we do about Harriet Tubman and I like that there are more books about her now than when I was a child. This is the best of the best.
Dec 29, 2009 Julie marked it as to-read  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Julie by: Carol Hurst
Shelves: 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, carol-hurst, 10, 11, 12
Illustrated by R. Gregory Christie. (Knopf, 2001. ISBN 044041766X. Order Info.) Picture Book, Nonfiction. 36 pages. Grades 3-12.

The text is dramatic and gives information about slavery in the northern United States in the early 1800's because, of course, that's where the slave Isabelle, later to rename herself as Sojourner Truth, lived her long and inspiring life.

The book covers her early years when she was beaten and sold repeatedly including at a slave auction in Kingston, New York. After be...more
Kristyan Williams
This book is breathtaking for the illustrations alone, but the story is equally appealing, especially for a historical fiction tale. The life of Sojourner Truth is detailed with power and emotion in a way that makes her character unforgettable. I would definitely use this story in any Slavery, Civil Rights or Women's Rights unit in order to bring Sojourner Truth's biography into a more distinguishable light for students. Often, this hero's name is lost in textbooks among those of Harriet Tubman...more
Kathy Simmons
Oct 24, 2011 Kathy Simmons rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: danielle holland
In the beginning of the story, we find a young girl, tall and strong for her age, named Isabella. She has been separated from her parents, and was sold to an English speaking farmer. That lead to problems for Isabella. She only speaks Dutch, as do the rest of the people from the Hudson Valley where she was from. When she didn't comply with the farmer, the beatings start. Thus started the cruelty that Isabella suffered during her years as a slave. She didn't let the harsh treatment break her spir...more
The Reading Countess
This fascinating look at Sojourner Truth's life not only informs young readers about one of our most well-known and respected freed slaves fighting the good fight, but encourages them to learn more about not only her, but about women's rights and the people whom she found herself in company. The rough illustrations by R. Gregory Christie added dimension to an already multi-dimensional character.
Now I want to read her autobiography.
Lana Clifton
This is a great picture book biography for introducing Sojourner Truth as a "change agent", as opposed to an African-American "hero". No, the clever author does not sugar coat the truth of our American history. Rockwell introduces young Isabella on the slave-block-- being poked and prodded by the sticks of European folk. Rockwell recounts Truth's brutal life experiences and struggles towards freedom, in the face of great adversity, through collective action.
I thought this was a great effort at writing a biography for children. The story was interesting. The illustrations are really not quite to my taste, but they are colorful and powerful in their way. Sojourner Truth was an amazing woman and I enjoyed reading about her life and the ways in which she gained her freedom and fought for the freedom of others.
This is a beautiful book about the life and trials of Sojourner Truth. It is a picture book that tells of her life as a slave and journey to freedom. I would definately read this out loud in a classroom. This book deals with the topic of slavery and could be used in younger and middles grades to address the topic of slavery.
Beth Chandler
Rough yet appealing art style. Excellently written: pulls no punches about slave life but doesn't elaborate. Highlights of Truth's life are told in an arresting yet smoothly flowing manner.

Multi-award winner.

Great for displays, book reports, recommendations.
Really did not like the illustrations in this book, but the text was well done, esp. considering the subject matter. Even my 6 1/2 year old was absorbed. What a fascinating woman!
Feb 13, 2010 Lucia added it
Great story of Sojourner Truth's life. The illustrations are interesting... a bit rough, I guess. But it depicts a difficult topic well.
Strong and courageous.
Ariana Thomas
Interest Level: 3-5
Reading Level: 790 Lexile, Grade Level Equivalent 4.4
Genre: Biography, Picture Book
Main Characters: Sojourner Truth

Anne Rockwell’s picture book biography accounts the life of the powerful civil rights figure Sojourner Truth. Illustrated by Gregory Christie, the beautiful portrayal of Sojourner’s hardships outlines her life from when she was born into slavery, when she was purchased by her master and forced into an arranged marriage, the birth and tragic loss of her children,...more
Shayne Cope
This was a great book to show historical content of slavery and perseverance.
Monique Mcdonald
I absolutley enjoyed reading this and allowing my students to use it in a recent Women Suffrage social studies unit. The students can be in literature circles with differnt jobs amongst 6 students and they could read the story while grabbing important information out on the character. Have the students teacch the class about the abolitionist. You could follow up with this activity by playing her famous speech "Aint I a Women"
Sharia A.
This book is a biography of sojourner truth. This book is about a girl that has to endure horrible life experiences. The book talks about how sojourner truth over came being sold and beaten. This book is great for children to understand the struggles that she and slaves had to endure. This book is great for 3rd grade students. This book has nice pictures and very friendly text to explain harsh themes and subjects.
A beautiful audiobook complete with stirring a capella period spirituals and a variety of powerful voices reading the text. At only 41 minutes long, it barely covered a single day's commute to and from work, but it was a great companion for that short bit of time. Highly recommended, whether Sojourner Truth is an old friend or the heroin of an inspiring new adventure.
Tanya W
Five stars for content... great, moving story about Sojourner Truth. Provided an opportunity to discuss slavery, right and wrong.

I didn't like the artwork very well, but it did convey a lot of emotion and pain... if I was rating the artwork, I may have given it a three.
Audrey Harlan
This book was great to use when teaching my fourth graders about Sojourner Truth. The story speaks of her contributions to history and her struggles. I used this book to teach a unit on Women's Suffrage and Abolitionists.
Only Passing Through is good for older elementary or middle school. The stylized illustrations could be a distraction for some students, and it presumes either some background knowledge or an adult to provide some context.
Amie Sergio
Biography of Sojourner Truth. Not a fan of the illustrations, very cartoon like. Text is very detailed and long. Though the story is powerful, may be hard for students to follow along or be interested in.
This is a book about a slave named Sojourner Truth. This is how a slave women took a wealthy land owner to court and won. This book has great illustrations and could be used when introducing slavery.
Ebony Hargett
This is a great story for a history lesson on Sojourner Truth and slavery. It is a harder read for new readers but can be used for independent reading for grades fourth and fifth.
Sarah Ziskend
Good for:
- discussing slavery
- sojourner truth
-discussing how to overcome hardships
- can read this book and then make a timeline activity (timeline in the back of book)
Augoustine Andreou
Excellent nonfiction book that has accurate information listed in a chronological order!
Good story--I learned a lot about Sojourner Truth. Illustrations were lacking a little.
boring to my kids because it was too abstract, but a good book
I loved the text. I strongly disliked the illustrations.
2001 CSKing Illustrator Honor
Tracy Bailey
Beautiful art work.
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