Tuesday, September 18, 2018

Non-Fiction Picture Book Wednesday-Celebrating a Woman

art by Sarah S. Brannen

      Visit Alyson Beecher on Wednesdays for Non-Fiction Picture Books at Kidlit Frenzy.  From her post and others, you will discover and want to celebrate terrific nonfiction picture books! 

         How could anyone not like books by Andrea Davis Pinkney & Brian Pinkney? Here is one from a few years ago, seems appropriate because not only is it about freedom for slaves, but about the rights of women
         She escaped from slavery but did not stop remembering others and fighting for their freedom, too. 
         Imagine, Belle was a big girl, grew to six feet with size twelve shoes as quite a young girl. Because of her strength and ability to do hard work she was sold away from her family at the age of nine. She worked hard, really hard, was promised freedom if she worked even harder, but when she did and when she went to her owner to ask for her freedom, he said no. She ran away and fortune smiled because a Quaker family hid her, then paid her fee when the owner found her. They freed her!
        Her name was Belle and she changed her name to Sojourner Truth, started traveling to work for better lives for all her people, to tell the truth. She knew many Quaker abolitionists and one of them, Olive Gilbert, wrote Sojourner's story about being a slave, published in 1850, The Narrative of Sojourner Truth: A Northern Slave. Sojourner never learned to read or write but memorized the entire Bible during this time spent with Gilbert. She must have been so, so intelligent. In her life, she met Abraham Lincoln, who signed her book, and she lectured to standing-only crowds. She fought for women's rights, too. One quote from her struck me as one to remember: "As she traveled, she learned even more about the meaning of freedom. She found that freedom is not a place. Freedom is the fire that burns inside." A highlight of the book gives the words, with step-stomps, of her famous "Ain't I A Woman" speech at a women's rights' rally. 

         It is a wonderful book to introduce this powerful example of a former slave who fought for others and became famous and respected even in the turbulent years she lived. Illustrations are earth-toned with loose inky brushstrokes. There is added information and a couple of photographs of Sojourner Truth in the backmatter. 
         There is much to discover if one wants to know more. Here is the Library of Congress website about this important woman in our history.


  1. I'd never realized she adopted the name Sojourner Truth herself!

  2. She was an amazing woman, took the world as she saw it & did something! Thanks, Annette


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