Reading/Interest Level: Intermediate
Author: Ann Turner
Illustrator: James Ransome
An unlikely journey from slave girl Isabella to fiery preacher and abolitionist is chronicled in My Name is Truth: The Life of Sojourner Truth. Sojourner Truth lived during the period of time when attitudes toward slavery in the United States were beginning to shift. Drawing on the courage and strength she received from God, Sojourner Truth fled the household where she had been enslaved, found freedom with a kind family, hired lawyers to find her young son who had been sold to another master, and felt God calling her to preach both religious doctrine and truths about slavery, eventually becoming a respected human rights advocate.
Though historically accurate, My Name is Truth has some serious shortcomings. The front flap of the book claims that it was written in Truth’s own words, but the book includes no references or sources indicating where the text was drawn from. The story line is somewhat abstract and would be quite confusing for readers who are not experts on Truth’s life and identity. Young readers would likely benefit from the authentic lilt and phrasing of the text, but may be confused by the use of colloquial words and phrases.
*Contains mind violence.