|So tall within : Sojourner Truth's long walk toward freedom|
Author: Schmidt, Gary D.
A picture book biography of a giant in the struggle for civil rights.
|Accelerated Reader Information:|
Interest Level: LG
Reading Level: 4.70
Points: .5 Quiz: 196457
Kirkus Reviews (+) (07/15/18)
School Library Journal (08/01/18)
The Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books (00/10/18)
The Hornbook (00/01/19)
Full Text Reviews:
Booklist - 08/01/2018 Sojourner Truth's story began when she was a little girl named Isabella Baumfree, a slave sold many times over through childhood and adulthood until she broke free and set her life on her own course. Schmidt chronicles this woman's remarkable accomplishments: using her knowledge of the law to regain her son, moving to New York City to find siblings she had never known, changing her name to Sojourner Truth, and spreading the word about the evils of slavery. Schmidt's narrative glosses over the logistics of such achievements, making them seem easy, and language such as “she worked for” rather than “she was owned by” mitigates the reality of her life as a slave. Readers will do well to explore the additional sources he provides in the back matter. However, this picture-book biography is notable for Minter's arresting paintings, which capture both the pain of slavery and Sojourner Truth's strength. White lacelike details overlay passionate brushstrokes in blue, copper, and red, and vertical panels accompany lines of poetry containing a timely message on freedom. - Copyright 2018 Booklist.
School Library Journal - 08/01/2018 Gr 1–4—Focusing on the impact of slavery on Sojourner Truth's life and her ongoing fight to end the institution, Schmidt and Minter choose a lyrical and evocative approach to her story. Readers learn about the hardships and cruelty she endured under various masters before her walk to freedom and her legal battle to regain custody of her son. Schmidt incorporates the woman's own words as he recounts her anti-slavery speeches to crowds and her meeting with President Lincoln as she walked thousands of miles to advocate for freedom. Minter's illustrations, arresting at first glance, grow deeper and more compelling with repeated viewing. The vertical panels incorporate images such as ships crossing the ocean and slave collars. Equally striking are recurrent motifs of leaves, roots, and trees in depictions of events from Sojourner's life. Shadowy figures of people from the past, present, and future tie her struggle from the particular to the universal. Because the book omits important events such as her 1851 women's rights speech and minimizes the religious motivation for her activism and preaching, readers should also have access to other introductory biographies such as Andrea Davis Pinkney's Sojourner Truth's Step-Stomp Stride, Ann Turner's My Name Is Truth, and Anne Rockwell's Only Passing Through. VERDICT Outstanding illustrations make this a noteworthy addition to most libraries, but collections need to keep other books about Sojourner Truth to present multiple facets of her significant achievements.—Kathy Piehl, Minnesota State University Library, Mankato - Copyright 2018 Publishers Weekly, Library Journal and/or School Library Journal used with permission.