cover image Sojourner Truth's Step-Stomp Stride

Sojourner Truth's Step-Stomp Stride

Andrea Pinkney, , illus. by Brian Pinkney. . Disney?Jump at the Sun, $16.99 (32pp) ISBN 978-0-7868-0767-3

The team behind the Caldecott Honor book Duke Ellington offers a rousing biography of this indefatigable abolitionist, born a slave. Her parents gave their baby the name Belle: “Seems her newborn's cry was ringing in good news. Nothing quiet about that girl.” Fittingly, the author's punchy, poetic prose is anything but hushed as it follows Sojourner Truth's remarkable life. When her master failed to honor his promise to free her, the young woman “fled like tomorrow wasn't ever gonna come.... She refused to stop until she saw hope.” She never truly stopped, traveling “up and down the land” to speak about freedom, “the fire that burns inside. And Sojourner Truth, she was full of fire.” Earth tones dominate Brian Pinkney's sunlit paintings, which are given loose definition by strong, inky brushstrokes. Truth is often shown surrounded by a golden glow, and the images consistently convey her charisma and conviction, markedly in a riveting recreation of Truth's galvanizing “Ain't I a woman?” speech. True to the spirit of Sojourner Truth herself, the Pinkneys' work emanates confidence and grace. Ages 5–9. (Nov.)