Cover image for Only passing through the story of Sojourner Truth
Only passing through the story of Sojourner Truth
Rockwell, Anne F.
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
Northport, ME : Audio Bookshelf, [2002]

Physical Description:
1 audio disc (41 min.) : digital ; 4 3/4 in.
General Note:
Reading Level:
Family reading. Ages 7 and up.
Added Author:
Format :
Audiobook on CD


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
E185.97.T8 R63 2002 Juvenile Audiobook on CD Audiobooks

On Order



Isabella was only nine when she was sold for the first time. And at first no one wanted her. The slave auctioneer had to throw in a flock of sheep before someone bid on the skinny young girl. But this young girl would grow. She would grow to become a brave, strong, towering woman who would speak out against the evils of slavery. She would transform herself into one of the most powerful voices of the abolitionist movement and would help to change the course of a nation. The slave Isabella would become the legendary Sojourner Truth. This is her story.


In 1826, the slave Isabella is denied her freedom by a deceitful master, but she escapes to a couple who buys her freedom. Seventeen free years later, Isabella awakens from a dream, realizing she must tell her story of slavery. She renames herself Sojourner Truth and begins to travel the country, conveying to people what it meant to be a slave.

Author Notes

Anne Rockwell was born in Memphis, Tennessee on February 8, 1934. She moved to New York City at the age of 18 and found a job doing typing work for a textbook publisher. She studied at Pratt Graphic Arts Center and at the Sculpture Center.

She became an author and illustrator. Her first children's book, Paul and Arthur Search for the Egg, was published in 1964. Her other books included Boats, Fire Engines, Things That Go, Our Earth, and Only Passing Through: The Story of Sojourner Truth. She collaborated on several books with her husband Harlow Rockwell including Sally's Caterpillar and The Toolbox. After her husband's death, she collaborated with her daughter Lizzy Rockwell. Their books included Career Day and Zoo Day. She died of natural causes on April 10, 2018 at the age of 85.

(Bowker Author Biography)

Reviews 3

Booklist Review

Gr. 4^-8. In this moving picture-book biography, Rockwell's quiet, searing words and Christie's dramatic full-page, acrylic paintings express the sorrow, anger, and strength of the woman who made herself Sojourner Truth. She was born into slavery in New York State, named Isabella, and sold away from her parents at age nine; but she grew up a free woman who became one of the great abolitionist leaders. Inspired by the Bible, she renamed herself Sojourner Truth and traveled around the country telling firsthand what it meant to be a slave. Christie's narrative paintings, with shifting scale and perspective, show the strength, physical and spiritual, of the dark, uncompromising woman, who stood six feet tall and straight in plain clothes and spoke with passionate authority. A long note fills in some of her later life, including her role in the fight for women's rights. Rockwell says she used many sources but doesn't name any of them, other than citing Sojourner Truth's autobiography. --Hazel Rochman

Publisher's Weekly Review

ONLY PASSING THROUGH: The Story of Sojourner Truth Anne Rockwell, illus. by R. Gregory Christie. Dell/Dragonfly, $6.99 ISBN 0-440-41766-X. ~ The author follows the heroine from age nine, when she is sold at auction, through her transformation into an itinerant preacher against the evils of slavery. In a starred review, PW called it a "vibrant story with powerful content. The artwork skillfully approaches the abstract-twisting traditional perspective in a way that illuminates Sojourner's groundbreaking vision and voice." Ages 7-10. (Dec.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

School Library Journal Review

Gr 3-6-Anne Rockwell's poignant telling of the life of Sojourner Truth (Knopf, 2000) is beautifully presented in this exquisite book on tape. Renee Joshua-Porter reads the book, capturing its spirit in her measured and expressive tones. The tape begins and ends with Joshua-Porter's singing of two significant hymns from Sojourner Truth's life. The audiobook follows her from slavery to emancipation, then shows her speaking out against the horrors of slavery. Her powerful words influenced a nation. Her famous "Ain't I a Woman?" speech is included, as well as a recounting of her visit with President Abraham Lincoln. The book clearly shows Sojourner's courage in standing up for what she believed in despite threats against her personal safety. Sojourner Truth's story can set an example and inspire today's generation. Teachers will find this exceptional production valuable during Black History Month and throughout the year.-Teresa Bateman, Brigadoon Elementary School, Federal Way, WA (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.