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Walking the Road to Freedom by Jeri Ferris

Walking the Road to Freedom

by Jeri Ferris, Peter E. Hanson (Illustrator)

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Reviewed by Jaglvr for TeensReadToo.com

Does the name Isabelle Hardenbergh mean anything to you? Chances are you've never heard the name before. But on the other hand, you probably have at least heard the name Sojourner Truth. If you're like me, you've heard her name, but had no idea what her importance was. Well, if you pick up WALKING THE ROAD TO FREEDOM, you will get a brief glimpse into the life of Sojourner.

Isabelle was born in New York as a slave. When she was a young girl, she was auctioned off and left her family. By the time she was about 13 years old, she'd already known four different masters. She was a hard worker and wondered out loud to God why they would hit her when she worked so hard.

It was only after her last master sold her 5-year-old son that Isabelle (or Belle) decided to do something about it. Slaves were to be freed in two years, and her master promised he'd free her a year early if she worked hard. But when the year was up and he failed to keep his promise, Belle set off on her own. She was determined to find her son, Peter, and get him back.

This was the start of a long journey for Belle. She found herself finally with her son in New York City. But when he was old enough and became a seaman, Belle realized she'd never have her entire family in one house. Her daughters had remained at her final master's house. At that point, she knew the Lord was talking to her, and had other plans. She gave away all of her money and decided on her new name. A sojourner is someone that goes from place to place, never staying long. And Truth is another name for the Lord.

Hence, Sojourner Truth was born.

Sojourner didn't set out to be an abolitionist, but life has a way of working out. Ms. Ferris details the struggles that Sojourner encounters throughout her life, and how she has come to be known for her untiring fight for the freedom of all slaves. ( )
  GeniusJen | Oct 13, 2009 |
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Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Jeri Ferrisprimary authorall editionscalculated
Hanson, Peter E.Illustratormain authorall editionsconfirmed
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Traces the life of the Black woman orator who spoke out against slavery throughout New England and the Midwest.

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