Perfect Picture Book Friday! My Name is Truth by Ann Turner

Susanna Leonard Hill has a feature on her blog called Perfect Picture Book Friday. It is a list of “perfect” picture books recommended by all sorts of people. I chose this book because it is a motivational book that really inspires you to speak up for what you believe in.

truthMy Name is Truth: The Life of Sojourner Truth
By Ann Turner
Illustrations by James Ransome 
 40 pages – ages 6+
Published by HarperCollins on January 20, 2015

Theme/Topic- Slavery/Speaking Up

Genre- Nonfiction/Historical Fiction

Opening and Synopsis- Opening – “My mama was a slave woman called Mau-Mau with sweet arms and eyes like a hawk I had a daddy, too, Bomefree, they loved all twelve of us and had to see us sold off one by one like horses for work their hearts most broke.”

Synopsis – From Goodreads: “Here is the remarkable true story of how former slave Isabella Baumfree transformed herself into the preacher and orator Sojourner Truth, as told by acclaimed author Ann Turner and award-winning illustrator James Ransome. An iconic figure of the abolitionist and women’s rights movements, Sojourner Truth famously spoke out for equal rights roughly one hundred years before the civil rights movement.

This beautifully illustrated and impeccably researched picture book biography underwent expert review by two historians of the period. My Name Is Truth includes a detailed historical note, an archival photo, and a list of suggested supplemental reading materials. Written in the fiery and eloquent voice of Sojourner Truth herself, this moving story will captivate readers just as Sojourner’s passionate words enthralled her listeners.

Why I liked this book- Ms. Turner has written a powerful book. It illustrates Ms. Truth’s life in a kid-friendly way. It references the fact that slaves were beaten, but emphasizes how families were torn apart and how very very hard slaves worked in bad conditions. It explains that Ms. Truth had a hard life, but she refused to let it beat her. It is an incredible story of courage and the difference one person can make if they speak up.  The illustrations are very well done and compliment the text nicely.

Activities and Resources- 

The book supports Common Core state standards.

The back end pages has a very interesting author’s note that reveals even more about Ms. Truth. There is also a list of suggested reading if you want to know more.

I found a lesson plan at the Sojourner Truth Memorial website – click HERE to get it.

HERE is a Sojourner Truth worksheet and HERE is a coloring page from

To find more Perfect Picture Books please visit Susanna Hill’s blog HERE!

Categories: Age 6-9, Perfect Picture Book Friday

Tags: , , , , , , ,

33 replies

  1. This looks like a great biography for kids – and I’m always looking for new biographies. Thanks for sharing it.

  2. I love biographical picture books! and I think I Did one on Sojourner Truth once, too. I love her. Thanks so much for this review. This is a valuable book for kids and students of all ages. It is a story we should not forget. 🙂

  3. I just read My Name is Truth. This picture book proves that history can be interesting. I was drawn in by the voice and vivid illustrations.

  4. I am so looking for this one.

  5. I’ve read and reviewed other books about Sojourner Truth. But, this book seems to include more information. Want to check it out because she is one of the strongest women in history. Thanks for including the excellent “Sojourner Truth Memorial” website as it really is full of historical information about her and the time period.

  6. This is a book I really need to make as a staple in my household library. The issues touched upon, such as slavery and abuse, are ones that need to be broached in a kid-friendly way and it’s great this book does so. Thanks for sharing about this book.

  7. This looks not only important, but a very beautiful picture book. Thanks very much for making me aware of it.

  8. This is a new one on Sojourner Truth, and as Pat says, this sounds very comprehensive.

  9. I have heard of this book before and it sounds wonderful!

  10. I’ve not seen this one yet. I love James Ransome’s illustrations and will look for this one.

  11. I love this book. It reads like poetry. Thanks for highlighting!

  12. Sounds amazing. Glad it’s on the list.

  13. Cannot have too many historical biographies. Can’t wait to read this one.

  14. I cannot imagine how hard that must have been. Great review, Erik.

  15. This is a very important topic. Thanks for bringing this book to our attention, Erik.

  16. I want to read this one. Sounds terrific!

  17. This looks wonderful. I love historical bios that keep the struggles of visionaries alive so that their message can be passed to future generations. Great review Erik.

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