A dynamic portrait of the freed slave whose physical and spiritual strength made her one of America's most powerful abolitionist voices. Andrea Pinkney explains how slave owners saw the robust Belle Baumfree as a profitable asset and sold her away from her parents at age nine. This episode deftly introduces modern children to the "ugly way" of slavery, yet does not frighten them with its chilling details. The author goes on to describe how the very strength that slave owners prized was the free Sojourner Truth's most valuable weapon against the institution. For example, the adult Sojourner Truth did not merely walk away from slavery: "She covered some ground, child. She got gone. She refused to stop until she saw hope." Then her strength allowed her to "travel up and down the land" to advocate freedom. The narrative speaks directly to children in such passages, and the conversational style makes this book an excellent choice for reading aloud. Brian Pinkney's vivid illustrations brilliantly reinforce his wife's lively words. Bold yellows and oranges are his dominant hues, and these colors express hope and optimism throughout. His broad, energetic strokes also echo the title and Sojourner Truth's robust "step-stomp stride." While some of Sojourner Truth's feelings may be imagined, Pinkney demonstrates the depth of her research with a "More about Sojourner Truth" feature. An essential purchase for all libraries. SLJ"