This powerful book takes us from Jim Crow times to the realization of rights gained through the Civil Rights movement. I knew I had to grab this one up when I saw that the illustrator was James Ransome. His realistic paintings with collage-style borders add drama and immediacy to the simple rhymes comprising the text. Although most of the story is told through the pictures, the poetic words manage to convey an enormous amount in the simple two lines that accompany each 2-page image: “These are the buses – a dime buys a ride/ but the people are sorted by color inside.” “These are the diners who sit and who wait/ at the “WHITES ONLY” counter, ignoring the hate.” “These are the marchers who forge through the street/ as they carry their message through shimmering heat.”
The authors state in an afterword that they are celebrating the power of nonviolent change:
“…there is always room in our world for the kind of bravery that takes nonviolent action to create a better place. May this book be a testament to the courage of those who did and, above all, to peace.”
On the Web, there is a study guide and other materials to go along with the book.
Published by Amistad, an imprint of HarperCollins Publishers, 2009
Reading level: Ages 5 and up
Paperback: 40 pages