Abby Takes a Stand (Scraps of Time Series #1)

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Overview

Why has their grandmother bothered keeping a menu from a restaurant that closed years ago, a restaurant that never served very good food in the first place? Three cousins listen to Gee's own story, set in the early days of lunch counter sit-ins in Nashville, a time when a black child could sit up front in a city bus but still could not get a milk shake at a downtown restaurant. Through the eyes of ten-year-old Abby, young readers see what it was like to live through those days, and they'll come to understand ...

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Overview

Why has their grandmother bothered keeping a menu from a restaurant that closed years ago, a restaurant that never served very good food in the first place? Three cousins listen to Gee's own story, set in the early days of lunch counter sit-ins in Nashville, a time when a black child could sit up front in a city bus but still could not get a milk shake at a downtown restaurant. Through the eyes of ten-year-old Abby, young readers see what it was like to live through those days, and they'll come to understand that, like a menu, freedom is about having choices. Each book in this series tells the story behind a different "scrap of time"; together they form a patchwork quilt of one black family's past that stretches back for generations.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
In what PW called an "engaging" kickoff to the Scraps of Time series, Abby finds a menu in her grandmother Gee's attic, sparking the woman's memory of a pivotal episode in the American civil rights movement. Ages 8-up. (Jan.) Copyright 2007 Reed Business Information.
Children's Literature
Putting an important civil rights event of 1960 in children's terms, this story tells of 10-year-old Abby's participation in the lunch counter sit-in efforts in Nashville, Tennessee. Abby has feelings of fear, concern, outrage, and determination and expresses them the way any child would. Through Abby and other characters, readers see how and why the black population was split on the civil rights issue, struggling with the dilemma of whether to endure the inequality—assuring safety—or buck the status quo—incurring wrath. Multi-award winning author McKissack does not shy away from the reality of the day and has her characters witness police violence and one-sided news reporting that is obvious enough for today's young readers to identify the injustice and perhaps ask questions about what else happened during that period. It is a story of hope and ultimate victory for Abby and all blacks, the result of perseverance and determination on the part of a brave few. A chronology of some major civil rights events of 1960 is found at the back of the book, along with the clearly pacifist rules for the Nashville sit-ins. A well-presented story of race relations, engagingly told from a child's perspective, this book is the first in what promises to be an engaging and well-written series, "Scraps of Time." The simple but sensitive black-and-white sketches are a fine addition. 2005, Viking, Ages 7 to 10.
—Kathryn Erskine
School Library Journal
Gr 3-4-Grandmother's attic is full of family mementoes that, as Gee tells young cousins Mattie Rae, Aggie, and Trey, are all "scraps of time." A menu from the Monkey Bar restaurant is the basis for this story, which begins with 10-year-old Abby (Gee) in Nashville, TN, in 1960. One day, she wanders around a downtown store as her mother makes an exchange. Someone hands her a flyer advertising a new restaurant with a merry-go-round ride in it, and she decides to go see it. Unfortunately, Abby causes quite a stir when she arrives there. "And you know we don't serve Negroes in here. Have you forgotten your place?" snaps the manager. Abby becomes a civil rights activist as a member of the Flyer Brigade, handing out flyers about nonviolent protest. The story ends with the return to present time and the cousins and Gee looking at other keepsakes, which is the perfect set-up for the next book in the series. Sections entitled "Remembering How It Was" and "The Rules for the Nashville Sit-ins" round off the book. This easy chapter book, with simple sentences, plenty of white space, and a liberal sprinkling of Gordon's expressive black-and-white drawings, is an appealing and welcome title.-Mary N. Oluonye, Shaker Heights Public Library, OH Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.
Kirkus Reviews
Maggie Rae and her cousins visit their grandmother's attic to find scraps of time, remembrances from her family's past. A menu from a Nashville restaurant provides the link to 1960 with its lunch-counter sit-ins and store boycotts. Grandmother (Abby) was ten years old that year and very much a part of those events. She experienced the ugliness of segregation, attended meetings, passed out flyers, provided food for the participants and witnessed both defeats and victories. Abby is an engaging character whose sharp observations provide emotional connections and a sense of time and place. McKissack also carefully sets the stage by using the attic device, gently moving the reader from present to past and back again. By personalizing events, historical fiction can bring the past alive for children, whose concept of time is unformed. McKissack succeeds admirably. An excellent introduction to a promising new series. (Historical fiction. 8-12)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780142406878
  • Publisher: Penguin Young Readers Group
  • Publication date: 12/28/2006
  • Series: Scraps of Time Series, #1
  • Edition description: Reprint
  • Pages: 112
  • Sales rank: 114,711
  • Age range: 8 - 12 Years
  • Lexile: 580L (what's this?)
  • Product dimensions: 5.15 (w) x 7.85 (h) x 0.35 (d)

Meet the Author

Gordon C. James also illustrates the Scraps of Time series by Patricia C. McKissack. He lives in Charlotte, North Carolina.

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Table of Contents

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Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted March 9, 2008

    awsome

    its an awesome book!!

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