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

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

5.0 3
by Patricia C. McKissack, Gordon James (Illustrator)

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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


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.

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)

Product Details

Penguin Young Readers Group
Publication date:
Scraps of Time Series , #1
Edition description:
Sales rank:
Product dimensions:
5.06(w) x 7.81(h) x 0.28(d)
580L (what's this?)
Age Range:
8 - 12 Years

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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Abby Takes a Stand 5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 3 reviews.
EGHunter01 More than 1 year ago
Abby Takes a Stand (2005) by Patricia C. McKissack. These quotes will summarize the premise of this novel: "'Welcome.' We're here tonight to talk about freedom. But freedom is a meaningless word when we Negroes don't have the same rights as the white people." - "Democracy and segregation are like oil and water. The two don't mix." - "I don't believe most colored people agree with what went on here today," said the manager. He went on to say the protesters were just a few troublemakers trying to ruin it for all the good colored folks of Nashville." - "Growing up in the South is like being a bird in a cage. Our children have wings. But they're never allowed to fly. By the time they get to our age, their souls are lifeless." When readers' see these quotes it may give them insight into how some people felt during the 1960s just before the Civil Rights Movement took "flight" in the United States of America. As you read this novel it may give you a chance to step back in U. S. history and "feel" the tension, stress, and anxiety of the time. ". signs for the demonstrators who marched outside the store." à Save Our Nation End Segregation **This novel is: *well written *educational *informative *has nice charcoal illustrations and *best for readers aged nine to thirteen.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Guest More than 1 year ago
its an awesome book!!