Boycott Blues: How Rosa Parks Inspired a Nation

Overview

This story begins with shoes.
This story is all for true.
This story walks. And walks. And walks.
To the blues.

Rosa Parks took a stand by keeping her seat on the bus. When she was arrested for it, her supporters protested by refusing to ride. Soon a community of thousands was coming together to help one ...

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Overview

This story begins with shoes.
This story is all for true.
This story walks. And walks. And walks.
To the blues.

Rosa Parks took a stand by keeping her seat on the bus. When she was arrested for it, her supporters protested by refusing to ride. Soon a community of thousands was coming together to help one another get where they needed to go. Some started taxis, some rode bikes, but they all walked and walked.

With dogged feet. With dog-tired feet. With boycott feet. With boycott blues.

And, after 382 days of walking, they walked Jim Crow right out of town. . . .

Andrea Davis Pinkney and Brian Pinkney present a poignant, blues-infused tribute to the men and women of the Montgomery bus boycott, who refused to give up until they got justice.

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Editorial Reviews

Children's Literature - Keri Collins Lewis
When a guitar-playing, blues-singing hound dog named Dog Tired talks about the Montgomery, Alabama, bus boycott of 1955, he tells it in a steady rhythm of facts with a lot of soul. In this creative retelling of the events leading up to and following Rosa Parks' refusal to give up her bus seat to a white man, the Jim Crow laws separating people based on their skin color are personified as an aggressive, bony-winged black crow pecking and strutting. Dog Tired recounts Martin Luther King, Jr.'s speech and admonition to fight for justice in a nonviolent way, to refuse to ride the buses until they received fair treatment. For nearly a year, the African American community, as well as other supporters, walked, rode bikes, and carpooled to their destinations. Then, in November, 1956, the Supreme Court ruled against segregation and required equal treatment for all people, regardless of their ethnicity. Vivid, motion-filled illustrations convey the menace of Jim Crow, the passion of Dr. King, and the hope of those who marched. The Pinkneys' inspiring collaboration effectively brings a challenging topic to young audiences. An author's note at the end of the book offers additional information on the Montgomery bus boycott, as well as a short bibliography of books for further exploration. Reviewer: Keri Collins Lewis
School Library Journal

Gr 3-6

Color and movement are vibrant components in this extraordinary book about Rosa Parks's efforts to take down Jim Crow. Text and illustration work in perfect sync. Andrea Pinkney chose the rhythm of the blues as cadence for the guitar-strumming hound-dog narrator: "This story begins with shoes./This story is all for true./This story walks. And walks. And walks./To the blues." In riveting poetic style, the author relates how Parks refused to give up her seat on the bus in Montgomery, AL, on December 1, 1955; her defiance brought about the boycott that changed this nation. The evocative text is bolstered by Brian Pinkney's perceptive vision: he portrays a swirling black mass, colored ink on clay board, to simulate a menacing bird-Jim Crow-that "pecks, pecks, pecks" its determination to undermine the movement. Jim Crow hovers menacingly over the bus and whirls above the beleaguered walkers, but the ever-present dog keeps belting out inspiring words, swinging his tune out over the people. Against electric blues and greens diffused with streaks of black line, Pinkney's artwork rivets the eye with the red of Parks's coat, the yellow of the city bus, and the sunrise red that signals the Supreme Court ruling to end segregation. Children unfamiliar with the historic events of the period will find the tale uplifting and memorable, and for librarians, teachers, and parents, this story will read aloud well, mesmerizing listeners.-Barbara Elleman, Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art, Amherst, MA

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780060821180
  • Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
  • Publication date: 9/30/2008
  • Pages: 40
  • Sales rank: 207,143
  • Age range: 5 - 8 Years
  • Lexile: 560L (what's this?)
  • Product dimensions: 9.70 (w) x 11.60 (h) x 0.40 (d)

Meet the Author

Andrea Davis Pinkney is the author of many acclaimed picture books and young adult novels. She received a Coretta Scott King Author Honor Award for Let It Shine. Her collaborations with her husband, Brian Pinkney, include Peggony-Po; Sleeping Cutie; Ella Fitzgerald: The Tale of a Vocal Virtuosa; Dear Benjamin Banneker; and the Caldecott Honor and Coretta Scott King Illustrator Honor book Duke Ellington: The Piano Prince and His Orchestra. She is a children's book editor at a major publishing company. She lives with her family in Brooklyn, New York.

Brian Pinkney has illustrated numerous books for children, including two Caldecott Honor books, The Faithful Friend, by Robert D. San Souci, and Duke Ellington: The Piano Prince and His Orchestra, by Andrea Davis Pinkney. Mr. Pinkney's own books include Hush, Little Baby; Cosmo and the Robot; Max Found Two Sticks; JoJo's Flying Side Kick; and The Adventures of Sparrowboy, winner of the 1997 Boston Globe-Horn Book Award. Brian Pinkney has received the Coretta Scott King Award for illustration and three Coretta Scott King Honor Awards. He lives with his wife, Andrea, and their children in Brooklyn, New York.

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