The Bus Ride that Changed History: The Story of Rosa Parks

Overview

In 1955, a young African-American woman named Rosa Parks took a big step for civil rights when she refused to give up her seat on a bus to a white passenger. The bus driver told her to move. Jim Crow laws told her to move. But Rosa Parks stayed where she was, and a chain of events was set into motion that would eventually change the course of American history.

Fifty years later, The Bus Ride That Changed History retraces that chain of events by introducing the civil rights ...

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Overview

In 1955, a young African-American woman named Rosa Parks took a big step for civil rights when she refused to give up her seat on a bus to a white passenger. The bus driver told her to move. Jim Crow laws told her to move. But Rosa Parks stayed where she was, and a chain of events was set into motion that would eventually change the course of American history.

Fifty years later, The Bus Ride That Changed History retraces that chain of events by introducing the civil rights movement one idea at a time. Take a ride through history with this unique retelling of what happened when one brave woman refuses to stand up so that a white passenger could sit down.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"This is an excellent tribute to Parks and to her role in history, told in a child-friendly style." –School Library Journal School Library Journal
Publishers Weekly
This glancing treatment of Rosa Parks's 1955 refusal to give up her bus seat to a white man unwinds as a cumulative narrative reminiscent of "The House That Jack Built." The style, jarringly at odds with this historical event, comes off almost as a parody. After introducing the bus, the passengers, the white man in need of a seat and the bus driver in recurring phrases, Edwards (Some Smug Slug) finally focuses on Parks: "This is Rosa Parks, who said, `No!' to/ the driver who told her to move for the white man/ left standing near the seats of black passengers riding/ the bus in Montgomery,/ where they enforced a law forbidding/ blacks to sit next to whites on buses,/ which was overturned because one woman was brave." The sing-song text goes on to highlight the resultant bus boycott, the Supreme Court's ruling and its impact on the growing civil rights movement. Four contemporary youngsters appear in the margins whose dialogue (presented in speech balloons) ranges from informative to inane (e.g., "Look! That woman is refusing to get up. That's so brave!"). Featuring muted hues, New Yorker cartoonist Shanahan's (Buckledown the Workhound) mostly static cartoon art is as lackluster as the narrative. Ages 5-9. (Sept.) Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.
Children's Literature
Using a cumulative technique reminiscent of the nursery rhyme "This is the House that Jack Built," Pamela Duncan Edwards tells the story of Rosa Parks who defied the segregation laws in Alabama. The story puts an emphasis on the bravery of this woman who took a stand against what she and others believed was wrong. African Americans had to sit in the back of the bus and furthermore, if a white person boarded and there were no seats, then they had to get up to let that person sit down. Rosa did not. She was arrested and the case worked its way to the Supreme Court. During that time, African Americans boycotted the bus system in Montgomery, Alabama. The real success came when the Supreme Court declared Alabama's race laws to be illegal. The story is well told and the author has included a time line of Rosa's life and the changes that resulted from her actions. The illustrations tell the main story but also feature a group of kids and their running commentary. Since publication, Rosa Parks has died, and this book is a fitting tribute to her life and the African American struggle for equality and civil rights. 2005, Houghton Mifflin, Ages 7 to 12.
—Marilyn Courtot
School Library Journal
Gr 2-4-Published 50 years after Rosa Parks refused to give up her seat on a bus in Montgomery, AL, this book retraces the segregation laws and the events surrounding the early stages of the Civil Rights movement. This historical account, illustrated with pen-and-ink and watercolor artwork, has a new twist as it is interspersed with modern-day cartoon characters guiding readers through the events and posing questions via dialogue-balloon conversations. Each new page builds from the previous one in the cumulative fashion similar to "This Is the House That Jack Built." If used as a read-aloud, listeners will want to join in on the refrain, "which was overturned because one woman was brave." This is an excellent tribute to Parks and to her role in history, told in a child-friendly style.-Tracy Bell, Eastway Elementary School, Durham, NC Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.
Kirkus Reviews
This telling of one of the most consequential episodes in U.S. civil-rights history is aimed at the youngest of readers, but it suffers from its clunky, House-That-Jack-Built-patterned narrative. More compelling is the Greek chorus of playground pals-a diverse group of miniature boys and girls-who float in the foreground of each loose, watercolor cartoon illustration, explaining and reacting to the larger-pictured action with modern-day understanding. An introduction, if children read it, may give just enough background to avoid referential confusion on the very first page: "This is a law forbidding / black people to sit next to white people on buses, / which was overturned because one woman was brave." (No law is stated.) Includes a seven-sentence author's note, a simple, 14-point timeline of Parks's life and a black-and-white photo of Parks. (Picture book/nonfiction. 6-9)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780618449118
  • Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
  • Publication date: 9/28/2005
  • Format: Library Binding
  • Pages: 32
  • Age range: 4 - 8 Years
  • Product dimensions: 10.50 (w) x 8.50 (h) x 0.13 (d)

Meet the Author

Pamela Duncan Edwards is the author of more than twenty books for children. Originally from England, Edwards is a former children's librarian who now lives in Virginia with her husband.

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