Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Parks, best known for her act of civil disobedience that launched the Montgomery Bus Boycott in 1955, here shares her responses to children's letters. As Reed, founder of the Parks Legacy, observes in a foreword, Parks "answers from her heart these young people's questions." Indeed, her comments and advice are highly personal and heartfelt, and filled with references to her own childhood and her trenchant experiences as an adult. Her words are inspirational: she stresses the importance of a good education, belief in God and the power of prayer, high moral standards, and of standing up for personal beliefs. Her words ring with sincerity, but although she repeats herself purposefully, tighter editing could have eliminated redundancies on the part of her correspondents. The repetitiousness notwithstanding, this worthy volume fortifies Parks's pivotal position as a role model for kids today. Hers is a stirring message, relayed with rare authority. Ages 8-up. (Oct.)
Children's Literature - Mary Sue Preissner
Since that infamous bus ride in 1955, Rosa Parks has received many letters. This book is a compilation of the letters received from children over the years. Her responses to those letters are simple, straightforward, and positive. When acknowledging injustices, Parks' words convey a positive message, empowering children to take responsibility for their lives and encouraging them to make the world a better place. Her strong belief in God also is evident. Beginning with a brief biography and introductory words from both authors, the children's letters are categorized into 5 chapters, followed by a timeline of Parks' life and her current address. The pages are interspersed with black-and-white photos and reproductions of postmarks.
School Library Journal
Gr 5 Up-Over the years, Rosa Parks has received thousands of letters from youngsters asking questions of her. This book excerpts a number of them and gives her responses. Dealing with a variety of subjects, the inquiries are grouped into five chapters under fairly broad headings, such as "The Power of Knowledge and Education" and "Courage and Hope." The letters illustrate young people's genuine concern about personal and societal conditions. Parks's responses, though dry and didactic, reveal her as a wise, compassionate person with a deep faith in God, a strong belief in lifelong education, and profound humility. Along with some of the obvious questions about her personal history and long-time civil rights activism, the questions run the gamut, asking Parks's feelings about the Million Man March and O.J. Simpson. While the brief preface includes a biographical sketch, those looking for report material would be better served by her autobiography, co-written with James Haskins, Rosa Parks (Dial, 1992). If readers can deal with the uninspired writing style, they will walk away from this book with respect for a woman whose lifeworks and courage are an example to us all.-Tom S. Hurlburt, La Crosse Public Library, WI