Freedom Walkers: The Story of the Montgomery Bus Boycott

Freedom Walkers: The Story of the Montgomery Bus Boycott

4.4 5
by Russell Freedman
     
 

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On December 1, 1955, Rosa Parks refused to move to the back of the bus and give up her seat to a white man. This simple act sparked a nationwide movement for equality. Award-winning author Russell Freedman puts readers in the midst of a volatile and uplifting time. This compelling and poignant volume, illustrated with arresting black-and-white photographs from the… See more details below

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Overview

On December 1, 1955, Rosa Parks refused to move to the back of the bus and give up her seat to a white man. This simple act sparked a nationwide movement for equality. Award-winning author Russell Freedman puts readers in the midst of a volatile and uplifting time. This compelling and poignant volume, illustrated with arresting black-and-white photographs from the period, is an essential addition to the Civil Rights canon.

Selected Honors for Freedom Walkers include:
An ALA Notable Children's Book, an ALA Best Book for Young Adults, a School Library Journal Book of the Year, The Horn Book Fanfare Selection (Nonfiction), a Kirkus Reviews Editor's Choice, an NCTE Orbis Pictus Honor, and an NAACP Image Award Nomination for Outstanding Literary Work (Youth/Teens).

Editorial Reviews

VOYA - Dotsy Harland
In 1955, the law in Montgomery, Alabama, said that African Americans had to sit in the backs of buses. They were also often forced to give up their seats to whites if buses became crowded. Some African Americans tried to fight back, refusing to give up their seats, and were arrested and fined. Leaders of the local black community wanted to take this issue to federal court, but they needed just the right person to help them win. They found that person on December 1, 1955, when a woman named Rosa Parks was arrested after politely refusing to relinquish her bus seat to a white person. Black leaders were hoping to create a high-profile case, and felt that the gentle, law-abiding Parks had the maturity and strength of character necessary to see the process through. Parks's case sparked an organized boycott of Montgomery buses, bringing the bus company to its knees and setting off an explosive nationwide struggle over civil rights. Freedman, a Newbery Award-winning author, highlights this heated period of American history with sensitivity and enthusiasm. He adds interest to the familiar story of Rosa Parks by including information on many other key participants, both black and white, who were crucial to the boycott's success. Freedman's clear, fluid prose causes this excellently documented book to read like a novel. Compelling photographs of significant people and events are placed on almost every page. This book is a must for public and school library collections.
Children's Literature - Meredith Kiger
Written by an acclaimed author of nonfiction for young readers, this well-researched account of the Montgomery bus boycott is a must-read for students in the upper elementary grades and middle school. The account sets the stage for the boycott by reviewing what life was like for blacks living in the South in the 1950s. The author uses personal accounts of various citizen participants as well as Rosa Parks and Martin Luther King, Jr., providing powerful words and experiences for readers. The numerous black-and-white photos make it seem like this event occurred long ago, but many teachers will have actually lived through this turbulent time and can relate to it. Students today need to be informed of the courage of others and the struggles overcome to appreciate the freedoms that they do have today. A bibliography and sources for the many quotes in the book are included. The eyewitness accounts bring this story to life.
School Library Journal - School Library Journal
Gr 4-6-Freedman begins this outstanding history by reminding his audience that the injustices of racial segregation did not happen that long ago in the United States. Throughout the book, he gives accounts of how much coordination and sacrifice went into conducting the Montgomery Bus Boycott-far more than students are likely to imagine from the usual popular and oversimplified versions offered in textbooks and on television. There is a refreshing emphasis on depictions of regular people and forgotten local crusaders working together to make the boycott possible and triumphant, from inspiring descriptions of drivers getting up at dawn to take others to work to accounts of well-known civil-rights lawyers working to find the right plaintiff to challenge unjust laws. Freedman's prose style pulls readers into the narrative, integrating the actual recorded words and deeds of the people to tell the story. The high-quality, black-and-white photographs range from everyday scenes of African-American boycotters meeting, waiting for carpools, and protesting to representations of more famous figures, such as Rosa Parks, Martin Luther King, Jr., etc. Extensive chapter notes, an annotated selected bibliography, and a thorough index round out the exemplary presentation. Pair this volume with Ann Bausum's Freedom Riders (National Geographic) and Nikki Giovanni's Rosa (Holt, both 2005) for a powerful introduction to the Civil Rights Movement.-Michael Santangelo, Brooklyn Public Library, NY Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.
Kirkus Reviews
Beginning with the story of a college professor's frightening experience on a Montgomery bus, Freedman brings this oft-told story to an audience ready to move beyond the popular legend. Civil-rights activist E.D. Nixon was looking for the best person to be the standard-bearer in a constitutional challenge to the segregated bus system of Montgomery, Ala. Though several others had been confronted or arrested on the buses, Rosa Parks was the perfect choice. Intelligent and quiet, the 42-year-old Parks had been involved in civil-rights work for years. Her arrest was used to launch the modern Civil Rights movement, resulting in a successful strike of 381 days and the eventual U.S. Supreme Court ruling that Alabama's bus segregation laws were unconstitutional. Freedman does a masterful job of making a complex point in history-with so many key players and pivotal events-accessible and interesting to a young audience. The focus is on everyday people acting on behalf of what was right, even before they knew it would become a movement, people who became "actors in an historical drama that changed a nation." Clear prose, well-chosen photographs and superb source notes and bibliography make this an essential source on the topic. (map, acknowledgments, index) (Nonfiction. 8-14)

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780823421954
Publisher:
Holiday House, Inc.
Publication date:
11/01/2008
Pages:
112
Sales rank:
61,788
Product dimensions:
7.40(w) x 9.10(h) x 0.30(d)
Lexile:
1110L (what's this?)
Age Range:
10 - 13 Years

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