I Am Rosa Parks

I Am Rosa Parks

4.6 3
by Rosa Parks, Jim Haskins, Wil Clay

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When Rosa Parks refused to give up her seat on a bus to a white man on December 1, 1955, she made history. Her brave act sparked the Montgomery, Alabama bus boycott and brought the civil rights movement to national attention. In simple, lively language, Rosa Parks describes her life from childhood to the present and recounts the events that shook the nation. Her story


When Rosa Parks refused to give up her seat on a bus to a white man on December 1, 1955, she made history. Her brave act sparked the Montgomery, Alabama bus boycott and brought the civil rights movement to national attention. In simple, lively language, Rosa Parks describes her life from childhood to the present and recounts the events that shook the nation. Her story is powerful, inspiring and unforgettable.An NCSS-CBC Notable Children's Trade Book in the Field of Social Studies

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Thoughtfully targeting their audience, Parks and Haskins reshape and simplify the events they recounted in Rosa Parks: My Story, making this Easy-to-Read book just that. Incorporating age-appropriate definitions of such concepts as segregation and boycotts, Parks's first-person account laces together brief, straightforward sentences that pack powerful messages: "There was no school bus for us," she writes, describing her childhood. "Sometimes when we walked to school, the bus would go by, carrying the white children. They would laugh at us and throw trash out the window. There was no way to stop them." The book's opening sequence, an account of Parks's pivotal arrest on a Montgomery bus, use dialogue to give the narrative an immediacy and urgency ("Why do you push us black people around?" Parks boldly asks the arresting officer); this is, curiously, the only chapter in which the authors use this technique. Clay's (The House in the Sky) paintings, almost one per page, vary from overdramatized tableaux to subtle reinterpretations of historical photographs. These latter illustrations are particularly effective in bolstering the book's inspiring portrayal of a major civil-rights activist.
Children's Literature - Meredith Kiger
This autobiographical story of a prominent woman in the struggle for civil rights should be in every school library. Nicely written in first person, it tells the story of Rosa Parks, the black woman who refused to give up her seat on the bus to a white customer in Birmingham, Alabama, in the early l960's. Rosa tells of her life growing up in the South and how it felt to be Black in that culture. Following her refusal to give up her seat on the bus, the story recounts the resulting boycott as well as the ensuing struggles for civil rights and the stories of those who lead the battles. Lifelike illustrations add to the balanced portrayal of those turbulent years. One caveat, the date of Rosa's sit-in is omitted and referred to only as "long ago" which may leave some young people thinking that these important events are just history rather than viewing them as part of an ongoing struggle.
School Library Journal
Gr 1-3This brief autobiography introduces readers to Rosa Parks and the Montgomery bus boycott. The subjects of segregation in the South and Parks's experience when she refused to give up her seat set a serious and later, hopeful mood. Told in the first person, the text is powerful, accessible to beginning readers, and succinctly covers the events surrounding the boycott. Best of all, Parks ends on a positive note with the desire that children will learn respect, not hate. A few lines of dialogue, several dates, and the mention of locations put the story in perspective. Clay's watercolor paintings enhance the text. Other good books appropriate for the same age group include David Adler's A Picture Book of Rosa Parks (Holiday, 1993) and Eloise Greenfield's Rosa Parks (HarperCollins, 1995).Mary M. Hopf, Los Angeles Public Library
Kirkus Reviews
I Am Rosa Parks ( PLB Feb. 1997; 48 pp.; 0- 8037-1206-5; PLB 0-8037-1207-3): In the Easy-To-Read series, Parks and Haskins mold for a younger readership the material in their acclaimed Rosa Parks (1992). Unlike most books in the series, this one will require adult prompting for difficult words and ideas, although the language is smoothly simple in most places. The workmanlike black-and-white illustrations complement the story of a quietly courageous heroine.

Product Details

Penguin Young Readers Group
Publication date:
Penguin Young Readers Level 4 Series
Edition description:
Sales rank:
Product dimensions:
6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 0.20(d)
520L (what's this?)
Age Range:
6 - 9 Years

Meet the Author

Rosa Parks also worked with Jim Haskins to write Rosa Parks: My Story (Dial and Puffin), an award-winning book for older readers. Mrs. Parks was awarded the Congressional Medal of Honor in June 1999. She lives in Detroit, Michigan.

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4.5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 2 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Guest More than 1 year ago
I Am Rosa Parks is a children's book that was written by the civil rights activist Rosa Parks. It is a simple book accompanied by pictures that tells the story of Rosa Parks and the segregation of blacks and whites that took place in the late fifties into the sixties. It explains the story of Rosa Parks refusing to sit in the back of the bus and then goes into a brief story of her life as well as the Civil Rights movement. This book is suited to the first to second grade reading level. The sentences are short and simple and help a young child to understand what the Civil Rights movement was all about. Each page is accompanied by an illustration by Wil Clay. These drawings help the reader create a visual image of what was taking place in the South. For example, on the first page of the book there is a black woman drinking from a water fountain labeled 'Colored.' This image shows the reader how blacks were forced under law to separate themselves unfairly from the white people. Rosa Parks defines words for the reader in a very clear manner. 'We had to stay apart from white people everywhere we went. This was called segregation Segregation was the law in the South.'(Parks, 6) She provides the reader with a fundamental understanding of what segregation was and how it affected society and everyday life. One of the main purposes of the book is to explain the story of her bus protest. Rosa had become fed up with the segregation laws that forced blacks to sit in the back of the bus. One day Rosa was forced to give up her seat to a white passenger while riding a bus in Alabama. She decided to go against the law by refusing to give up her seat and was arrested. 'He wanted us to get up and give our seats to white people. But I was tired of doing that. I stayed in my seat.' (Parks, 10) Parks is sharing her opinion that she felt that the treatment of blacks and white should be equal. She was not afraid to protest her opinions and was aware of the consequences. By refusing to give up her seat, she was making an important statement that would soon lead to the Montgomery Bus Boycott. The most interesting thing that the reader will discover when reading this book is that Rosa Parks is extremely modest. She does not take all the credit for the Civil Rights movement and bus boycott. She expresses how many people pulled together to stand up for their rights and put an end to the segregation laws. Parks addresses all of the key leaders of the Civil Rights movement including Martin Luther King, E.D. Nixon, and Jo Ann Robinson and how they brought all of the people together to peacefully protest the racial segregation. In one short portion of the book, Parks gives a brief story of her life from childhood into adulthood. Parks carried her views with her from a very young age when she was taunted by white children in her rural Alabama neighborhood. Even at a young age Rosa took a stand against the unjust treatment from her white peers. It didn't seem fair to her that she had to go to a separate school and ride a separate bus. She explains how the events in her life lead her down the road of not giving up her seat on the bus that day. All her feelings had built up to that point and she just couldn't sit there and take it anymore. The main message that Parks is trying to convey in her book is that children need to grow up without hate in their lives. Prejudice can start at a very young age that children need to learn to respect each other and accept differences. The book does a perfect job explaining that racism should not be tolerated and that the world will become a better place if people stop judging each other by their racial background. The best aspect of the book is the fact that the person who has written it experienced the segregation first hand and lives to tell the story. Rosa Park's influence was extremely strong and her actions have had a long-lasting impact on society today. The author sums up the b