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Remember Little Rock: The Time, the People, the Stories


Just over 50 years ago, in Little Rock, Arkansas, nine brave black students stood up for their rights and made history. The integration of Central High School in Little Rock changed the course of education in America forever, and became one of the pivotal points in the Civil Rights Movement.

In Remember Little Rock award-winning author Paul Robert Walker uses eyewitness accounts and on-the-scene news photography to take a fresh look at a time of momentous consequence in U.S. ...

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Just over 50 years ago, in Little Rock, Arkansas, nine brave black students stood up for their rights and made history. The integration of Central High School in Little Rock changed the course of education in America forever, and became one of the pivotal points in the Civil Rights Movement.

In Remember Little Rock award-winning author Paul Robert Walker uses eyewitness accounts and on-the-scene news photography to take a fresh look at a time of momentous consequence in U.S. history. Here, we get the story from all sides: the students directly involved; their fellow students, black and white; parents on both sides; military, police, and government officials. The author uses personal interviews with many of those who attended the 50th anniversary celebration in 2007, and explores what happened, what’s changed, what hasn’t, and why.

This latest addition to National Geographic’s popular Remember series also includes a timeline of the Civil Rights Movement, selected postscripts, a guide to resources, and an extensive index. The foreword to this inspiring book is written by Terrence J. Roberts, Ph.D., one of the Little Rock Nine.

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Editorial Reviews

VOYA - Jennifer McConnel
In an intimate and accessible telling, the story of the battle to integrate Central High School in 1957 Little Rock, Arkansas, is presented through photographs and firsthand accounts from those who were there. This book does not focus exclusively on the famous students known as the "Little Rock Nine," but instead weaves a tapestry of voices from the students and community members who were present for this historic event. The acts committed by segregationists during the first year of integration at Central High School are made even more chilling when presented in the words of not only the victims but also the so-called "silent witnesses," white students who were aware of the battle going on around them yet did not take a stand for either side. Walker does not present the struggle for school integration as an isolated occurrence in the campaign for civil rights. Rather he places the Little Rock Nine within the context of Jim Crow laws, major supreme court decisions governing first the segregation and then the desegregation of public schools, and even the political maneuverings of Arkansas Governor Orval Faubus, the man who used the National Guard to attempt to keep Central High School segregated. Also included in the epilogue is a time line of important events in the American civil rights movement beginning in 1865 and continuing into the present day. The multitude of eyewitness accounts, the poignant photographs, and the contextual background make this text a must-have addition to any classroom or library. Reviewer: Jennifer McConnel
Children's Literature - Heather N. Kolich
In September 1957, nine courageous students attempted to carry out the racial integration of Central High School in Little Rock, Arkansas and initiated a decade-and-a-half long struggle that was crucial in the civil rights movement. Readers meet the nine students on September 4, 1957, the first day they tried to attend classes at Central High School. Arkansas National Guard troops surrounded the school, denying them entry, and an angry mob threatened their safety. Chapter two outlines the history of racial segregation and details the political machinations employed to try to prevent the implementation of the Supreme Court ordered integration of public schools. On September 25, with the armed assistance of the U.S. Army 101st Airborne Division, the "Little Rock Nine" finally attended classes. The same National Guard unit that had denied the black students entry to the school eventually replaced the Army as their protectors. Through the year, teachers and other students offered the nine a wide range of behavior, from immediate acceptance to persistent abuse. In May 1958, the group is only senior graduated with the rest of his class. Arkansas Governor, Orval Faubus, however, continued to resist school integration and closed Little Rock's four public high schools for the 1958-59 school year. Through the quotes, experiences, and reminiscences of the Little Rock Nine and others key to the story, Walker crafts a moving retelling of this amazing story. End matter includes a detailed chronology of events from 1865 to 2008 and postscripts of the nine students and other key figures. Reviewer: Heather N. Kolich
School Library Journal

Gr 5-8

This thoroughly researched and carefully documented look at a pivotal civil rights battle offers fresh insights into the people and events that played out over the course of one school year. What motivated nine black teenagers, commonly referred to as "the Little Rock Nine," to integrate an all-white school in Little Rock, AR, in September 1957 is presented along with the politics of the community, the state, and the nation. The book begins as Elizabeth Eckford prepares for what she believes will be the first day at her new high school and ends nine grueling months later when Ernest Green, the only senior in the group, graduates. Specific students, teachers, members of the military, and other adults are identified and where possible quoted either from primary sources or from background interviews by the author. An introduction by Terrence J. Roberts, PhD, one of the nine students, adds further credence to the material. Carefully selected archival photographs support and clarify the text. An epilogue describes Little Rock's ongoing school integration efforts. An annotated time line of the Civil Rights Movement, selected postscripts on key participants, and quote sources complete this thought-provoking and handsome book.-Carol S. Surges, McKinley Elementary School, Wauwatosa, WI

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781426304026
  • Publisher: National Geographic Society
  • Publication date: 1/13/2009
  • Series: Remember Series
  • Pages: 64
  • Sales rank: 1,049,635
  • Age range: 10 years
  • Lexile: 1150L (what's this?)
  • Product dimensions: 9.20 (w) x 10.30 (h) x 0.40 (d)

Meet the Author

Paul Robert Walker is a former teacher, journalist, and rock musician. He has written more than 20 books, and has been honored by the National Council for Social Studies, the Children’s Book Council and Storytelling World. This is his third book in the Remember series, following on the popularity of Remember Little Bighorn and Remember the Alamo. He lives in Escondido, CA.

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