4.0 6
by Nikki Giovanni, Bryan Collier

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She had not sought this moment but she was ready for it. When the policeman bent down to ask "Auntie, are you going to move?" all the strength of all the people through all those many years joined in her. She said, "No."

An inspiring account of an event that shaped American history

Fifty years after her refusal to give up her seat on a

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She had not sought this moment but she was ready for it. When the policeman bent down to ask "Auntie, are you going to move?" all the strength of all the people through all those many years joined in her. She said, "No."

An inspiring account of an event that shaped American history

Fifty years after her refusal to give up her seat on a Montgomery, Alabama, city bus, Mrs. Rosa Parks is still one of the most important figures in the American civil rights movement. This picture- book tribute to Mrs. Parks is a celebration of her courageous action and the events that followed.

Award-winning poet, writer, and activist Nikki Giovanni's evocative text combines with Bryan Collier's striking cut-paper images to retell the story of this historic event from a wholly unique and original perspective.
Rosa is a 2006 Caldecott Honor Book and the winner of the 2006 Coretta Scott King Illustrator Award.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Giovanni (The Sun Is So Quiet) and Collier (Uptown) offer a moving interpretation of Rosa Parks's momentous refusal to give up her bus seat. The author brings her heroine very much to life as she convincingly imagines Parks's thoughts and words while she rode the bus on December 1, 1955 ("She was not frightened. She was not going to give in to that which was wrong"), pointing out that Mrs. Parks was in the neutral section of the bus and (as some fellow riders observe) "She had a right to be there." The author and poet lyrically rephrases what the heroine herself has frequently said, "She had not sought this moment, but she was ready for it." After Mrs. Parks's arrest, the narrative's focus shifts to the 25 members of the Women's Political Council, who met secretly to stage the bus boycott. Inventively juxtaposing textures, patterns, geometric shapes and angles, Collier's watercolor and collage art presents a fitting graphic accompaniment to the poetic text. After viewing an image of Martin Luther King, Jr., encouraging a crowd to walk rather than ride the buses, readers open a dramatic double-page foldout of the Montgomery masses walking for nearly a year before the Supreme Court finally ruled that segregation on buses was illegal. A fresh take on a remarkable historic event and on Mrs. Parks's extraordinary integrity and resolve. Ages 5-up. (Sept.) Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.
Children's Literature - April Steele
Rosa Parks, a seamstress living in Montgomery Alabama in the 1950s, begins a courageous journey by just saying, "No"—a word, of course, that sparks the Civil Rights Movement. Rosa Parks's work as a seamstress gets especially busy during the holidays. On the first of December, because Rosa is ahead of schedule, she leaves work early. Once she pays her bus fare, she proceeds to the back of the bus, or the colored section, as the law requires. However, because she finds no space in the colored section, she sits in the neutral section where both whites and blacks may sit. Several stops later, the bus driver asks Rosa and the other black riders sitting around her to give up their seats for white people. All of the other riders give up their seats; Rosa refuses, which results in her arrest and a city-wide protest of the bus system in support of Rosa's courage. The people of Montgomery Alabama decide to walk everywhere for a year. On November 13, 1956, the Supreme Court changes the laws to agree with the ruling already in place in schools: that segregation is wrong, on buses, in schools, and everywhere else, thanks to Rosa's brave act. Nikki Giovanni tells the story of a daring refusal that sparks a revolution and of a woman whose quiet determination changes American history. Bryan Collier adds to the effect by using watercolors that bring the world of Rosa Parks to life and displays the feel of the heat of the yellow sun in every page. Reviewer: April Steele
Children's Literature
What would happen if you were made to give up your seat on a bus simply because of the color of your skin? That is what happened to Rosa Parks, a black woman in the southern town of Montgomery, Alabama, on December 1, 1955. When she refused to give up a seat that was supposed to be neutral—for blacks or whites—the bus driver called the police. The police arrested Mrs. Parks and took her to jail. When Jo Ann Robinson, a member of the Women's Political Council, heard of the arrest, she formed a committee that put up posters all over the town, urging black people to walk instead of riding the bus. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. spoke to them as part of a large group that had joined together in the fight for equality. This was a country that was founded by a diverse group of people, and every citizen deserved equal treatment and Dr. King urged all blacks to stay off the buses. People from all over the country sent them shoes, coats, and money so they could continue to walk for almost a year—until the United States Supreme Court ruled on November 13, 1956, that segregation in any form was illegal. This would be a good book for an elementary social-studies class. The author explains the situation in simple terms for young children. The illustrator has emphasized the strength of Rosa Parks in his use of dark and light images. 2005, Henry Holt and Company, Ages 7 to 10.
—Debbie West
School Library Journal
Gr 3-5-Rosa Parks's personal story moves quickly into a summary of the Civil Rights movement in this striking picture book. Parks is introduced in idealized terms. She cares for her ill mother and is married to "one of the best barbers in the county." Sewing in an alterations department, "Rosa Parks was the best seamstress. Her needle and thread flew through her hands like the gold spinning from Rumpelstiltskin's loom." Soon the story moves to her famous refusal to give up her seat on the bus, but readers lose sight of her as she waits to be arrested. Giovanni turns to explaining the response of the Women's Political Caucus, which led to the bus boycott in Montgomery. A few events of the movement are interjected-the Supreme Court decision in Brown v. Board of Education, the aftermath and reactions to the murder of Emmett Till, the role of Martin Luther King, Jr., as spokesperson. Collier's watercolor and collage scenes are deeply hued and luminous, incorporating abstract and surreal elements along with the realistic figures. Set on colored pages, these illustrations include an effective double foldout page with the crowd of successful walkers facing a courthouse representing the 1956 Supreme Court verdict against segregation on the buses. Many readers will wonder how it all went for Parks after her arrest, and there are no added notes. Purposeful in its telling, this is a handsome and thought-provoking introduction to these watershed acts of civil disobedience.-Margaret Bush, Simmons College, Boston Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.
Kirkus Reviews
Rosa Parks sat. "She had not sought this moment, but she was ready for it." When she refused to move out of the neutral section of her bus to make way for white passengers, she sparked the Montgomery bus boycott. She was tired of putting white people first. Giovanni's lyrical text and Collier's watercolor-and-collage illustrations combine for a powerful portrayal of a pivotal moment in the civil-rights movement. The art complements and extends the text, with visual references to Emmett Till, the Edmund Pettus Bridge and Martin Luther King, Jr. The yellowish hue of the illustrations represents the Alabama heat, the light emanating from Rosa Parks's face a shining beacon to all who would stand up for what's right. A dramatic foldout mural will make this important work even more memorable. An essential volume for classrooms and libraries. (Picture book. 5+)

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Henry Holt and Co. (BYR)
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