Claudette Colvin: Twice Toward Justice

Claudette Colvin: Twice Toward Justice

by Phillip Hoose
Claudette Colvin: Twice Toward Justice

Claudette Colvin: Twice Toward Justice

by Phillip Hoose


(Not eligible for purchase using B&N Audiobooks Subscription credits)
$11.99  $12.99 Save 8% Current price is $11.99, Original price is $12.99. You Save 8%.
    Qualifies for Free Shipping
    Choose Expedited Shipping at checkout for delivery by Wednesday, March 6
    Check Availability at Nearby Stores

Related collections and offers


NATIONAL BOOK AWARD WINNER AND NEWBERY HONOR BOOK ● Before Rosa Parks, there was 15-year-old Claudette Colvin. Read the first in-depth account of an important yet largely unknown civil rights figure in this multi-award winning, mega-selling biography from the incomparable Phillip Hoose.

“When it comes to justice, there is no easy way to get it. You can't sugarcoat it. You have to take a stand and say, ‘This is not right.’” —Claudette Colvin

On March 2, 1955, an impassioned teenager, fed up with the daily injustices of Jim Crow segregation, refused to give her seat to a white woman on a segregated bus in Montgomery, Alabama. Instead of being celebrated as Rosa Parks would be just nine months later, fifteen-year-old Claudette Colvin found herself shunned by her classmates and dismissed by community leaders. Undaunted, a year later she dared to challenge segregation again as a key plaintiff in Browder v. Gayle, the landmark case that struck down the segregation laws of Montgomery and swept away the legal underpinnings of the Jim Crow South.

Based on extensive interviews with Claudette Colvin and many others, Phillip Hoose presents the first major biography of a remarkable civil rights hero, skillfully weaving her riveting story into the fabric of the historic Montgomery bus boycott and court case that would change the course of American history.

Awards and Praise for Claudette Colvin: Twice Toward Justice
National Book Award Winner
A Newbery Honor Book
A YALSA Award for Excellence in Nonfiction for Young Adults Finalist
A Robert F. Sibert Honor Book 100 Biographies and Memoirs to Read in a Lifetime

“Hoose's book, based in part on interviews with Colvin and people who knew her—finally gives her the credit she deserves.” The New York Times Book Review

“Claudette's eloquent bravery is unforgettable.”The Wall Street Journal

“This inspiring title shows the incredible difference that a single young person can make.” Booklist, starred review

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780312661052
Publisher: Square Fish
Publication date: 12/21/2010
Edition description: Reprint
Pages: 160
Sales rank: 37,150
Product dimensions: 6.05(w) x 9.00(h) x 0.55(d)
Lexile: 1000L (what's this?)
Age Range: 13 - 17 Years

About the Author

Phillip Hoose is an award-winning author of books, essays, stories, songs and articles. Although he first wrote for adults, he turned his attention to children and young adults in part to keep up with his own daughters. Claudette Colvin won a National Book Award and was dubbed a Publishers Weekly Best Book of 2009. He is also the author of Hey, Little Ant, co-authored by his daughter, Hannah, It's Our World, Too!, The Race to Save the Lord God Bird, and We Were There, Too!, a National Book Award finalist. He has received a Jane Addams Children's Book Award, a Christopher Award, and a Boston Globe-Horn Book Award, among numerous honors. He was born in South Bend, Indiana, and grew up in the towns of South Bend, Angola, and Speedway, Indiana. He was educated at Indiana University and the Yale School of Forestry. He lives in Portland, Maine.

Reading Group Guide


Book Discussion Part 1 (HC: pp. 1–75 / TP: pp. 1–71)

1) How did each of the experiences listed below contribute to Claudette's refusal to give up her seat on the bus?

". . . how I learned I should never touch another white person again." (HC and TP: p. 3)
The stories about shopping in downtown Montgomery (HC: pp. 16–18 / TP: pp. 17–18)
Jeremiah Reeves's arrest (HC: pp. 23–25 / TP: pp. 23–26)
Brown v. Board of Education
Miss Nesbit and Miss Lawrence team-teaching Black History Month (HC: pp. 25–27/ TP: pp. 26–29)

2) How and why is Claudette's description of the events leading up to her arrest different from the incident as described in the Montgomery Police Department report?

3) How and why was Claudette's arrest different from the earlier arrests of Geneva Johnson (1946), Viola White and Katie Wingfield (1949), and Edwina and Marshall Johnson (1949)?

4) Why do you think Claudette refused to plead guilty?

5) Reverend H. H. Johnson told Claudette, ". . . I think you just brought the revolution to Montgomery." (HC: p. 35 / TP: p. 37) Do you agree with this? Why or why not?

6) Why do you think Claudette's classmates and neighbors did not treat her as a hero after she was arrested?

7) How was Rosa Parks's arrest both similar to and different from Claudette Colvin's?

8) Claudette Colvin said, "When I heard on the news that it was Rosa Parks, I had several feelings: I was glad an adult had finally stood up to the system, but I felt left out. I was thinking, Hey, I did that months ago and everybody dropped me." (HC: p.61 / TP: p. 67) She goes on to share some ideas about why she thinks the black leaders chose to use Rosa Parks's case as inspiration for the bus boycott rather than her own. What do you think?

Book Discussion Part 2 (HC: pp. 76–10 / TP: pp. 72–101)

1) Claudette Colvin said, "There was a time when I thought I would be the centerpiece of the bus case. I was eager to keep going in court. I had wanted them to keep appealing my case. I had enough self confidence to keep going." (HC: p.63 / TP: p. 67). Only a few months later, the NAACP asked Claudette to participate in another court case. Why do you think they wanted Claudette for the second court case?

2) How were Claudette's two court cases different?

3) Why was courage the number one requirement for plaintiffs?

4) While Claudette practiced for her second day in court, her mother gave her this advice: "If you can even talk to a white person without lowering your eyes you're really doing something." Why did she give Claudette this particular advice? Do you think it was helpful? Why or why not?

5) One of the lawyers for the plaintiffs in Browder v. Gayle said, "If there was a star witness in the boycott case . . . it had to be Claudette Colvin." (HC: p. 88 / TP: pp. 99–100) Reread the description of the testimony, especially Claudette's testimony (pp. 82–88 / TP: pp. 83–85). Why do you think the lawyer called Claudette Colvin the star witness? Do you agree? Why or why not?

6) Why do we call the Montgomery Bus Boycott and Browder v. Gayle successful when the following things occurred?

"Browder v. Gayle may have ended legal segregation on the buses, but it did not end racial prejudice." (HC: p. 97 / TP: p. 109)
"Violence and threats of revenge were everywhere in the first days of integrated buses." (HC: p. 98 / TP: p. 110)
"It was clear that anyone connected to the boycott, anyone whose name or picture had been the paper—was now in grave danger." (HC: p. 98 / TP: p. 110)

7) After the U.S. Supreme Court upheld Browder v. Gayle and the Montgomery Bus Boycott ended, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. thanked Claudette Colvin for serving as a plaintiff in the court case. He then said to her, "You're a brave young lady." Claudette said, "Meeting Dr. King didn't pay my bills or stop people from gossiping about me and Raymond. It sure didn't make me any safer. But I have to say those few words of praise from him on that evening felt very good." (HC: p. 99 / TP: p. 111) Considering how much Claudette had been through and how she felt abandoned by the black leadership in Montgomery and by her community, why would she say that those few kind words, spoken privately to her, after it was all over, "felt very good" and were worth remembering decades later?

From the B&N Reads Blog

Customer Reviews