White Water

White Water


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For a young boy growing up in the segregated south, a town drinking fountain becomes the source of an epiphany.

It’s a scorching hot day, and going into town with Grandma is one of Michael’s favorite things. When the bus pulls up, they climb in and pay their fare, get out, walk to the back door, and climb in again. By the time they arrive in town, Michael’s throat is as dry as a bone, so he runs to the water fountain. But after a few sips, the warm, rusty water tastes bad. Why is the kid at the "Whites Only" fountain still drinking? Is his water clear and refreshingly cool? No matter how much trouble Michael might get into, he’s determined to find out for himself. Based on a transformative experience co-author Michael Bandy had as a boy, this compelling story sheds light on the reality of segregation through a child’s eyes, while showing the powerful awareness that comes from daring to question the way things are.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780763636784
Publisher: Candlewick Press
Publication date: 08/23/2011
Pages: 40
Sales rank: 885,044
Product dimensions: 9.80(w) x 11.50(h) x 0.50(d)
Lexile: 580L (what's this?)
Age Range: 5 - 8 Years

About the Author

Michael S. Bandy caught the writing bug when his third-grade teacher surprised him with a set of Dr. Seuss books. He’s been writing plays, screenplays, and books ever since. He lives in Los Angeles and is involved in a number of children’s charities.

Eric Stein has written for the children’s TV series Star Street and was a supervising producer on the animated special Defenders of Dynatron City. He is also on the dive team at the Aquarium of the Pacific in Long Beach, California, where he swims with sharks almost every weekend.

Shadra Strickland is the illustrator of BIRD, for which she won the Ezra Jack Keats Award and the John Steptoe award, and OUR CHILDREN CAN SOAR, for which she won the NAACP Image Award. She lives in Atlanta, Georgia.

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White Water 4.6 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 5 reviews.
debnance on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Michael is a young black boy who lives in a segregated world, one world for the white people and one for the colored. One day, when Michael is hot and thirsty, he takes a drink from the fountains for black people. The water tasted like ¿nasty, muddy, gritty yuck.¿ He saw a white boy drinking from the white fountain and Michael began to imagine what the white water tasted like. He imagined white water was pure and cold. He could not get the idea that he must try the white water out of his head. Finally, he snuck over to the white fountain and took a sip. It tasted just like the colored water! Michael was caught drinking from the white fountain and he fell down. When he fell, he noticed that the same water pipe brought the same water to both fountains! An epiphany for him.¿The signs over the fountains had put a bad idea in my head. But they were a lie. If they weren¿t real, what else should I question? Maybe there were a lot of things---like that nasty old white water---that weren¿t true. That had nothing to do with nothing. Maybe everything I thought I couldn¿t do was just in my imagination, too. That¿s when I realized---I could do anything. Now I knew. And from that day on, I wouldn¿t let anything stand in my way.¿
nbmars on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Fans of illustrator Shadra Strickland know that not only does she create wonderful pictures, but she associates herself with books of the highest quality. This one is no exception.Authors Bandy and Stein created this story from one of Bandy¿s childhood memories of of being prohibited from drinking from a water fountain reserved for whites only. Set in the South in the early Sixties, White Water tells how a young black child, Michael, hates the taste of the water from the ¿colored¿ water fountain, and becomes obsessed with finding out what ¿white¿ water tastes like. One day he manages to sneak downtown to find out. As he partakes of the forbidden fruit, which tastes as bad as the water he is allowed to drink, a white woman sees him and yells, ¿Boy, you know you don¿t belong here!¿ Michael, startled and afraid, falls, but then has an epiphany:"Lying on the ground, all I could see was the pipe. I¿d never seen it from that angle before. The same pipe fed both fountains! Two fountains. Two signs. But the same water in both!¿ Evaluation: The Emperor¿s New Clothes has nothing on this modern version of a web of lies spun to prop up an artificial system of power, presided over by those who don¿t want the truth to be known. It¿s really a terrific book, and the warm tones of the watercolor-and-ink illustrations add to its considerable appeal. The book is intended for readers from Kindergarten to Grade 3, but I highly recommend it for all ages.
Kcarline143 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Michael takes a bus ride with his grandma to school. He notices a little boy drinking from a "white only" fountain. He dreams about it long afterwards. The next day he tells his grandma he is sick. He takes the bus to town to try it. Then after he drinks it he realizes it is the same water as the "blacks only" fountain. From that day foreward he realizes he can do anything the white man can do.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I love this book, and the gentle way it presents such a complex issue. Perfect for opening discussions about race and historical perspective with young children.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago