Mention the civil rights era in Alabama, and most people recall images of terrible violence. Read more...
Mention the civil rights era in Alabama, and most people recall images of terrible violence. But something different was happening in Huntsville. For the citizens of that city, creativity, courage, and cooperation were the keys to working together to integrate their city and schools in peace. In an engaging celebration of this lesser-known chapter in American and African-American history, author Hester Bass and illustrator E. B. Lewis show children how racial discrimination, bullying, and unfairness can be faced successfully with perseverance and ingenuity.
- ISBN-13: 9780763669195
- ISBN-10: 0763669199
- Publisher: Candlewick Press (MA)
- Publish Date: January 2015
- Page Count: 32
- Reading Level: Ages 5-8
Books > Juvenile Nonfiction > Social Topics - Prejudice & Racism
Books > Juvenile Nonfiction > People & Places - United States - African-American
Books > Juvenile Nonfiction > History - United States/20th Century
Publishers Weekly® Reviews
- Reviewed in: Publishers Weekly, page .
- Review Date: 2014-11-17
- Reviewer: Staff
A small girl sits on a chair in a store, solemnly holding a piece of paper with the outlines of her feet drawn on it. This is how African Americans shopped for shoes in Huntsville, Ala., prior to the civil rights movement, because their feet weren’t allowed inside shoes that might be touched by whites. It’s one of many indelible vignettes in this engrossing and heart-wrenching history from the duo behind The Secret World of Walter Anderson, which culminates in Huntsville’s schools being the first to integrate in the state. Bass’s forthright, passionate prose and Lewis’s searing, expansively imagined watercolors take readers to a time and place when the New Frontier’s rockets (Huntsville was a NASA field center) heralded American exceptionalism and pride, while bigotry and discrimination were justified as “just the way it is.” As Bass and Lewis show, once the “seeds of freedom” took root, there was no turning back; when ordinary people were willing to speak truth to power and risk everything for justice, they changed the world. Unflinchingly honest and jubilantly hopeful, this is nonfiction storytelling at its best. Ages 5–8. (Jan.)