Author: Russell Freedman
Publisher: Holiday House
Many people know something about the Montgomery bus boycott, but not many people know the details. This book explains what happened them in great detail. There are chapters in the beginning about specific people, such as Rosa Parks, Martin Luther King, Jr., and Jo Ann Robinson. Then in the middle, the book starts talking about groups and acts by both the white council and the boycotters. The book has a lot of black and white photographs in it relating to either things that already happened or things that the book is talking about at the moment. It is a little confusing at first, but it becomes less unusual as the book proceeds. The author does not hesitate to add the violent part of the civil rights movement, which I think is good, because kids need to know that it wasn’t all simple, that people got hurt and died in the fight for freedom. It’s a really inspiring story about how people decided that they weren’t going to get pushed around anymore, after so many years, and just stopped riding the buses.
The story starts with the laws. In the south, they were called “Jim Crow” laws. They kept African-Americans from doing many things and allowed segregation, which is the separation of two different skin colors or races. For example, on the buses African-Americans were not allowed to sit in the first ten seats, even if none of them were taken. And when a white was in need of a seat an African-American had to give up his or her seat, no matter what the circumstances were. Even if a senior African-American citizen had to stand up the bus driver would make them or else they would be taken to jail for a day or they could pay the fine. Today a five dollar fine wouldn’t be much, but it was back then, especially when some people earned that much in a week. I think the most important people in the book were Martin Luther King, Jr., Rosa Parks, and E.D. Nixon.
I think that the closest book to this one was The Notorious Benedict Arnold. The book wasn’t boring like most people take a history book to be, yet it was very informative. This is written by very skilled author who has won many awards for his many works of literature, and I see why. Other than this one, he has written seven history books, all about American history. The author knows the fine line between informative and boring. I definitely think the author should write more about the civil rights movement. I would recommend this book to ages twelve and up.
Posted by: Fred Reads