In this Bank Street College of Education Best Children's Book of the Year, Paula Young Shelton, daughter of Civil Rights activist Andrew Young, brings a child's unique perspective to an important chapter in America's history. Paula grew up in the deep south, in a world where whites had and blacks did not. With an activist father and a community of leaders surrounding her, including Uncle Martin (Martin Luther King), Paula watched and listened to the struggles, eventually joining with her family--and thousands of others--in the historic march from Selma to Montgomery.
Poignant, moving, and hopeful, this is an intimate look at the birth of the Civil Rights Movement.
"*Starred Review* The daughter of civil rights leader Andrew Young remembers her family's active role in the civil rights movement, beginning when she was four years old. In rhythmic free verse she tells how she and her family move from New York to Atlanta, Georgia, to join the struggle ( back to Jim Crow, / where whites could / but blacks could not ), and how Dr. King and other leaders become a warm personal presence in her home, close because we all struggled together. When her family is refused entry to a restaurant, she sits down and cries loudly, my very first protest, my own little sit-in. Colón's dramatic, full-page pencil-and-wash illustrations in his signature style include portraits of famous figures as well as Paula and her sisters, hiding under tables and listening to adults in heated debate. Finally, in the story's climax, Paula and her family are part of the triumphant march from Selma to Montgomery. Many adults will want to talk about their memories of the time, and kids will appreciate the child's intimate viewpoint of world-changing history. Appended biographical notes offer more information about the leaders introduced in the text as well as a brief bibliography.--Rochman, Hazel Copyright 2010 Booklist"
From Booklist, Copyright (c) American Library Association. Used with permission.
Publisher's Weekly Review:
"In her debut picture book, Shelton, a daughter of Andrew Young (activist, politician, and former U.N. ambassador), taps into her memories and those of her father, two older sisters, and others to offer a child's perspective of "the family of the civil rights movement." She recalls her parents, native Southerners, moving their family from New York to Georgia to help combat erupting racial violence ("At first, I thought Jim Crow was a big black crow/ that squawked whenever a black person/ tried to get a good seat"). Shelton smoothly threads together personal anecdotes: being turned away from a restaurant; listening from under the table as her parents, Martin Luther King Jr., and other activists gather ("With everyone trying to talk at once,/ I thought they sounded just like/ instruments tuning up before a concert"); and participating as a four-year-old in the Selma-Montgomery march. Colon's (As Good as Anybody) soft-focus art features his customarily rich textural backdrop of speckles, scratches, and waves. Both contributors evoke the drama and emotion of the times (while avoiding the violence) and a triumphal sense of community and family. Ages 4-8. (Dec.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved"
(c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved