Rosa Park’s legendary 1955 bus (photo right) protest in Montgomery, Alabama is a story I thought I knew well. But until I read this book, I had no idea that 15 year old Claudette Colvin had already done something remarkably similar nine months earlier. So why is Rosa’s story so well known, when Claudette’s is not? The background to Claudette’s omission from the history books is just as intriguing as her defiant stand against the humiliating Jim Crow laws of that time.
Author Phillip Hoose alternates his voice with Claudette’s own, crafting a powerful narrative backed by thorough research. Illustrations have been well chosen to set the story in its place and time. This book goes a long way towards restoring Claudette to her rightful place in the history of the American black civil rights movement. Recommended.
Here’s an interview with Phillip in which he talks about his motivation for writing it: http://www.nationalbook.org/nba2009_ypl_hoose_interv.html
review by Pamela
Flickr image by Maia C