A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this book.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that amid this award-nominated, inspirational history lesson there are mentions of upsetting violence: stories of women being raped by men in the segregated South; several teens are arrested; a girl becomes pregnant by a much older, married man; and a teen is wrongly convicted of a crime and sentenced to die. There are also several bombings of homes and churches.
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What's the story?
Claudette Colvin stood up to the unfairness of the Jim Crow laws months before Rosa Parks, yet history has largely forgotten all about her. Before Parks refused to give up her seat, 15-year-old Colvin stood firm and was dragged off the bus, handcuffed, and thrown into adult prison. Her story should have been a rallying point for the civil rights movement, but Colvin was instead largely criticized and labeled "emotional" because of her stand. Despite personal problems, alienation from peers and adults, and intimidation Colvin did whatever she could to stand up for her rights and the rights of African Americans.
Is it any good?
Phillip Hoose captured the feel of the civil rights movement and personal story of Claudette Colvin in this easy to read, highly engaging work. Visually, the novel is stunning with photos, newspaper clippings, maps, and side bars of information that take you into the heart of Alabama, the Montgomery Bus Boycott, and Colvin's life. Her story is not just told through Hoose's research and Colvin's own words, it's told from different perspectives of her friends, family, and those involved with the dramatic story.
The book goes into such great detail, readers can feel Claudette's pain, alienation, and sense of justice. This is an excellent novel to accompany any civil rights study and one of those stories of forgotten history that renews interest in the movement as a whole.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about embracing your features. Claudette embraced her natural hair when straight hair was more desired and the norm. What is considered the beauty ideal now? What do you embrace about yourself that other people may not support?
Families can also talk about standing up for injustice. While institutionalized segregation no longer exists, there are other injustices that need attention. Can you name a few? How can you help bring awareness and work to stop the problems?
Does racism still exist in America? If yes, can you name specific examples? What can you do about it?
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