Ruth and the Green Book
by Ramsey, Calvin Alexander; Cooper, Floyd (ILT)






When Ruth and her parents take a motor trip from Chicago to Alabama to visit her grandma, they rely on a pamphlet called "The Green Book" to find places that will serve them; a real guide, "The Green Book" was published for decades to aid African-American travelers as they faced prejudice on the roads across the country. Includes facts about "The Green Book."





In this powerful picture book, Atlanta playwright Ramsey tells a 1950s story from "unknown pages in African American history." Cooper's glowing, unframed, sepia-toned artwork delivers a strong sense of the period from a child's viewpoint. Driving with her parents from Chicago to Grandma's house in Alabama, Ruth is excited until the family is refused access to the restroom at a service station. They face more bitter realities of segregation when they sleep in the car because they are turned away from hotels. The double-page spreads show the hurt, anger, and scariness of the "No Vacancy" signs, but words and images also capture moments of peace, as Ruth sings and feels safe with her loving parents as they drive across the country. Then they are welcomed at an Esso station, where they get a copy of the pamphlet called The Negro Motorist Green Book, which lists places where black people are welcome. A joyful reunion with Grandma brings the book to a warm close. With a long final note about The Green Book, this is a compelling addition to U.S. history offerings. Copyright 2010 Booklist Reviews.





In the early 1950s, newly built interstate highways invited Americans to travel by automobile, but the open road wasn't so open for African-Americans, especially in the South. Ramsey drives this truth home in this story of the journey of a family traveling from Chicago to Alabama by car. "It was a BIG day at our house when Daddy drove up in our very own automobile-a 1952 Buick!...I was so excited to travel across the country!" Ruth's family encounters many of the obstacles that existed, from whites-only restrooms in gas stations to whites-only hotels: "It seemed like there were 'White Only' signs everywhere outside of our Chicago neighborhood." The Negro Motorist Green Book comes to the rescue, listing resources for black motorists in every state, and Ruth and her family make their way from safe haven to safe haven until they reach Alabama. Cooper masterfully captures the emotions of the characters, filling his pages with three-dimensional individuals. This story touches on a little-known moment in American history with elegance, compassion and humanity. (historical note) (Picture book. 7-12)

Copyright Kirkus 2010 Kirkus/BPI Communications.All rights reserved.






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