Freedom Walkers : The Story of the Montgomery Bus Boycott
by Freedman, Russell






When Rosa Parks refused to give up her seat on the bus to a white man, a movement was set in motion that led to other nonviolent boycotts, marches, and walks-resulting in the civil rights movement and major social changes throughout the nation.





Russell Freedman (1929-2018) transformed non-fiction for children through his insightful narrative, comprehensive research, careful selection of photographs, and deep understanding of his subject matter. He was well known for his riveting biographies and masterful accounts of the history of the United States. One of the most honored writers for children, his many awards include the Newbery Medal, three Newbery Honor Medals, the Laura Ingalls Wilder Award, the May Hill Arbuthnot Honor Lecture Award and a National Humanities Medal. Major works include Freedom Walkers, Lincoln: A Photobiography, Because They Marched, The Wright Brothers: How They Invented The Airplane. 





/*Starred Review*/ As Freedman points out, the Montgomery Bus Boycott was a triumphant historical event, and there are numerous memoirs, articles, and scholarly works, for adults and for young readers, about the leaders and the ordinary heroes. In his signature clear prose, Freedman draws on the best of those personal stories and historical accounts to provide a dramatic overview of how the 381-day resistance to segregated buses spearheaded the civil rights movement. He brings close the experience of what it was like to be there, on the bus and on the street. With the eloquent accounts of the legendary heroes-Rosa Parks, Martin Luther King and more-are the stories of other important activists, including Jo Ann Robinson (president of the Women's Political Council) and teenager Claudette Colvin, as well as the lawyers and politicians. The photo-essay design is attractive and spacious. On every spread, readers will find beautifully reproduced black-and-white photos, including famous pictures as well as a few not often seen, including a picture of a leaflet urging boycott. Suggest Diane McWhorter's A Dream of Freedom (2004) and Ellen Levin's Freedom's Children (1993) to readers who will want to find out more. Freedman provides fully documented chapter notes and an excellent bibliographic essay. ((Reviewed September 15, 2006)) Copyright 2006 Booklist Reviews





Beginning with the story of a college professor's frightening experience on a Montgomery bus, Freedman brings this oft-told story to an audience ready to move beyond the popular legend. Civil-rights activist E.D. Nixon was looking for the best person to be the standard-bearer in a constitutional challenge to the segregated bus system of Montgomery, Ala. Though several others had been confronted or arrested on the buses, Rosa Parks was the perfect choice. Intelligent and quiet, the 42-year-old Parks had been involved in civil-rights work for years. Her arrest was used to launch the modern Civil Rights movement, resulting in a successful strike of 381 days and the eventual U.S. Supreme Court ruling that Alabama's bus segregation laws were unconstitutional. Freedman does a masterful job of making a complex point in history-with so many key players and pivotal events-accessible and interesting to a young audience. The focus is on everyday people acting on behalf of what was right, even before they knew it would become a movement, people who became "actors in an historical drama that changed a nation." Clear prose, well-chosen photographs and superb source notes and bibliography make this an essential source on the topic. (map, acknowledgments, index) (Nonfiction. 8-14) Copyright Kirkus 2006 Kirkus/BPI Communications. All rights reserved.






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