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Tuesday, March 03, 2009

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

Freedom Walkers
You may have heard of Rosa Parks and Martin Luther King, Jr.
However, do the names Jo Ann Robinson and Claudette Colvin sound familiar? One was an English professor and the other was a teenager who just happen to be riding a bus at the wrong place and time. The title might be a little misleading, because this book is not just about a bus boycott. It is about freedom and the injustices that went on in the not-too-distant past. What the award-winning author does is use real people. He uses their full names and ages to convey what they had to go through in order to stand up for freedom. The black-and-white photographs are used to enhance this compelling story. Some of the photographs are so special and unique that they come with permission to be reprinted from the Smithsonian Institute.

One of the interesting facts in this book is that Martin Luther King Jr. was in a courtroom for another case when the verdict came in from the Supreme Court that the Alabama bus segregation laws were unconstitutional. It is hard to imagine that the boycott lasted over one year (381 days). Freedman's excellent bibliographic essay shows how organized they made the boycott. Both boys and girls ages nine to eleven will get a lot from this book. They might even vote for this 2010 Rebecca Caudill nominee.

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