The bus boycott was NOT the beginning!

Summary:

There is one universal depiction of Mrs. Rosa Parks. A Black woman who defiantly refused to give up her bus seat to a white man. For many (if not most) people, that one moment in time is all they know of a woman who was, in fact, a lifelong activist. She was involved with - and held office in - the NAACP; she marched with Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and she participated in myriad rallies and protests. Publicly, Mrs. Park's decision that day brought change: her treatment sparked a boycott that lasted 381 days and ultimately brought about desegregation. It was a difficult journey for everyone, but especially particularly Mrs. Parks, the "face" of the boycott. Mr. and Mrs. Parks ultimately left Alabama and moved to Detroit, MI, only to experience much of the same bigotry they thought they left behind. This biography delineates not just Rosa Parks' 60 years of activism but offers readers more personal information - her hopes, dreams, failures, and successes. 


Parent Perspective:
This is an invaluable resource and a must-read for anyone who is interested in or studies the Civil Rights and Women's Rights movements. The focus of the book is her dedicated activism against racism and segregation, but it is also clear that she was denied opportunities because of sexism, and was simultaneously fighting for her rightful place as an intelligent, capable leader.

The book is identified as being for grades 7 and up. The writing is completely accessible for this group, and the liberal use of photographs, journal excerpts, etc. helps move the book along. Even so, it is quite dense, not just in word count but in subject matter, as well. Not every 12-year-old is ready to handle the kinds of hatred and violence described. Because of its length, some content is repeated which, frankly, I found unnecessary and annoying.

Overall, this is a fascinating, invaluable, and important read. Mrs. Parks deserves more than the trite - and inaccurate - depictions of her that flow from the Montgomery Bus Boycott. That said, the YA version of the book is more likely to be read for school than as leisure reading. 


Reader Enjoyment Factors:

Travel back in time to meet people you *think* you know and be immersed in the behind-the-scenes of the birth of the Civil Rights Movement. Narrative and imagery will challenge what you think you know and keep you reading to learn more.

Content Awareness Factors:

Described violence and derogatory racial slurs.


Type of Book:
This is a full-life biography of Mrs. Rosa Parks that illustrates her full life of activism and role in the Civil Rights Movement.
Educational Themes:

The biography focuses on Mrs. Rosa Parks' life, but readers are fully immersed in how the Civil Rights Movement began, as well as the "politics" within the Movement that affected choices and decisions. There is a lot to explore in the dichotomy of Rosa Parks public figure, Rosa Parks activist (treatment by her peers in various organizations), and Rosa Parks wife and daughter.

Reading Level:
unknown
Recommended Age To Read By Yourself:
13 and Up
Recommended Age To Read Together:
12 and Up
Purchase Recommendation:
Borrow. There is a lot of information and inspiration, but it is not likely a book you will read more than once.

Title The Rebellious Life of Mrs. Rosa Parks: Adapted for Young People
Author Brandy Colbert, Jeanne Theoharis
Publisher Beacon Press © 2021
ISBN 9780807067574
Material Paperback
Cost $18.28
Genres Biography, History, Social Issues
Cybils
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