Title: Boycott Blues: How Rosa Parks Inspired a Nation
Author: Andrea Davis Pinkney
Illustrator: Brian Pinkney
ATOS Book Level: 2.9
Concepts: boycott, discrimination
Review: This book tells the story of Rosa Parks and the Montgomery bus boycott in a way that is engaging to young children. The story is narrated by a guitar-toting, blues-playing dog, whose lyrical voice is part poetry, part sing-song, and part didactic narrative. The Jim Crow laws are portrayed as a bony, mean-spirited bird pecking at Rosa Parks and others fighting for civil rights. The unique illustrations add to the ambience of the book with their sweeping brushstrokes of blacks and dark blues reinforcing the oppression in the South under Jim Crow and the blue spirits of those met with injustice.
The book ends with an author's note fully explaining the historical context of the narrative. Children reading this book will see how the act of boycotting a 10-cent bus ride can have far-reaching implications for a nation. They will be inspired by Rosa Parks and the others who participated in the bus boycott for more than 300 days, despite personal inconvenience, in their quest for justice.
Review by: Rutgers University Project on Economics and Children