Boycott Blues: How Rosa Parks Inspired a Nation

Title: Boycott Blues: How Rosa Parks Inspired a Nation 20140402_112912

Author: Andrea Davis Pinkney

Illustrator: Brian Pinkney

Publisher and Year: HarperCollins Publishers, 2008

Number of pages: 34

Genre: Non-fiction

Descriptive Annotation: Boycott Blues tells the story of Rosa Parks and how her bravery led to the bus boycott. Rosa Parks refused to give up her seat to a white male. She was escorted off the bus and arrested. Martin Luther King Jr. riled up a crowd of people and stated that if they won’t give us equality, we won’t ride the bus and give them our money. Both black people and some white people walked and walked with tired feet for almost a year before black people were allowed some of the same rights as white people. What makes this story different from other stories about this topic is that it is told by a dog-tired hound to symbolize the walkers’ tired, aching, “won’t-stop feet.” This book also refers to all authority figures as Jim Crow. The author depicts Jim Crow as an evil bird that flaps its bony wings and pecks on those that go against the law. This book does a great job of sharing the evils of discrimination. The illustrations are absolutely stunning. The illustrator paints the powerful moments in warm colors and paints all other moments in blue and other cool colors. In the author’s note, the author explains that she wanted to use blue to represent both the hope and struggles of people. Students will need to know some background information on Rosa Parks before reading this book.20140402_112937

Linguistic and Cultural Diversity Analysis: You could use this book to discuss the discrimination and struggles black people faced and why they felt so strongly about the bus boycott. The text flows in a dramatic way and contains some large words, which would make this book a good fit for middle elementary students.

Interdisciplinary Connections: You could read this book during a social science lesson on Rosa Parks, the bus boycott, or the Civil Rights Movement. You could also have your students write about what they would do in Rosa Parks’ shoes, or what think it would be like to walk for so many days.

Other Information: This book tells the story of Rosa Parks in a way I have never read before. Before reading, you could read the author’s note at the back of the book to give students context for the story. For a closure activity, you could have your students read other books about Rosa Parks and compare and contrast the details in both books.

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