Paula Young Shelton, daughter of Civil Rights activist Andrew Young, brings a child's unique perspective to an important chapter in America's history. Paula grew up in the deep south, in a world where whites had and blacks did not. With an activist father and a community of leaders surrounding her, including Uncle Martin (Martin Luther King), Paula watched and listened to the struggles, eventually joining with her family--and thousands of others--in the historic march from Selma to Montgomery.
Poignant, moving, and hopeful, this is an intimate look at the birth of the Civil Rights Movement."Many adults will want to talk about their memories of the time, and kids will appreciate the child’s intimate viewpoint of world-changing history." -- Booklist
For more stories about girls and women involved in the Civil Rights Movement, visit our special feature on the Top Mighty Girl Books on Civil Rights History.
"When the author was a child, her father, Andrew Young, was a leader in the Civil Rights Movement. Her first picture book beautifully captures her childhood during those events that radically changed America. One episode recalls Shelton's unique contribution to the integration of restaurants. When white owners refused to seat her family, Shelton sat down and cried loudly, an action she calls "my very first protest, my own little sit-in." With this incident, she helps modern children understand the hurtful effects of segregation. Shelton also recalls how the movement united its leaders. The Youngs, the Kings, and other activists became like family because they "were brought together by a common goal."
This positive tone prevails throughout the book, which ends with the passage of the Voting Rights Act of 1965. Colón's luminous watercolors effectively underscore the text's optimistic viewpoint, imbuing scenes of struggle with light that represents the activists' hope for positive results. The book therefore balances honesty about the challenges of the movement with the hope that inspired activists to continue their efforts. An author's note explains how Shelton does not always remember conversations verbatim, but draws on her family's shared memories. The back matter includes information about the leaders who are mentioned. History comes alive in this vivid account." -- School Library Journal
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