Thirteen-year-old Billie Simms doesn't think her hometown of Anniston, Alabama, should be segregated, but few of the town's residents share her opinion. So when Billie learns that the Freedom Riders, a group of peace activists riding interstate buses to protest segregation, will be traveling through Anniston on their way to Montgomery, she thinks that maybe change is finally coming and her quiet little town will shed itself of its antiquated views.
But when the bus stops, Anniston residents show just how deep their racism runs. The Freedom Riders will resume their ride to Montgomery and Billie is now faced with a choice: stand idly by in silence or take a stand for what she believes in.
"The story focuses on the events of the day, but also on Billie's growing understanding of her own internalized racism and racial blindness, which brings the story out of the 'we've solved it' past and helps it resonate with children growing up in today's America. Kidd's writing is clear and direct, if not subtle, and he raises many hard questions with nuance and with hope. A brief author's note discusses the historical events in the story and mentions source material and further reading." — Katya Schapiro, School Library Journal
|9 - 13
|Sep 1, 2016
|Albert Whitman & Company