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Rosa

by Nikki Giovanni
Illustrated by Bryan Collier

Published by Henry Holt, 2005
32 pages
ISBN: 0805071067

Ages 6-10

Nikki Giovanni’s tribute to Rosa Parks grounds Parks’s legendary stand against racism in believable details that reveal a hardworking woman who was ready for change. The story opens with Rosa at work at her seamstress job. “Some days she would skip lunch to finish on time.” But she left early on December 1, 1955, and at the bus stop “she fiddled in her pocket for the dime so that she would not have to ask for change.” Giovanni’s narrative covers the tense moments that saw Rosa refusing to give up her seat and then waiting for the arrest that she knew was inevitable. And it describes what happened next when the black people of Montgomery heard about Rosa’s arrest: the members of the Women’s Political Council who used the stencil maker, printer, and paper of Alabama State University without permission to make posters, and the boycott that thrust Martin Luther King, Jr., into the forefront of the Civil Rights Movement. Bryan Collier’s distinctive paintings are full of powerful images, not the least of which is the light-filled face of Rosa Parks.  © Cooperative Children's Book Center


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