Sunday, February 28, 2016

Black History Month: Child of the Civil Rights Movement

Paula Young Shelton has crafted a story of the Civil Rights Movement that tells a beautiful story. And why shouldn't she...she is the daughter of Civil Rights activist Andrew Young.

What she brings to this story is the unique perspective of a child. A child whose parents left the South for a better life in NYC, but who decide that they need to move back south after hearing about the "bad" laws and the Freedom Riders.

This picture books has "chapters" that help the reader flow more easily through the timeframe of the book.

The little girl's first sit-in in at a restaurant in Atlanta where she cries loudly because they will not let her sit at the counter.

Her family and many others get together and have meals together at their homes - but sometimes in the few restaurants for blacks. They talk about the walk from Selma to Montgomery. I love the language used to describe all the people talking at once...

          With everyone trying to talk at once, I thought they sounded
          just like instruments tuning up before a concert.

Each person's voice is compared to a different person...everyone except "Uncle Martin."

The story ends with MLK standing over LBJ's shoulder watching him sign the Voting Rights Act of 1965.

This is a lovely story for students since it is told from a child's perspective.

Teacher Resources:

American History Teacher

Children's Museum