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The Civil Rights Movement

Black & WhiteBrimner, Larry Dane Black & White
High school 112 pp. Boyds/Calkins 2011

Brimner’s well-researched text, centered on Birmingham, Alabama, chronicles the often bloody confrontations between the forces of freedom fighter Reverend Fred Shuttlesworth and segregationist Eugene “Bull” Connor. Sidebars include additional historical details (e.g., Emmett Till’s murder, McCarthyism). Many well-captioned archival photographs and pull-quotes enhance the presentation. Reading list. Ind.
Subjects: Government/Economics/and Education; Race relations; Civil rights; African Americans; Prejudices; Violence; Alabama; Clergy

We MarchEvans, Shane W. We March
Gr. K-3 32 pp. Roaring Brook/Porter 2012

A mother and father rouse their children from bed, pray at their local church, board a bus, march on the Mall, and listen to Dr. King speak at the Lincoln Memorial during the March on Washington. Small touches clearly anchor the story within the experiences of a child, while quietly dramatic full-bleed, double-page illustrations bring context to the minimalist text.
Subjects: Government/Economics/and Education; Washington (DC); Race relations; African Americans; Civil rights; King, Martin Luther, Jr.; Activism

We've Got a JobLevinson, Cynthia We’ve Got a Job: The 1963 Birmingham Children’s March
Middle school 176 pp. Peachtree 2012

Levinson does a superb job demonstrating just how difficult it was for the leaders of the civil rights movement to create a movement at all. When adults didn’t take to the streets in great enough numbers, children volunteered. The narrative focuses on four young African Americans; clear and lively writing, well-chosen photos, and thorough documentation make this a fine chronicle of the era. Bib., ind.
Subjects: Government/Economics/and Education; Birmingham (AL); Alabama; African Americans; Children; Civil rights

Today the World Is Watching YouMagoon, Kekla Today the World Is Watching You: The Little Rock Nine and the Fight for School Integration, 1957
High school 160 pp. Twenty-First Century 2011

Civil Rights Struggles Around the World series. Magoon chronicles events related to the integration of Little Rock’s Central High School in 1957. The bold courage displayed by the nine students and their parents in the face of extreme hostility is concisely told. Many poignant news photographs enhance the information-rich text. A concluding “Lessons of Little Rock” chapter updates the story. Reading list, timeline, websites. Bib., glos., ind.
Subjects: Government/Economics/and Education; Race relations; Arkansas; African Americans; Civil rights

My Uncle Martin's Words for AmericaWatkins, Angela Farris My Uncle Martin’s Words for America
Gr. K-3 40 pp. Abrams 2011

Illustrated by Eric Velasquez. Watkins, niece of Martin Luther King Jr., provides background on the civil rights movement. Her text incorporates King’s own words and explains them in context (“Uncle Martin said, ‘Let justice roll down like waters.’ He meant that everyone should be treated fairly”). Velasquez’s illustrations include close-up portraits and crowd scenes, all conveying the movement’s scope. Reading list. Bib., glos., ind.
Subjects: Government/Economics/and Education; King, Martin Luther, Jr.; Family–Uncles; Civil rights; African Americans; Clergy; Nobel Prize

From the October 2012 issue of Nonfiction Notes from the Horn Book.

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