Review of Twelve Days in May: Freedom Ride 1961

Twelve Days in May: Freedom Ride 1961
by Larry Dane Brimner
Middle School    Calkins Creek/Boyds Mills    110 pp.    g
11/17    978-1-62979-586-7    $18.95
e-book ed.  978-1-62979-917-9    $9.99

Brimner (We Are One; Birmingham Sunday; Black & White) revisits the civil rights movement in this book about the 1961 Freedom Ride. Opening with a litany of landmark court cases leading up to the 1960s, he segues to the sit-in protests and then, in greater depth, the Freedom Ride. A racially integrated group of thirteen riders (including future Congressman John Lewis) left the Greyhound bus terminal in Washington, DC, on May 4 with the intention of riding through the South to New Orleans in order to protest the blatant violation of federal laws prohibiting segregation on interstate travel and accompanying facilities. At first the resistance they faced was fairly minor, but it soon ramped up as they ventured into the Deep South. Brimner’s narrative summarizes and recounts the highlights of those violent, turbulent days, but the main attraction of this book is its photographs. A striking and spacious book design with black-and-white images provides immediacy. Profiles of each rider, a bibliography, source notes, and an index are appended.

From the November/December 2017 issue of The Horn Book Magazine.

Jonathan Hunt
Jonathan Hunt is the coordinator of library media services at the San Diego County Office of Education.

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