From School Library Journal
Grade 3-4-Grandmother's attic is full of family mementoes that, as Gee tells young cousins Mattie Rae, Aggie, and Trey, are all "scraps of time." A menu from the Monkey Bar restaurant is the basis for this story, which begins with 10-year-old Abby (Gee) in Nashville, TN, in 1960. One day, she wanders around a downtown store as her mother makes an exchange. Someone hands her a flyer advertising a new restaurant with a merry-go-round ride in it, and she decides to go see it. Unfortunately, Abby causes quite a stir when she arrives there. "And you know we don't serve Negroes in here. Have you forgotten your place?" snaps the manager. Abby becomes a civil rights activist as a member of the Flyer Brigade, handing out flyers about nonviolent protest. The story ends with the return to present time and the cousins and Gee looking at other keepsakes, which is the perfect set-up for the next book in the series. Sections entitled "Remembering How It Was" and "The Rules for the Nashville Sit-ins" round off the book. This easy chapter book, with simple sentences, plenty of white space, and a liberal sprinkling of Gordon's expressive black-and-white drawings, is an appealing and welcome title.-Mary N. Oluonye, Shaker Heights Public Library, OH
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Gr. 2-4. The Scraps of Time series uses family keepsakes as an entre to one black family's past. In this book, Grandma Gee (Abby) has saved a menu from the Monkey Bar Grill in Nashville, and her granddaughters settle in for the story. The action moves back to 1960, when Abby was 10. Although some strides had been made in civil rights, Abby still can't eat at the new circus-themed restaurant in Harvey's Department Store. McKissack does a particularly good job portraying Abby's humiliation and anger when she is ordered to leave the restaurant--after being handed a flyer inviting her in by an unknowing northern white teenager who was working at the store. Those turbulent emotions find a positive channel as she helps an older cousin who is involved with lunch counter sit-ins and demonstrations. Although short and simply told, the book gives readers a kid's-eye view of important happenings and reminds them that history is something that is always in the making. Fine black-and-white art adds to the ambience of the time. Ilene CooperCopyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved