Amazon.com's Significant Seven
Nikki Giovanni graciously agreed to answer the questions we like to ask every author: the Amazon.com Significant Seven.
Q: What book has had the most significant impact on your life?
A: No single book. The poetry of Paul Laurence Dunbar, Langston Hughes, and Gwendolyn Brooks was an impact, however.
Q: You are stranded on a desert island with only one book, one CD, and one DVD--what are they?
A: Sula by Toni Morrison, Great American Spirituals, and The Godfather.
Q: What is the worst lie you've ever told?
A: "You're the best."
Q: Describe the perfect writing environment.
A: A cup of coffee, my rocking chair, the sun just rising through my left window.
Q: If you could write your own epitaph, what would it say?
A: "I tried."
Q: Who is the one person living or dead that you would like to have dinner with?
A: Lorraine Hansberry
Q: If you could have one superpower, what would it be?
A: I would fly.
From School Library Journal
Grade 3-5–Rosa Parks's personal story moves quickly into a summary of the Civil Rights movement in this striking picture book. Parks is introduced in idealized terms. She cares for her ill mother and is married to one of the best barbers in the county. Sewing in an alterations department, Rosa Parks was the best seamstress. Her needle and thread flew through her hands like the gold spinning from Rumpelstiltskin's loom. Soon the story moves to her famous refusal to give up her seat on the bus, but readers lose sight of her as she waits to be arrested. Giovanni turns to explaining the response of the Women's Political Caucus, which led to the bus boycott in Montgomery. A few events of the movement are interjected–the Supreme Court decision in Brown v. Board of Education
, the aftermath and reactions to the murder of Emmett Till, the role of Martin Luther King, Jr., as spokesperson. Collier's watercolor and collage scenes are deeply hued and luminous, incorporating abstract and surreal elements along with the realistic figures. Set on colored pages, these illustrations include an effective double foldout page with the crowd of successful walkers facing a courthouse representing the 1956 Supreme Court verdict against segregation on the buses. Many readers will wonder how it all went for Parks after her arrest, and there are no added notes. Purposeful in its telling, this is a handsome and thought-provoking introduction to these watershed acts of civil disobedience.–Margaret Bush, Simmons College, Boston
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