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Rosa Parks: My Story Hardcover – February 4, 1992


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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Many readers of this absorbing autobiography will be familiar with the incident for which Rosa Parks is best known: on December 1, 1955, she refused to surrender her seat to a white person on a Montgomery, Ala.,stet comma/rl city bus. What this book provides is a framework that will enable its audience to put this historic moment into a broader context, and to appreciate the monumental effect on one woman and on an entire nation. Long before Parks's stand against racial segregation, her "very strong sense of what was fair" had provoked her to launch her own personal campaign against injustice. In lively anecdotal style, she describes her early family life and schooling, her run-ins with disdainful white children, her courtship and marriage to Raymond Parks and her active role in the Montgomery NAACP and in the civil rights movement. The simplicity and candor of this courageous woman's voice make these compelling events even more moving and dramatic. Some readers will be stunned by Parks's firsthand accounts of violence against blacks; all will be deeply impressed by her boundless energy and courage. All ages.
Copyright 1991 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From School Library Journal

Grade 4-6-- This well-known story is considerably refreshed by Parks's personal narrative, punctuated by numerous black-and-white photographs. In simple, gracious, compelling language she describes her childhood, family life, and elusive educational opportunities. She explains how her husband encouraged and supported her participation in civil rights activities, and provides with clarity the generally paltry regard for the contributions of black women by the movement's organizers. In this recounting of her life, she corrects some media-created distortions of events. Her references to so many people may overwhelm some readers at times, but this does not diminish the overall impact of a wonderful, warm autobiography.
- Helen E. Williams, formerly at University of Maryland, College Park
Copyright 1992 Reed Business Information, Inc.
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Product Details

  • Age Range: 8 - 12 years
  • Grade Level: 3 - 7
  • Lexile Measure: 970L (What's this?)
  • Hardcover: 208 pages
  • Publisher: Dial Books; 1st edition (February 4, 1992)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0803706731
  • ISBN-13: 978-0803706736
  • Product Dimensions: 5.9 x 0.6 x 8.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (48 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,555,407 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

4.5 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

13 of 13 people found the following review helpful By E. R. Bird HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWER on March 30, 2006
Format: Paperback
When Nikki Giovanni came out with her picture book biography of Rosa Parks ("Rosa") not too long ago, I was incensed by a tribute that I felt fell rather short of a rather admirable person. So when I reviewed that book I pulled out every biography, children's and otherwise, that I could find on Rosa Parks herself. Some of these were misleading, some simplistic, but one was a fine and hearty tribute. Is it any wonder then that that same book, "Rosa Parks: My Story" should have been written by Ms. Parks herself? With some aid from Jim Haskins, this book serves beautifully as the quintessential Rosa Parks story. It crushes myths beneath its heel, gives a great deal of factual information about the time in which she lived, brings to life the danger she faced, and is just about one of the most engaging books ever written by an average citizen. It is heroic without boasting or bragging a jot.

Okay, children. We all know the tale of Rosa Parks, yes? We know that one day she was asked to give up her seat on a bus for a white man and she refused. We know that she was arrested and jailed for this supposed "crime". And we know that this was really the impetus that began the Civil Rights Movement and that Rosa would remain a symbol of the times forevermore. Some of may even think that she was tired and that that was the reason why she didn't move. This little detail is not true in the least, of course. But what else do you know about Ms. Parks? Did you know that at the time that she was arrested, Ms. Parks was a secretary for the NAACP and that her husband was a longtime Civil Right activist? Did you know that she grew up without a father and that she remembered clearly the nights she'd spend next to her grandfather's gun, listening for the Klan?
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11 of 13 people found the following review helpful By Amy Chang on June 3, 2002
Format: Paperback
Rosa Parks was a Black woman who lived in a time of unequality. Blacks were being treated as though they were lower and were lost of the many priveleges that white people had. Well, Rosa Parks didn't let what they thought get in her way. She stood for what she believed in and stuck by it all the way. By refusing to sit at the end of the bus, Rosa showed me how strong, independent, daring, and brave she was. She knew of the consequences yet it didn't stop her. I really admire her.
This book came across me after my friend Catherine read it and recommended it to me. She told me that it was a good book and that I should read it. She told me that it would touch my heart and would help me see Rosa Parks in a different way. Seeing the cover, I knew that it would talk about one of the most important events of her life-the incident at the bus.
I enjoyed this book very much. My favorite part was when she refused to sit at the back of the bus.She demonstrated acts of bravery and courage. She showed them that she was equal and that no one had the right to treat them differently. That event also proved that small acts can make big differences in the world. One little protest made a positive change in the way of the world. This helped me want to be more active in our world. I realized that the blacks had to go through so much to be where they are today. It helped me appreciate them more. This book should be read by everyone!
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful A Kid's Review on December 14, 2006
Format: Hardcover
As the bus driver asked the blacks in the front of the colored section to stand up most of them stood, Rosa Parks just scooted to a new seat and made an available seat. She said, "No." The driver looked straight at her and said, "Well, I'm going to have you arrested." Then, she calmly said, "You may do that." Rosa Parks was arrested that day of December 1, 1955 and maintained her dignity going through the process of getting arrested and going to jail. She didn't give up her seat because she was tired, she didn't give up her seat because she was tired of giving in. Rosa Parks was born February 4, 1913, in Tuskegee, Alabama. She died on October 24, 2005, in Detroit, Michigan. Her book, Rosa Parks: My Story, is very interesting it explained her importance in Civil Rights and other movements. It talks about how there were killings and white people being ostracized of being part of the Civil Rights Movement. She is inspirational and has a very clear mind. This book is for anyone who likes reading about the Civil Rights Movement and the view of black people in the early 1900s.

This book recognizes a lot of the Civil Rights Movement being that she was a part of the mistreatment of African-Americans. As said in the first paragraph she didn't give up her bus seat because she was tired of giving in to white people intimidating her and other African-Americans. That and other arrestments started the Montgomery bus boycott.

She recognizes the fact a lot that everyone's the same and shouldn't be treated any differently than others. She also says that Dr. Martin Luther King, jr. made a point about not fighting back with violence. When Rosa was young she didn't know what nonviolence really was.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Maren Trochmann on October 14, 2007
Format: Paperback
Rosa Parks: My Story immediately invokes a sense of warmth and intimacy. The autobiography is written in such a way that one can imagine a small, unassuming, elderly lady describing memorable moments of her life, as if she were speaking to a grandchild or friend. This style easily invokes vivid imagery of the events, providing intimate glimpses into the life of one of the most influential leaders in the Civil Rights movement. Through this personalized tone and realistic imagery Rosa Parks tells a history of hatred and compassion, of fear and strength, but most of all of her own commitment to non-violent change in a balanced and fair way.

My Story is a collection of personal stories, which serve to demonstrate the extreme racism and as well as the incredible commitment and compassion the Civil Rights icon encounters throughout her life. Rosa relates the violent reaction of the KKK to the black soldiers homecoming after WWI, saying, "At one point the violence was so bad that my grandfather kept his gun... close by at all times... just in case the Klansmen broke into our house" (30). While the entire book could be filled with horrific stories of the blatant racism and violent actions of white Southerners, Rosa chooses to also relate the counterexamples. Her extraordinary experiences include, not only stories of extraordinary wrongs but extraordinary courage to do what is right, as well.

One poignant story is that of Miss White, the white woman from Massachusetts who chose to "educate black girls [despite] being ostracized by the white community in Montgomery" (42-43). The numerous stories juxtaposed against one another serve not only to demonstrate the extremes but they also show Rosa's extremely aware yet fair view of the world throughout her childhood and adolescence.
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