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Rosa's Bus: The Ride to Civil Rights Hardcover

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Product Details

  • Age Range: 7 - 9 years
  • Grade Level: 1 - 4
  • Lexile Measure: 840L (What's this?)
  • Hardcover: 40 pages
  • Publisher: Calkins Creek (October 1, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1590787226
  • ISBN-13: 978-1590787229
  • Product Dimensions: 11.3 x 9.1 x 0.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 14.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #536,190 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Booklist

In an inventive approach, this handsome picture book frames the biography of Rosa Parks with the story of the bus on which she famously refused to give up her seat to a white passenger. Beginning with where the bus was built and first driven, the free-verse narrative and dramatic oil paintings tell the larger story of discrimination in daily life: That’s just the way things were is a frequent refrain, and one double-page view of the bus’ interior shows a Colored sign marking the seats. After Parks’ refusal and arrest, there is the drama of the boycott: Bus #2857 rode down the street / with plenty of empty seats. . . . / They walked for 382 days. A climactic picture shows the bus full again, blacks and whites sitting together. With the final long note about the history and the museum where the bus is on display, kids will connect with the unsentimental, contemporary message: Imagine where it has been / and where we have yet to go. Grades 2-5. --Hazel Rochman


"Employing direct, accessible, relentless language arranged in free-verse stanzas, the author brings to life the drama of Parks's act (neither busting myths nor exploiting them) and the events it sparked. Walker's double-page, large-scale oils evoke the emotions of a determined people and perfectly complement the text. The author's note contextualizes the boycott and names Claudette Colvin and Mary Louise Smith as Parks's forerunners. Powerful. (sources)" --Kirkus Reviews

"An inventive approach. . . . Kids will connect with the unsentimental, contemporary message: 'Imagine where it has been / and where we have yet to go.'" --Booklist

More About the Author

Jo's love of nature is evident in many of her books, examining everything from blue jays to blue sapphires. Bits of her personal life pop up in books as well. MOVING DAY was written in a rental truck as she drove her son to college, stirring up her own memories of moving often as a child. And THE JOY OF CATS speaks to her love of animals, especially the feline kind.

Jo S. Kittinger, a Florida native now living in Birmingham, AL, is the author of more than a 25 books, including picture books, middle grade non-fiction, and both fiction and non-fiction easy readers. THE HOUSE ON DIRTY-THIRD STREET, A BREATH OF HOPE and ROSA'S BUS: THE RIDE TO CIVIL RIGHTS are three recent picture books. ROSA'S BUS was voted to review a Crystal Kite award. In addition, Jo has published numerous items in various books, magazines, educational materials and newspapers.

Jo's passion for books started early--she was an avid reader growing up. Her editorial experience began as the editor of her high-school yearbook. Later she worked as an editorial assistant at The Flicker children's magazine, often wading through the slush pile of submissions.

Jo graduated summa cum laude from the University of Montevallo in Alabama, with a BFA in Fine Arts and a minor in biology. She worked as a potter and fine crafts gallery owner until her first child was born. Jo's first publications were original crafts projects in books such as Christmas With Southern Living and Christmas is Coming! Choosing to stay home with her children, Jo turned to writing full time and published her first book, DEAD LOG ALIVE! with Franklin Watts Publishers in 1996.

Currently Jo serves as a regional advisor for the Southern Breeze region (AL, MS, GA) of the Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators, where she organizes two conferences for writers and illustrators of children's literature each year. She enjoys making author talks at schools, libraries and conferences.

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Yana V. Rodgers on October 1, 2010
Format: Hardcover
Rosa Parks' courageous act of refusing to give up her seat on a public bus for a white person played a pivotal role in sparking the Montgomery bus boycott during the civil rights movement. Her act of defiance came at a time when the black community was fed up with the discriminatory practices that forced blacks to ride in the backs of buses and stand up when there were insufficient seats for whites, and civil rights leaders stood ready for legal battle.

This beautifully-illustrated book provides younger readers with a succinct account of Rosa Parks' contribution to social justice in simple terms they can comprehend. Clearly woven into the historical narrative are lessons of consumer discrimination and unequal treatment by race. Teachers and parents will find Rosa's Bus a useful resource for introducing young students to important events in the civil rights movement.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Madigan McGillicuddy on April 7, 2011
Format: Hardcover
Rosa's Bus covers a worthy topic from an unusual point of view. The book tells the story of Rosa Park's 1955 protest that sparked a bus boycott and desegregation, beginning, and ending, with bus #2857 itself. Dark, muddy oil illustrations lend a sense of gravitas. Probably the least successful among them is the illustration of Rosa being asked to give up her seat. The bus was supposedly crowded and the text even mentions this, but in the painting most of the other seats appear empty.

While the bus as a character is not the most riveting Rosa Parks story out there, it still gets to the heart of an important historic moment. The bus was later sold at auction in 2001 by Donnie Williams, who inherited it from his father-in-law Hubert Summerfield. Summerfield had come into possession of the bus when it was going to be junked for spare parts, and sensing the crucial place in history this particular bus had, purchased it, and stored it out of the way for many years. Storywise, I think it would have been more stirring if Williams had donated the bus instead of selling it, but the book sticks closely to historical fact. The bus has now been fully restored and is on display at the Henry Ford museum.

An interesting addition to most civil rights collections, this book offers a unique perspective and plenty of educational backmatter including info about the bus and an author's note explaining that Rosa Parks was not actually the first person to protest segregation. The book is further appended with an extensive bibliography including websites. Recommended for ages 8-12.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Genetta Adair on September 28, 2010
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Jo Kittinger tells the story of Rosa Parks in a unique way - from the viewpoint of the bus. This creative narrative explains the history of Bus #2857, describes the injustice of segregation to a generation too young to remember, and reveals the peaceful yet determined spirit of the people who refused to accept that injustice any longer. With beautiful illustrations, this book will help teach future generations about a special bus and its passengers who changed history.
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