From School Library Journal
Starred Review. Grade 3–6—Through effectively chosen words, Andrea Pinkney brings understanding and meaning to what four black college students accomplished on February 1, 1960, by sitting down at a Woolworth lunch counter in Greensboro, NC. Her repeated phrase, "Their order was simple. A doughnut and coffee with cream on the side," along with other food metaphors, effectively emphasizes the men's determination to undo the injustices of segregation in a peaceful protest, which eventually led up to the 1966 Supreme Court ruling against racial discrimination. With swirling swabs of color that masterfully intertwine with sometimes thin, sometimes thick lines, Brian Pinkney cleverly centers the action and brings immediacy to the pages. Both the words and the art offer many opportunities for discussion. The book concludes with a civil rights time line and an update on the aftermath of the lunch-counter struggle.—Barbara Elleman, Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art, Amherst, MA
(c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
*Starred Review* This compelling picture book is based on the historic sit-in 50 years ago by four college students who tried to integrate a Woolworth’s lunch counter in Greensboro, North Carolina. Food-related wordplay adds layers to the free verse, as in the lines about the protesters’ recipe for integration: “Combine black with white / to make sweet justice.” The double-page spreads in watercolor and thick ink lines show both the scene in Woolworth’s and across America as blacks and whites organize sit-ins and watch coverage of protests on TV. Finally, the young people at the counter get what they order, “served to them exactly the way they wanted it––well done.” The recipe metaphors are repetitive, but at the core of the exciting narrative are scenes that show the difficulty of facing hatred: “tougher than any school test.” Closing pages discuss the role of adults, including Ella Baker and then presidents Kennedy and Johnson, and include a detailed civil rights time line, “a final helping” about the historic struggle, and a bibliography. Even young children will grasp the powerful, elemental, and historic story of those who stood up to oppressive authority and changed the world. Grades 2-4. --Hazel Rochman