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Sit-In: How Four Friends Stood Up by Sitting Down (Jane Addams Honor Book (Awards)) Hardcover – Bargain Price, February 3, 2010

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Hardcover, Bargain Price, February 3, 2010
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Editorial Reviews

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.

From Booklist

*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

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Product Details

  • Age Range: 6 and up
  • Grade Level: 1 and up
  • Series: Jane Addams Honor Book (Awards)
  • Hardcover: 40 pages
  • Publisher: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers; 1 edition (February 3, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0316070165
  • ASIN: B0055X4SD2
  • Product Dimensions: 9.5 x 0.5 x 12 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (19 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,360,312 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
A doughnut and coffee "with cream on the side" wasn't much to ask for in a place like Woolworth's where the lunch counter was a haven for young and old, eager for a little socialization and a little lunch. Four young black men, David, Joseph, Franklin, and Ezell quietly sat at the counter waiting to be served, but as the times dictated it wouldn't be any time soon. "WHITES ONLY" didn't get any black person a napkin, let alone any food. They sat quietly, ignored by most, and proudly in spite of the refusal of the waitress to serve them. On the counter were the napkin holders, the round sugar containers, and the salt and pepper shakers, but definitely no doughnuts and coffee "with cream on the side." It just wasn't going to happen because "segregation was a bitter mix." Very bitter indeed.

A stern looking police officer strolled to the counter, billy club in hand, but the boys were sitting quietly, politely and had not broken any laws. No one knew what to do, but when the store was closed the young men went home. On February 2, 1960, they went to the Woolworth's counter again. The cakes on display looked wonderful, but the only things they wanted were doughnuts and coffee "with cream on the side." Dr. King didn't live in Greensboro, but they remembered well his message, "We must meet violence with nonviolence." It was a difficult message to hold in the hearts of other young people around the country who joined them in their efforts. The sit-ins elicited cruel acts of behavior . . . "Coffee poured down their backs. Milkshakes flung in their faces. Pepper thrown in their eyes." A doughnut and coffee "with cream on the side" . . . please.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Yana V. Rodgers on August 29, 2010
Format: Hardcover
Early in 1960 in Greensboro, North Carolina, four brave young people sat at the Woolworth's lunch counter and waited for service. Their courage stemmed from standing up for their rights, as African Americans, to be treated equally and to gain access to the same services as whites. Woolworth's, however, like most businesses and institutions, segregated its operations, and its lunch counters would serve only whites.

Inspired by Martin Luther King's principle of meeting hate with love, David, Joseph, Franklin, and Ezell sat patiently and quietly and waited to place their orders. They waited all day, and when they came back the next day, they waited again and were joined by others. The idea caught on like wildfire across the country and within a year, tens of thousands of people -- back and white -- had taken part in sit-ins. As participants continued to meet hostility and violence with non-violent means, the sit-ins ultimately resulted in an enormous step toward social justice with the passage of the 1964 Civil Rights Act.

Young learners gaining their first exposure to the history of the civil rights movement will enjoy this book's lively watercolor illustrations and rhythmical text, rich in historical background and embellished with cooking metaphors. The back-end materials further make the book a useful resource for introducing children to the power of consumer boycotts and sit-ins in prompting businesses to end their discriminatory practices.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Kristen Stewart VINE VOICE on May 3, 2010
Format: Hardcover
This beautifully illustrated book details the famous sit-in at the Greensboro, NC Woolworth's counter in 1960. The prose is moving, speckled with quotes that inspired the protesters and good detail. As a picture book ought to be, it is both easily understood and deep enough for older readers. My kindergartner (who does have some exposure to the civil rights movement) grasped the storyline and was moved by the strength it took to stay still.

The simple, powerful prose is well matched by the illustrations. Watercolor paintings with ink, they come across as modern yet classic, and moving. With a repetitive motif of cooking that might come across a bit strong to some adults, however, I wasn't distracted by it and consider it effective for young readers.

Though graphic about their struggles, the story isn't scary or overwhelming to children. It would work well in any elementary grades, and even in some middle school classrooms. I'd commend it to any family who is building a personal library with any attention to covering American History or Civil Rights.

Kate, age 5 "I like this book, it told about Dr. King and his dreams, and how these boys followed his dreams by sitting at the white skin lunch table. They sat and they sat for a long time. People were mean to them. Now people all sit together. That's why I like this book."
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Emrose on February 12, 2011
Format: Hardcover
This book is simply beautiful. I have never reviewed anything on amazon, and I had to offer up my opinion about this book because it is so moving and powerful, it may simply take your breath away. It is rich with beautiful poetic language, powerful metaphors, and the incredible words of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. The author and illustrator are a husband and wife team who have created a work that is so inspiring and uplifting, you may be hard pressed to find another work like it that so eloquently tells the story of the four brave college students from Greensboro and the incredible chain of events they set into motion. I am a teaching student and I read this to a second grade class of whom half the class asked if they could get that book for themselves. We did three activities after reading the book and the amount of enthusiasm, deep thought, and empathy that the wonderfully expressive students showed is testament to how powerful this book is. The students wrote letters to the four brave college students from Greensboro and the words these amazing young people wrote to David, Joseph, Franklin, and Ezell would simply move you to tears. This book will be on my shelves forever. This book will touch you, resonate with you, and remind you of how amazing people are when we come together in peace, persistence, and positivity for the common good.
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