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We've Got a Job: The 1963 Birmingham Children's March (Jane Addams Award Book (Awards)) Hardcover – February 1, 2012


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We've Got a Job: The 1963 Birmingham Children's March (Jane Addams Award Book (Awards)) + The Watsons Go to Birmingham--1963
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Product Details

  • Lexile Measure: 1020L (What's this?)
  • Series: Jane Addams Award Book (Awards)
  • Hardcover: 176 pages
  • Publisher: Peachtree Publishers; Third Edition edition (February 1, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1561456276
  • ISBN-13: 978-1561456277
  • Product Dimensions: 9.4 x 9 x 0.7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.7 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (35 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #68,849 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

STARRED REVIEW Even with the many fine books out there about the role of young people in the Civil Rights era, this highly
readable photo-essay will hold YA readers with its focus on four young people who participated in the
Birmingham Children s March, set against the big picture of the fight against segregation and the roles of
adults. At nine, Audrey Hendricks was the youngest of nearly 4000 black children who marched,
protested, and sang their way to jail, and she had the support of her church, teachers, and middle-class
parents. Washington Booker lived in poverty in the projects; for him the police were the ultimate terror.
Smart, academic James Stewart chose not to do sit-ins, but marching felt right. Arnetta Streeter went to
young activists training. Important adult leaders on all sides are included in the story, from Martin Luther
King, Jr. and the Reverend Shuttlesworth to Bull Connor, and Levinson points out not just the individuals
with extreme viewpoints, but also the moderates who kept quiet about the insulting separate but equal
policies. The format will hook readers with spacious type, boxed quotes, and large black-and-white photos
on almost every double-page spread, from the horrifying view of the Klan marching with children to the
young protestors waiting to be arrested. A fascinating look at a rarely covered event for both curriculum
and personal interest. Chapter notes, a timeline, and a bibliography conclude.
Hazel Rochman --Booklist

STARRED REVIEW This chronicle of a pivotal chapter of the civil rights movement weaves together the stories of four black children in Birmingham, Ala., who were among some 4,000 who boycotted school to participate in a march to protest segregation. Before recounting that event, during which almost 2,500 young people were arrested and jailed, first-time author Levinson opens with intimate profiles of the four spotlighted children (drawn from interviews she conducted with each of them), along with descriptions of Birmingham s racist laws, corrupt politicians, antiblack sentiment and activists efforts to fight all of the above. Readers also get an upclose view of such leaders as Rev. Fred Shuttlesworth, who founded the Alabama Christian Movement for Human Rights; Rev. Martin Luther King Jr., who advocated a nonviolent response; and James Bevel, a preacher who rallied the city s children and teens. Yet the most compelling component is Levinson s dramatic recreation of the courageous children s crusade and the change it helped bring about in the face of widespread prejudice and brutality. Powerful period photos and topical sidebars heighten the story s impact. Ages 10 up. Agent: Erin Murphy, Erin Murphy Literary Agency. (Feb.) --Publishers Weekly

STARRED REVIEW The author takes her inspiring tale of courage in the face of both irrational racial hatred and adult foot-dragging (on both sides) through the ensuing riots and the electrifying September bombing of the Sixteenth Street Baptist Church...A moving record of young people rising at a pivotal historical moment, based on original interviews and archival research as well as published sources. --Kirkus

Publishers Weekly Best Books of 2012 --Publishers Weekly

STARRED REVIEW Triumph and tragedy in 1963 Bombingham, as children and teens pick up the flagging Civil Rights movement and give it a swift kick in the pants.
Levinson builds her dramatic account around the experiences of four young arrestees including a 9-year-old, two teenage activists trained in nonviolent methods and a high-school dropout who was anything but nonviolent. She opens by mapping out the segregated society of Birmingham and the internal conflicts and low levels of adult participation that threatened to bring the planned jail-filling marches dubbed Project C (for confrontation ), and by extension the entire civil-rights campaign in the South, to a standstill. Until, that is, a mass exodus from the city s black high schools (plainly motivated, at least at first, almost as much by the chance to get out of school as by any social cause) at the beginning of May put thousands of young people on the streets and in the way of police dogs, fire hoses and other abuses before a national audience. The author takes her inspiring tale of courage in the face of both irrational racial hatred and adult foot-dragging (on both sides) through the ensuing riots and the electrifying September bombing of the Sixteenth Street Baptist Church, then brings later lives of her central participants up to date.
A moving record of young people rising at a pivotal historical moment, based on original interviews and archival research as well as published sources. (photos, timeline, endnotes, multimedia resource lists) (Nonfiction. 11-15) --Kirkus

About the Author

Cynthia Y. Levinson holds degrees from Wellesley College and Harvard University and also attended the Lyndon B. Johnson School of Public Affairs. A former teacher and educational policy consultant and researcher, she has published articles in Appleseeds, Calliope, Cobblestone, Dig, Faces, and Odyssey.

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Customer Reviews

4.9 out of 5 stars
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Levinson has done an incredible job with this book.
Heidi Grange
Only a great cause can produce such desires, causes such as freedom and equality.
Monica I Cortes
All I can say this book is it is a must read for everyone!
Victoria Serrano

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Quinby Frank on February 13, 2012
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
All I can say is "Wow!" It is fabulous! The author has all the requisites for an outstanding nonfiction book - timeline, thorough index, etc. and it was clear she has done an incredible amount of very thorough research -- also that she is passionate about her subject -- it clearly shows. Loved the balance of the four young people she chose. Interesting to learn about Shuttlesworth and Bevel and their importance to the Movement. Also she showed King wasn't perfect as well as the Kennedy administration's reluctance to get on board and why. Liked the inclusion of the importance of the singing as inspiration. Liked that she included the part about the firemen refusing to turn the hoses on the people -- they weren't all monsters (except Connor, of course). I can't say enough about how wonderful this book is. Parts of it really gave me the shivers.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Sue Morris from Kid Lit Reviews on February 15, 2012
Format: Hardcover
By May 1963, African Americans in Birmingham, Alabama, had had enough of segregation and police brutality. But with their lives and jobs at stake, most adults were hesitant to protest the city's racist culture. Instead, the children and teenagers--like Audrey, Wash, James, and Arnetta--marched to jail to secure their freedom.

At a time when the civil rights movement was struggling, Birmingham's black youth answered Dr. Martin Luther King's call to "fill the jails" of their city. In doing so, they drew national attention to the cause, helped bring about the repeal of the segregation laws, and inspired thousands of other young people to demand their rights. (Inside jacket of We've Got a Job)

We've Got a Job tells a story about the civil rights movement few know. Each of the stories these four brave children tell are remarkable. That they took on this fight for equality at such young ages, and made Birmingham change its racists behaviors and policies is astonishing.

One of those children is Audrey. Her family was what many see as the typical American family. And today, they would be, but it was 1960 and they were black, living in a notoriously racist city in the South. There was nothing typical about Audrey's family. They were second-class citizens regulated to the back of the bus, and separate water fountains. Audrey heard the freedom fighters from the near daily meetings her parents hosted, and knew she had to help.

Wash, short for Washington, lived in a tenement house with his sister and mother. He was afraid to do something as common as take a bath. In fourth grade, a teacher threatened to beat Wash. He ran. In seventh grade, he skipped more than he attended.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By G1Porter on January 29, 2013
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Cynthia Levinson is an amazing author and this book should be read by every generation so that we can fully understand the dynamics in place that led to the signing of the Civil Rights Act in 1964. Filled with personal testimonies and skillfully woven into an entertaining and informative read this book examines the events that took place using the words of those who were actually there from the leaders and the foot soldiers. You will meet and quickly learn to respect what this amazing generation accomplished to help black people receive the equity promised by our founders. They will retell the victories and the sad and often heart breaking defeats experienced that still continue to guide their lives and do so in such a way as to invite you into the depths of their hearts and this moving experience. America owes these who chose to right this wrong a debt of gratitude that we shall never repay. Buy this book and open your eyes to an important part of history - the truth.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Lynda Hunt on February 12, 2012
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This is a truly amazing book--the kind that makes me wish I was still teaching! Read my review here:

[...]
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Format: Hardcover
We’ve Got A Job takes a look at the Birmingham Children’s March in 1963. The behind the scenes look at the steps leading to this event is shared through the eyes of four children who participated in the march. Nine-Year- old Audrey Hendricks was the youngest of all participants. Audrey’s parents who were extremely involved in the movement were behind Audrey all the way as she faced the realities of her decision to march. Washington Booker grew up in poverty, becoming ever familiar with the harsh realities that the police were to be feared. Booker as described by his mother was, “to rambunctious to be a black boy in the south.” James Stewart came from a more privileged background. His mother had her master’s degree and taught English at a local black college. His father was the first black board-certified obstetrician in Alabama. Stewart lived in a large house with a pool. He was very smart and even skipped grades entering high school when he was only twelve. Arnetta Streeter was light skinned and could have passed for white, which resulted in often teasing. Her father owned a barber and owned his own shop and her mother worked as a youth director at a black YMCA. Her family was very active in church Streeter attended St. Mary’s school where the nuns were white, Streeter begged her father to attend public school with her friends where she started the Peace Ponies. Among these stories we get a glimpse of the conditions of this time and with the help of blacked off side margins of additional information we get an even better details to paint a clearer picture of just what it was like. The black and white pictures give visual intensity. It is with out a doubt that the brave acts of these four children and others alike changed the face of history. The lessons in this book are numerous and definitely ones to be shared.
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