- Age Range: 7 - 11 years
- Grade Level: 1 - 5
- Lexile Measure: 810L (What's this?)
- Series: AWARDS: Sequoyah Book Awards 2013 Grades 3-5
- Library Binding: 1 pages
- Publisher: Carolrhoda Books (November 1, 2010)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0761352554
- ISBN-13: 978-0761352556
- Product Dimensions: 9.2 x 0.2 x 11 inches
- Shipping Weight: 14.9 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 81 customer reviews
Amazon Best Sellers Rank:
#20,163 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
- #44 in Books > Children's Books > Growing Up & Facts of Life > Difficult Discussions > Prejudice & Racism
- #47 in Books > Children's Books > Literature & Fiction > Historical Fiction > United States > 1900s
- #78 in Books > Children's Books > Geography & Cultures > Multicultural Stories > African-American
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Ruth and the Green Book Library Binding – November 1, 2010
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From the Publisher
After driving for a long time, we stopped at a service station to fill up on gas. As Daddy was paying the station attendant, Mama asked for the key to the restroom. The man said we couldn’t use the restrooms because they were for whites only. Mama and I had to go into the woods. I was embarrassed, but Mama said the people who should be ashamed of themselves were those service station owners.
From School Library Journal
Gr 1-4–Ruth's father just bought a beautiful new 1952 Buick, making it a big day for this African-American family. They are going from Chicago to Alabama to visit Grandma. Ruth is very excited to be traveling, but the family encounters “whites only” restrooms, hotels, and restaurants along the way. It's very discouraging and sometimes scary, but they learn that some friendly faces may be found at local Esso stations, which are among the few franchises open to black businessmen. At a station near the Georgia border, they are introduced to Victor H. Green's The Negro Motorist Green Book, an early AAA guidebook of sorts that listed establishments or homes that would serve African Americans–be it for general services, housing, or meals. Ruth eventually becomes the Green Book specialist in the family, helping to guide them to an auto-repair shop or an inn that would welcome them. But, the best part of the trip is finally arriving at Grandma's, as illustrated by the loving expressions on all faces. A one-page concluding summary discusses the importance of The Green Book, which was in use from 1936-1964, when the Civil Rights Act was finally signed, banning racial discrimination. The realistic illustrations are done in oil wash on board, a self-described “subtractive process.” The picture is painted, then erased to “paint” the final product. Overall, there is a sepialike quality to the art, giving the impression of gazing at old color photos. This is an important addition to picture book collections, useful as a discussion-starter on Civil Rights or as a stand-alone story.–Roxanne Burg, Orange County Public Library, CAα(c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
In this powerful picture book, Atlanta playwright Ramsey tells a 1950s story from “unknown pages in African American history.” Cooper’s glowing, unframed, sepia-toned artwork delivers a strong sense of the period from a child’s viewpoint. Driving with her parents from Chicago to Grandma’s house in Alabama, Ruth is excited until the family is refused access to the restroom at a service station. They face more bitter realities of segregation when they sleep in the car because they are turned away from hotels. The double-page spreads show the hurt, anger, and scariness of the “No Vacancy” signs, but words and images also capture moments of peace, as Ruth sings and feels safe with her loving parents as they drive across the country. Then they are welcomed at an Esso station, where they get a copy of the pamphlet called The Negro Motorist Green Book, which lists places where black people are welcome. A joyful reunion with Grandma brings the book to a warm close. With a long final note about The Green Book, this is a compelling addition to U.S. history offerings. Grades 2-5. --Hazel Rochman
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But as a Caucasian dude I wouldn't have likely discovered this book if The Seattle Times' weekly "Autos" advertising feature hadn't highlighted a syndicated piece about the late Victor Green's 3-decade serial (updated regularly btwn. 1936-66) "The Negro Motorist Green Book."
No, this ISN'T a child's book about S&H Green Stamps (Google it!) nor a book about "how to be more 'earth-friendly.'"
Short of being able to procure my own copy of Green's guide (which I'd ultimately donate to my local public library or an appropriate history museum) I couldn't find additional information about the guide.
Since I already have a tiny collection of "kiddy lit," I added "Ruth and the Green Book" to that collection. It's received great reviews from the top children's literature review sources, eg School Library Journal, the American Library Assn.
Great historical fiction and truly good illustrations.
Because it is not very long, at first I thought that the story would not be adequate to the task of exploring the "Green Book" theme.
But after reading it through, I realized that the story does touch on all the important points, and the author is simply using a judicious economy of words.
The story is all it needs to be, and strikes just the right tone, demonstrating how wrong segregation was from the level of basic humanity.
The book ends up packing quite a powerful punch, but in an understated way.
I'm looking forward to sharing this book with friends, both the old ones and the young ones, and recommending it to others.
In Ruth and the Green Book, we have the opportunity to view a very real and common situation through the eyes of a child. We feel the hurt of prejudice with her - the shame, the fear, and the confusion that comes with having to face reality as it is. We learn through her experience about the history of the United States. But her triumph, at the end, is personal. It does not belong to a nation.