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Augusta Scattergood (Children's Literature)
In Morrison’s eloquent introduction to this photo-essay, she invites readers to understand the events of the “separate but equal” schools that existed in the 50s and 60s. Published to coincide with the 50th anniversary of the historic Brown v. Board of Education Supreme Court ruling, the book presents more than 50 black and white archival photographs, many of ordinary young people of the times, juxtaposed with Morrison’s thought-provoking comments. The provocative, though limited, text and stark pictures may be useful for teacher-directed class discussions; however, younger children may be confused by some of the narrative accompanying the photographs. Although parts of the text seem to reflect the events surrounding the photographs, others will require explanation. In some pictures, Morrison imagines the thoughts and feelings of the children and encourages the reader to think about how they would feel in the situation. A timeline to the period as well as photo notes are included. This book was awarded the 2005 Coretta Scott King Medal by the American Library Association. 2004, Houghton Mifflin, $18.00. Ages 9 to 12.
CCBC (Cooperative Children's Book Center Choices, 2005)
In her introduction, Toni Morrison speaks directly to young readers: “This book is about you. Even though the main event in the story took place many years ago, what happened before it and after it is now part of all our lives. Because remembering is the mind’s first step toward understanding, this book is designed to take you on a journey through a time in American life when there was as much hate as there was love; as much anger as there was hope; as many heroes as cowards.” Morrison’s brief text, often just a phrase or sentence per page, imagines the thoughts of the people shown in the carefully selected photographs. This powerful combination of words and images unfolds the story of school integration and the 1954 U.S. Supreme Court decision in Brown v. Board of Education to a new generation of American children. The closing pages provide a chronology of key events in civil rights and school integration and notes describing events pictured in each of the book’s photographs. CCBC categories: Historical People, Places, and Events. 2004, Houghton Mifflin, 78 pages, $18.00. Age 7 and older.
Kirkus (Kirkus Reviews, April 15, 2004 (Vol. 72, No. 8))
Morrison attempts to tell the story of Southern school integration through archival photographs oddly juxtaposed with a confusing narrative. Introductory words explain that Morrison has "imagined the thoughts and feelings of some of the people in the photographs chosen to help tell this story." Unfortunately, it's often difficult to tell who is doing the talking. On one page is a picture of black and white schoolchildren joyfully running out of school together; on the opposite page are white teenagers tipping a car. The text for both pages reads, "Great! Now we can have some fun!" Endnotes place each photo in historic context, but at least one note is inaccurate. Gov. George Wallace closed Huntsville schools, but the note states "integration in Huntsville schools took place without incident." Staying closer to the theme of school integration would have helped keep focus, especially in the later section, essentially a presentation of every civil-rights icon from Rosa Parks to Martin Luther King. While it's nice to see familiar photographs collected in one place, the overall feeling of the narrative is confusion. Younger children will need adults to help with interpretation. (timeline, photo notes) 2004, Houghton Mifflin, 80p, $18.00. Category: Nonfiction. Ages 8 to 14. © 2004 Kirkus Reviews/VNU eMedia, Inc. All rights reserved.
Paula Drum (Kutztown University Book Review, Spring 2005)
This book talks about school integration during 1954. This book was wonderful. It gives a lot of factual information, photographs, and is for younger readers. It points out a lot on injustice done to African Americans on a simple level. I highly recommend this book. It had exquisite photographs, an excellent story, and a moral at the end. Category: Non-Fiction Picture Book. 2004, Houghton Mifflin, $18.00. Ages 5 to 8.
Publishers Weekly (Publishers Weekly)
Assembling more than 50 photographs depicting segregation, school scenes and events prior to and following the 1954 Supreme Court ruling on
Lori Atkins Goodson (The ALAN Review, Fall 2004 (Vol. 32, No. 1))
Judging this book by its cover--and its use of a simple classroom photograph, it's obvious wellknown author Toni Morrison will provide a gripping look at the road toward integration. She keeps her words to a powerful minimum, accompanying the stark, black and white archival photographs. The words and photos combine to provide an emotional simplicity to the historyshaping events of the Civil Rights movement. Remember: The Journey to School Integration provides meaningful elements, such as a timeline of important events involving civil rights and integration in the United States and an extensive "Photo Notes" section that serves as an index of the photographs, including a brief note about each of the photos. Morrison's writing offers a fictional account of individuals' questions, thoughts, and dialogue to accompany the photographs, which provide an intense connection for the reader. While the written text may be limited, Morrison's book clearly illustrates the country's emotional upheaval of the time, and yet it demonstrates to young people the impact that period has on contemporary times. Morrison provides a lesson in history that all of us should know. Category: Integration/Civil Rights. YA--Young Adult. 2004, Houghton Mifflin Co, 78 pp., $18.00. Ages young adult.Wamego, KS
Elizabeth Bush (The Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books, July 2004 (Vol. 57, No. 11))
In this album of crisply reproduced sepia-toned photographs, Morrison revisits the days of substandard segregated schools for black children, the volatile confrontations and quiet successes of school integration, and subsequent civil rights activities that extended the demand for equal access beyond schools to all public businesses and facilities. Morrison provides captions intended to reconstruct "the thoughts and feelings of some of the people in the photographs chosen to help tell this story." Many captions play on the obvious--a host of children outside a Texas school that refused their admission appear beside "No, no, they said. You can't come in here." The best are truly provocative, though, as when Morrison interjects a caption between contrasting pictures and explodes its meaning with possibilities. An integrated bunch of youngsters dashes, smiling, out the school door, and a crew of white teens attempts to tip a black driver's car, while the caption intones, "Great! Now we can have some fun!" Black and white girls stare at each other across the aisle, and it is possible that either can be pondering, "I think she likes me, but how can I tell?" At this anniversary year of Brown v. Board, many authors weigh in with commemorative and instructive works, but Morrison's choice of photographic history invites viewers into an experience more visceral than anecdotal memories. Thumbnail reproductions of each featured photo, along with its specific historical setting, are appended for children who want more information, but this evocative gallery roars louder than words. Review Code: R -- Recommended. (c) Copyright 2004, The Board of Trustees of the University of Illinois. 2004, Houghton, 80p, $18.00. Grades 2-6.
Melissa Johnson (The Lorgnette - Heart of Texas Reviews (Vol. 17, No. 2))
Toni Morrison, best known for her Pulitzer Prize winning novel Beloved, extends her talents to the juvenile genre in this journey. Beginning with a powerful foreword, the book takes photos from newspaper articles written in the 1950s and 1960s and adds meaningful text for a young child. The photos speak for themselves, showing the journey from desegregation to integration. Adults as well as children will better understand the sequence of events and the emotions involved from this well-thought-out book. Memories can evoke powerful emotions even if they are someone else’s memories. Included are a Key Events and a Photo Credits section. This book is highly recommended for all libraries. Nonfiction (379.2), Highly Recommended. Grades 4-8. 2004, Houghton Mifflin, 78p., $18.00. Ages 9 to 14.
Laura Woodruff (VOYA, October 2004 (Vol. 27, No. 4))
This title is all about the pictures. Designed to deliver a powerful emotional impact, the book's mesmerizing sepia photos, mostly of children, artfully interspersed with Morrison's brief interpretations, give today's youngsters a glimpse into the 1950s struggle for civil rights. Hatred, yes, but also hope and the beautiful curiosity and empathy of childhood shine forth, strongly reminding readers that good does, eventually, prevail. Dr. King, Rosa Parks, the Warren Supreme Court, and other famous figures are here, but they are secondary to the images of children playing, studying, eating, demonstrating, and finally integrating. Morrison, in her imagery-filled introduction, charges young readers to understand their precious inheritance. She tells how the courtroom battle for decent education led to the elimination of racist laws, and how the struggle was painful, violent, and long. She relates her own experiences in those days and of the kindness of strangers who took her and her fellow students into their homes. "These were country people . . . denied adequate education, relegated to backs of buses and separate water fountains, menial jobs or none," but whose souls were untainted by racial segregation. Key events in civil rights and school integration history as well as detailed photo notes give historical perspective. Dedicated to the four children killed in the Birmingham church in 1963, the book is a "must have" for elementary African American collections and is appropriate for any archival collection. Deliberately published on the fiftieth anniversary of Brown vs. the Board of Education, this book is a sparkling gem. VOYA CODES: 5Q 4P M J (Hard to imagine it being any better written; Broad general YA appeal; Middle School, defined as grades 6 to 8; Junior High, defined as grades 7 to 9). 2004, Houghton Mifflin, 80p.; Photos. Source Notes. Chronology., $18. Ages 11 to 15.
|Language||Call Number||LCCN||Dewey Decimal||ISBN/ISSN|
|English (eng)||LC214.2 .M67 2004