Perfectly pitched to its target elementary audience, this tells the story of Sarah Keys Evans, a young woman who refused to give up her seat on a bus three years before Rosa Parks did the same.
While serving in the Women’s Army Corps in 1952, Evans took a bus to visit her family in North Carolina. At the time, discrimination on busses that crossed state lines was forbidden by law, but the bus company had its own rules. When she reached her home state, the driver demanded that she move to the back of the bus, and had her arrested when she refused. Evans filed a lawsuit against the bus company, eventually winning the case. Nathan reproduces many family photographs of Evans, clearly and concisely explaining her fight. She portrays Evans as an extremely shy young woman; because of her restrained personality, she comes across to readers with heightened courage. By weaving in photographs and Evans’s life story with her legal battle, the book will hold reader interest. Nathan strikes just the right balance of emotion and facts necessary to reach children within the context of a history lesson. As a result, this thin volume would be a good choice for elementary classrooms as part of a Civil Rights unit.
A winner. (Nonfiction. 6-12)