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by Becky Birtha & illustrated by Colin Bootman

Age Range: 7 - 10

Pub Date: Dec. 1st, 2005
ISBN: 0-8075-3028-X
Publisher: Whitman

Young African-American Sarah Marie travels by bus from her Northern home to the South to visit her proud grandmother, both before and after segregation. Her first-person narrative conveys wide-eyed wonder, and each of the superbly detailed watercolor illustrations is a short story in itself. Sarah Marie and her little sister experience the fun of making paper dolls and playing on a rope swing and sewing with Grandmama and their Aunt Marie, but also visit a lunch counter and bus station torn by segregation. When she returns a year later, the separate bus station bathrooms have been eliminated and Grandmama’s public face changed from a proud scowl to a warm smile. Bittersweet nostalgia and a gentle introduction to an important and painful piece of our national past. A lengthy author’s note gives the story a helpful historical context. (Picture book. 7-10)