A BUS OF OUR OWN by Freddi Williams Evans


Age Range: 8 - 11
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Sacrificing and working together, Mable Jean’s African-American sharecropping community repairs a broken-down bus in order to transport her and the other children to school. Costello is noted for her bibliotherapeutic work in Mommy Far, Mommy Near (2000), but the art for this effort is far better than the typical pictures that accompany therapeutic materials. Unfortunately, in some spots the text is nearly impossible to read, placed as it is on top of the darkly rich pictures. An author’s note explains that this is based on a historical incident in Madison, Mississippi, and gives some context of the near-slave conditions that sharecropping forced. Mable Jean’s pure desire to obtain an education despite the enormous problems facing her, mirrors the actual incident. First-time author Evans’s story is clearly written and well told; what could have been preachy comes through as a thoughtful reconstruction of events and a gentle tribute to determination. Though couched in a picture-book format, several pages of heavy text make it more suitable to the younger fiction collection. (Fiction. 8-11)

Pub Date: Sept. 1st, 2001
ISBN: 0-8075-0970-1
Page count: 32pp
Publisher: Whitman
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 15th, 2001