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FREEDOM WALKERS by Russell Freedman Kirkus Star


The Story of the Montgomery Bus Boycott

by Russell Freedman

Age Range: 8 - 14

Pub Date: Sept. 30th, 2006
ISBN: 0-8234-2031-0
Publisher: Holiday House

Beginning with the story of a college professor’s frightening experience on a Montgomery bus, Freedman brings this oft-told story to an audience ready to move beyond the popular legend. Civil-rights activist E.D. Nixon was looking for the best person to be the standard-bearer in a constitutional challenge to the segregated bus system of Montgomery, Ala. Though several others had been confronted or arrested on the buses, Rosa Parks was the perfect choice. Intelligent and quiet, the 42-year-old Parks had been involved in civil-rights work for years. Her arrest was used to launch the modern Civil Rights movement, resulting in a successful strike of 381 days and the eventual U.S. Supreme Court ruling that Alabama’s bus segregation laws were unconstitutional. Freedman does a masterful job of making a complex point in history—with so many key players and pivotal events—accessible and interesting to a young audience. The focus is on everyday people acting on behalf of what was right, even before they knew it would become a movement, people who became “actors in an historical drama that changed a nation.” Clear prose, well-chosen photographs and superb source notes and bibliography make this an essential source on the topic. (Nonfiction. 8-14)