Sept. 15, 1963—Birmingham Sunday—was a terrible day in American history, when six young African-Americans died, four in the bombing of their church and two in its aftermath. Larry Dane Brimner sharply re-creates the city’s dry-as-tinder atmosphere leading up to the murderous event, in which segregationists had become such a violently irreconcilable force that the city had been redubbed “Bombingham.” From Jim Crow laws to the bigotry of police commissioner Bull Connor, the author carefully delineates the important elements of the picture, throwing particular light on Rev. Fred Shuttlesworth, “who believed a minister’s job didn’t end with a Sunday sermon,” as the author writes in the book. “Shuttlesworth’s deep religiosity allowed him to put himself at great personal risk in an effort to bring about racial equality,” says Brimner, “to face down the Ku Klux Klan with such zeal that many thought he was almost demented.”
For a complete list of all the nonfiction among Kirkus’ Best Children's Books of 2010, click here.
Larry Dane Brimner
Calkins Creek / February / 9781590786130 / $17.95 / ages 10 & up