This is an account that personalizes the events in Birmingham during 1963 by telling the story from the viewpoints of 4 different children/teens that were involved. By using 4 viewpoints, 2 male and 2 female, from various economic groups, the book shows the diversity within the protesters. When this topic is covered in social studies classes, many students come away with the feeling that all the participants were generic and interchangeable, as if they had no identity or life outside the protest. Levinson shows that the son of 2 professional parents living in a nice brick house with a pool was just as much a part of the movement as were the children of working class, less affluent families. The book also shows that many parents did not want their children to participate because they feared the kids would be injured or killed, or other consequences would fall upon the family. Looking back at those events, it seems amazing to many young readers today that authorities would use such brute force tactics against young, peaceful protesters, or that the state and federal government would sit back and do nothing for so long.
The use of historical photos and quotes from the participants helps to recreate the emotions that were prevalent at the time. Additional books and websites are recommended for those who want to learn more about this time period in our history. This would make an excellent source for research or background knowledge.
I read an e-book provided by the publisher through NetGalley.
For more information you may visit the website the publisher has established for the book.