Tuesday, December 12, 2017

Fall Reading 2017 Twelve Days in May: Freedom Ride 1961


This book is a great resource for students or classes studying the Civil Rights Movement and especially the Freedom Riders. It is packed with archival photos of the riders, as well as images of other protests such as marches and sit-ins. Key figures in the Freedom Ride such as the riders, organizers, and "Bull" Connor are shown, but there are also images such as signs posted by the KKK welcoming visitors to Tuscaloosa and even one shot of a young child wearing the white robe and hood of the KKK. The text walks through events in chronological order, narrating the actions of the riders, the response of law enforcement and those opposed to integration, and comments on what was shared about the ride in the media of the time. 

The format of the book is large, like a coffee table edition. This makes the photos an excellent size for viewing details. The font size is correspondingly large, as well. A section on "Landmark events before the Twelve Days in May" serves as background for the story, highlighting court cases such as Plessy v. Ferguson and Brown v. Board of Education. The story of the ride itself begins with a cast of characters, "Who's on the Buses?" which gives the name, race, and age of each rider. The closing section of the book gives a more detailed description of each rider's involvement in the Civil Rights Movement. Back matter also includes a bibliography, source notes, index, and picture credits.

Highly recommended for middle grades and up, especially classrooms and school libraries providing U.S. History materials to students. I received a copy from the publisher for review purposes.

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