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Claudette Colvin: Twice Toward Justice

Claudette Colvin: Twice Toward Justice

Escrito por Phillip Hoose

Narrado por Channie Waites


Claudette Colvin: Twice Toward Justice

Escrito por Phillip Hoose

Narrado por Channie Waites

valoraciones:
4.5/5 (103 valoraciones)
Longitud:
3 horas
Publicado:
Dec 10, 2009
ISBN:
9781441802408
Formato:
Audiolibro

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Descripción

On March 2, 1955, a slim, bespectacled teenager refused to give up her seat to a white woman on a segregated bus in Montgomery, Alabama. Shouting "It's my constitutional right!" as police dragged her off to jail, Claudette Colvin decided she'd had enough of the Jim Crow segregation laws that had angered and puzzled her since she was a young child.

But instead of being celebrated, as Rosa Parks would be when she took the same stand nine months later, Claudette found herself shunned by many of her classmates and dismissed as an unfit role model by the black leaders of Montgomery. Undaunted, she put her life in danger a year later when she dared to challenge segregation yet again - as one of four plaintiffs in the landmark busing case Browder v. Gayle.

Based on extensive interviews with Claudette Colvin and many others, Phillip Hoose presents the first in-depth account of a major, yet little-known, civil rights figure whose story provides a fresh perspective on the Montgomery bus protest of 1955-56. Historic figures like Martin Luther King, Jr., and Rosa Parks play important roles, but center stage belongs to the brave, bookish girl whose two acts of courage were to affect the course of American history.
Publicado:
Dec 10, 2009
ISBN:
9781441802408
Formato:
Audiolibro

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También disponible como libroLibro

Sobre el autor

Phillip Hoose is an award-winning author of books, essays, stories, songs and articles. Although he first wrote for adults, he turned his attention to children and young adults in part to keep up with his own daughters. His book Claudette Colvin won a National Book Award and was dubbed a Publisher's Weekly Best Book of 2009. He is also the author of Hey, Little Ant, co-authored by his daughter, Hannah; It’s Our World, Too!; The Race to Save the Lord God Bird; The Boys Who Challenged Hitler; and We Were There, Too!, a National Book Award finalist. He has received a Jane Addams Children’s Book Award, a Christopher Award, a Boston Globe-Horn Book Award, and multiple Robert F. Sibert Honor Awards, among numerous honors. He was born in South Bend, Indiana, and grew up in the towns of South Bend, Angola, and Speedway, Indiana. He was educated at Indiana University and the Yale School of Forestry. He lives in Portland, Maine.


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103 valoraciones / 124 Reseñas
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Reseñas de lectores

  • (5/5)
    I am amazed at not only how well this book is researched, but the detail to which that research is documented. Over 20 pages in the back of the book are dedicated to bibliographies, acknowledgments, notes, and even an additional interview with Claudette herself. All quotes from primary sources are cited and even a note asking any party that feels they were not acknowledged properly to contact Mr. Hoose to be acknowledged in future editions. Phillip Hoose wants this book to feel as authentic as possible and that goal is achieved only through thorough combing of primary sources. He went to Birmingham, visited the house where Claudette was raised, and spoke with the people involved in the events leading up to the bus boycott. The extremely liberal use of quotations really made the book feel like a story; almost half of the book was told from the point of view of Ms. Colvin in the first person. As the reader moves through Claudette's life, we feel more and more attached to the "character". Especially being from the south, the language was very relatable and could be easily read by most readers above a third grade reading level. The comfortable font being broken up by photographs and information boxes also helps the book read so easily.
  • (4/5)
    Claudette Colvin: Twice Towards Justice is the true story of a teenage girl that stood up for Civil Rights. Her story is not as well known as other Civil Rights' activists such as Rosa Parks and Martin Luther King, Jr. This is a great book for an American history class for middle to high school students to learn from. The book is separated into two parts, with a total of 10 chapters. The first part of the book is about Claudette's experiences with the Jim Crow Laws and how she refused to get out of her bus seat for a white person. The second part is about the federal court case Browder vs. Gayle and her testimony during within the case. The photos within each chapter include newspaper clippings, photos of Claudette and other personnel, etc. and provide the reader a look into what it was actually like then and what African Americans went through. Within each chapter, the author separated the parts of when Claudette was speaking and when the author was speaking by placing three dots after the previous paragraph, bolding the first line, and wrote and bolded "Claudette:" when Claudette was speaking. The cover of the book invites the reader in by displaying a picture of an African American girl with a background displaying the words "Alabama," "Negro," "Colored," etc. There are no endpages preceding the title page that invite the reader in.The table of contents shows that there are two parts with a total of 10 chapters. The first part has 8 chapters and the second part has 2 chapters. This shows the reader that they will be learning a lot about the events leading up to Claudette's defiance on the bus to what happened next. The chapter titles aid the reader in locating specific content, for example: Ch. 4 "It's My Constitutional Right!" lets the reader know that that is the point in which Claudette stood up for her rights. As well as Ch. 7 "Another Negro Woman Has Been Arrested" in which Rosa Parks gets arrested. The index provides access to visual and verbal text (i.e. Grand Ole Opry radio show). The index is complete and detailed with almost every topic highlighted and page number provided.The bibliography provides a list of sources that allows the reader to conduct further research. It highlights primary and secondary sources, as well as the books, articles, and websites that were used within the book. Within some of the resources, the author includes notes that document his research process (i.e. Frank Sikora, "The Judge").The "Author's note" section describes the author's research process and how the book was started. There is a separate section of notes that refer to quoted materials within each chapter. The photos are included to give the reader an insight and to depict what that page was referencing (example: Ch. 5, p. 46 shows a newspaper clipping titled "Negro Girl Found Guilty..." after Claudette's trial. Near each picture is an explanation of what the photo is showing. I enjoyed this book because it provides me information on the "lost" story of an African American teenager who wasn't afraid to stand up for her rights. Unfortunately, her story was not as popular as Rosa Parks' story and I think that is crazy. This book provides the reader to understand what African Americans went through and why Claudette Colvin was at her breaking point and what made her to suddenly decided to refuse to give up her seat on a bus for a white person. Her bravery shows that someone, no matter what age, can (and should) stand up for what they believe in without creating violence.
  • (5/5)
    it was interesting that why i liked it also i didnt know some things in it

  • (5/5)
    What a great story, and how ably told. The sidebars alone are fascinating covering details like how the buses during Jim Crow were organized inside, with seats one through 10 for whites only, and products used to straighten your hair. Claudette's voice rings out loud and clear in the interviews.
  • (4/5)
    Hoose tells the story of Claudette Colvin, the first African-American to refuse to leave her seat on a Montgomery bus, who has been largely forgotten by history, and was cast aside by the leaders of the Civil Rights Movement because she wasn't the right "face" for the boycott. Hoose conducted a number of interviews with Colvin, and gets a good deal of his information from her. He also uses memoirs by others involved in the subsequent bus boycott, as well as media articles from the time to give the sad story of the young woman who stood up for her rights by keeping her seat. Although I found the book to be very good overall, I was distracted by some of the sidebars, as a few of them didn't really feel approriate for the story, or were largely unrelated to the story. That being said, the book was for the most part very readable, and Hoose's narrative really makes the reader feel for Claudette, who was treated as an outsider, rather than celebrated as Rosa Parks would be a few months later.
  • (5/5)
    This is a very touching book. I can't believe that it's really true and that black people really were treated so bad. Claudette was such a brave girl and I really admire her for doing what she did. I would totally recommend everyone to read this book, because besides the history classes at school this book gives you a real idea of how bad the situation during this time must have been. I also like that there are many photographs in the book which always remind you that the story had really happened.
  • (5/5)
    I really liked this book because Claudette Colvin was a African American woman who stood up for her rights. She did not give up and finally got recognize for her bravery. This book can teach someone no matter who you are you can change the world if you are brave and stand up for what you think is right.
  • (5/5)
    This is a great story about a teenage girl who gets tired of being mistreated and takes a stand in the 1950s. Claudette was on the bus after school and because a white passenger entered the bus she along with the person next to her were expected to get up and give that passenger her seat. Claudette refused to get up and thought the white passenger could just sit next to her. This resulted in two police officers violently yanking Claudette off the bus. Claudette is thrown in jail and there is a buzz for the Civil Rights Movement. Claudette isn't given much credit for her bravery so I'm glad she has a book that tells her story. Claudette is apart of Black history. If I am able I will teach my kids about her along side Rosa Parks.
  • (5/5)
    This book was so well done, using first hand interviews and research to tell a story from before the Civil Rights movement really took off. This book is an excellent way to introduce the movement to young readers. With the main character being a young person, it will help them identify with the story more than an older protagonist would. As a teacher, I would gladly have my students read this book before our class discussions of the Civil Rights movement that followed the events of the story. In addition, the photographs in it will make for excellent visual aids when discussing the world before the Montgomery buss boycotts. Some of the most interesting parts of the book are seeing many of the key figures in the movement before we usually join them in our historical studies. Hearing about Dr. King and Ms. Parks before they really entered the national eye was fascinating.
  • (4/5)
    This reminded me of the type of biographies that I actually enjoyed reading when I was a preteen (and would use as sources for high school papers). Very cool to read about a little-known civil rights activist.
  • (5/5)
    Claudette Colvin's story as shared through Hoose's writing was an interesting, engaging read that gave me a new lens through which to view the civil rights struggles. So often big names in the civil rights movements are the only ones we know of; Claudette's story was new to me and is inspirational that a teen is able to understand, internalize and overcome such obstacles. I appreciated the reality of the book. It certainly didn't paint a "rosey" picture for students as I have found that some not-so-great non-fiction books have done. Although I did not share this book with my students, I could have shared parts of it with them due to the writing style being factual and engaging. Perhaps I'll revisit this when we're discussing heroes and people who can make a difference next school year. I am interested to see what my students make draw as a connection to Claudette (besides the obvious connections to Rosa Parks.)
  • (3/5)
    I enjoyed this book more than I thought I would. Although some of the inserts were a bit distracting, most of the pictures and captions were nicely done. The reading level is at times higher than some forms of YA, but this would not be out of place from any 5th through 7th grade discussion on racial equality and personal experience writing.
  • (5/5)
    Ages 12 and upA moving account of 15 year old Claudette Colvin's personal and public struggle against Jim Crow-era segregation. She was unsupported, even shunned, by the black community in Montgomery, Alabama in the mid-1950s. I read this a few years ago and was struck by the presence of mind and fortitude in such a young person. I gifted it to my niece hoping she'd find inspiration within its pages.
  • (5/5)
    Rosa Parks was not the first African American female to refuse to give up her seat to a white person on a Montgomery, Alabama bus. Claudette Colvin was. Rosa Parks was not the second African American female to refuse to give up her seat to a white person on a Montgomery, Alabama bus. Mary Louise Smith was. Rosa Parks became the face of the Montgomery Bus Boycott after two teenaged African American girls paved the way. Claudette Colvin was one of the four African American female plaintiffs in Browder v. Gayle, a landmark case in which segregation of buses was determined to be a violation of the 14th Amendment of the U.S. Constitution. Fifty years after she was arrested for refusing to give up her seat on the bus, Claudette Colvin told her story to author Phillip M. Hoose. Hoose puts Colvin's early life into historical context while quoting extensively from Ms. Colvin about her personal experiences in the early days of the Civil Rights Movement (presumably from the many hours of interviews he conducted as part of his research for this book). Colvin's voice is even more evident in the audio version read by Channie Waites. This highly readable biography belongs in every public and secondary school library.
  • (5/5)
    Philip Hoose tells of an enlightening story of a black teenage girl who refuses to get out of her seat for a white person during the time of Jim Crow in Alabama. This happened before Rosa Parks did the same thing and helps the reader reflect on why Rosa Park became famous over her stance and not Claudette Colvin. It is a biography of Ms. Colvin and a history of the civil Rights Movement in Montgomery, Alabama. It tells of how white government officials, police and citizens discriminated and belittled the blacks. It tells of how many blacks were furious over it but said nothing in public, which infuriated Ms. Colvin. This can be an excellent discussion for students as to why they think that happened. It tells of the violence that occurred to those who stood up against the discrimination. It tells of young Martin Luther King, Jr. and how instrumental and charismatic he was in empowering the black community. It also tells of the lawsuit against the City of Montgomery and the brave women and lawyer who were willing to speak out. Claudette Colvin, still a teenagers was one of them. This story also tells of Claudette's life and how she had to withstand the ridicule of her classmates and how the adult leaders didn't stay connected or support her afterward. It helps the reader to understand her decision to move to New York. It tells of her return to Booker T. Washington High School where she had been expelled because she was pregnant. The reader sees the difference then in comparison to when Ms. Colvin returned. And it helps one understand why Ms. Colvin decided not to stay an activist but to work hard at her profession and support her second son. Hoose is thorough in gathering information for this book. He interviews Ms. Colvin 14 times and some were in person. He also lists books, articles and websites he used. It is one of the most thorough bibliographies I've seen. It is basically in chronological order with Hoose explaining the events and then Claudette expressing her thoughts, which gives insight to her strength, determination, and perseverance even when she was shunned at school for standing up for what was right. It helps the reader better understand Claudette as a whole person, not just the facts of the civil rights movement. The content is carefully organized and language is accessible to readers. Hoose quotes Ms. Colvin accurately, showing her dialect. This reflects who she is and engages many readers. The language is vivid and precise at times helping to almost picture the event in the readers mind. At the point that "Knabe kept hammering at the point he was trying to get Claudette to make for him." one can see the precise wording. The arrest of Ms. Colvin on page 34 was vivid when the officer was talking about getting ready to arrest Ms. Colvin. Disrespectful is a mild word describing the way police treated her, and yet she was the one who was arrested and convicted. The tone of Hoose is partisan. Though he tells the story with accuracy. He helps the reader to see the injustices that were done under the mask of "separate but equal". The cover is bright but doesn't necessarily draw a reader into the book. One can tell by the photograph it will be about a young black girl and the title talks of justice twice, which can pull the reader in. The award medals help one realize the several awards given to the book which means it should be good. The front end pages show of the many reviews explaining how it is an outstanding book. The back end page tells about Phillip Hoose and the many honors his books have received. It gives a website where the reader can learn more about him. The table of contents shows how the book is organized and it is divided into two parts, which are "First Cry" and "Playing for Keeps". The chapter titles don't always lead the reader to know what occurs. Some titles do. The chapter titles do help the reader to wonder what a chapter is about, such as "Coot". The index is 8'pages which is detailed. There are credits for the photographs so the reader can reference the picture from the page noted. The sidebars are the black boxes further explaining an aspect of the story. They are quite valuable. There isn't a glossary or pronunciation guide, but there didn't seem to be a need. There are inserted pictures, photographs of letters and documents which add insight for the reader. The drawing of the bus seating helped for the reader to clearly understand the way the system worked. The books bibliography was thorough. Hoose gives books, articles and websites he used. The notes are divided by chapters so a reader can further look into insights easily. He acknowledges individuals who helped him in gathering information and how the Claudette sections information was gathered. There were many photographs, pictures of articles and documents which helped the reader more clearly see what was happening and what individuals looked like. It made it real. Though photos were black and white and not as clear as photos now, they clearly depicted the situation and would help students understand what was happening during the civil rights movement in Alabama. This book is a powerful, yet shows a a personal side of an angry and frustrated teenager and how she continues to live her life beyond the civil rights movement.
  • (4/5)
    This book is about a girl named Claudette Colvin and her struggles growing up during the Civil Rights Movement. After she refused to give up her seat on a public bus in Montgomery, she was arrested and became a central part to the movement in Montgomery. She was only a teenager when she stood up for her constitutional rights and did what most adults didn't have the courage to do. She helped to organize the Bus Boycott alongside many other black leaders in Montgomery, such as Martin Luther King Jr. and Rosa Parks. She also went to trail to get the segregation laws dismissed from the bus systems. After struggling personally an with family tragedies, like the death of her younger sister to Polio, she watched the Civil Rights Movement take off to successes, failures, and threats. This book is a great first hand account of the racial struggle of the time in the south. There are great pictures demonstrating what the Jim Crow laws did to society. In areas where the author isn't sure about a fact, generalizations are used. For example, there's a picture of Claudette and the caption reads, "This school photo of Claudette was probably taken in 1953 when she was thirteen." It did get a bit confusing because the chapters jumped from narration to Claudette's point of view quite a lot. Overall, it's a great book and a great study for special curriculum, such as a lesson during Black History Month.
  • (4/5)
    Before Rosa Parks, there was Claudette Colvin who refused to give up her seat on the bus for a white woman. This is a readable and compelling account of how one teenager, frustrated with the adults around her putting up with Jim Crow ways, finally rebelled against the system. Unfortunately, she wasn't the desired "face" for the movement because of her background. An adult Claudette recalls her experiences and emotions through interviews with the author. Descriptions of the detailed organization of the boycott, leadership behind-the-scenes and the Browder vs Gayle trial clearly show young readers what a pivotal moment the bus boycott was in civil rights history, and that, yes, young people CAN make a difference.
  • (5/5)
    I am writing this book review after a class discussion in which my particular group of classmates unanimously decided that we liked everything about the book. It was done in a respectful way regarding its subject; the photographs are compelling; the black and cream color scheme effective; the table of contents are well organized and named; the book is assembled in a pleasing and logical way; the epilogue, afterword and author's note informative and satisfying;the bibliography excellent in that it informs why the particular sources were used; and there are notes, an index, and photo credits as well. Phillip Hoose is well qualified to write a book such as this one, and was successful , obviously, in that it won several awards. We also said that Colvin's story is told in a rhythmic and timely manner, with the photos and inserts occurring at just the right times.What we did not say in class was this: Hoose knows how to craft a good, readable story. The narrative is loosely chronological,with Claudette's and others' first person accounts interwoven with the news of the day, and the narrator telling the story. It flows. The illustrations and documents that are included come at just the right time in the story, and include interesting things like fingerprint documents, mug shots, diagrams, and newspaper clippings. The story builds-- Colvin is out of the picture when she gets pregnant and decides to come back to Alabama, eventually testifying in the case that legally ends the segregation of buses. Her testimony in the case is the climax of the story. She nails it. She gets her chance to make a difference.....And then is completely overlooked. Her triumph in helping to start a movement and then effectively sealing its success are forgotten and/or diminished by those who benefitted from it. Reading this book felt like uncovering a secret, one that should be shared. Although this book is about the fight for racial equality and the brave souls who engaged in it, it is also about the marginalization of the contributions made by a young girl, because she had the audacity to become pregnant out of wedlock. As African Americans were working toward justice for people of color, the world was still discriminating against women.There were so many poignant parts of this story. I think the most affecting part was the elderly woman who refused a ride during the bus boycott. She said, "I'm not walking for myself. I'm walking for my children and my grandchildren." She walked because it was her personal stand. Her chance to be a part of righting the wrongs of America. There were a million personal stories that combine to make the big one. It is also emotional when Colvin succeeds with her testimony, not allowing the slick lawyer to make her flustered or say something she didn't mean to say. The tension leading up to her turn to speak was palpable. The reader is on edge, praying she will get through it. And then the reader sighs, and smiles, when she shows them what she's made of.I can't say enough about this book, other than that I want everyone to read it. Young and old. Excellent.
  • (5/5)
    This book was AMAZING!!! She was an inspiring young african american girl that decided enough was enough. She was a 14 year old girl that acted like Rosa Parks.
  • (4/5)
    This book was a wonderful read and interesting study of how historical narratives are shaped. The book had a nice format. The photographs were appropriate and accurately labeled. The black, in-text boxes helped to further explain concepts and background information to readers. I liked the quotes at the beginning of each chapter, and separating the book into two parts clarified how Colvin had twice stood up for justice. I thought sections where Claudette speaks for herself were also a nice touch.
  • (5/5)
    This was an excellent book! I think this book really shows the possibilities that are out there in terms of access features-- an exemplary text! Normally I wouldn't think that the bright orange color of the cover would be an inviting color, but it provides an eye-catching contrast to the blue and the black & white photograph. Of course all of the glossy award-winner "stickers" are pretty enticing, too. The cover suggests innocence with Claudette's young face, but black and white pictures are also kind of creepy to me and suggests some sort of ill fate or historical relevance unknown. I'm really glad I got the paperback book because I think that the hardcover yellow copy is not as attractive. The end pages include all of the awards this book/author have won and praise for the author, which always makes the book more appealing to me. Likewise, I like that they included the "About the author" section in the end pages rather than on the back cover. The table of contents and chapter titles add to the mystery and appeal of the book but they don't give much away in terms of content of the chapters. I like that many of the chapter titles come from quotes and explanations directly from Claudette herself. On the first page of each chapter below the title itself there were additional anticipatory quotes included from relevant figures in that chapter that added to the suspense and my investment in reading. I also thought that the division of the book into two parts was fitting, the first go-round with the bus boycott and surrounding events, and then the second part when they finally took action directly in the Browder vs. Gayle lawsuit. There is also a very thorough index included-- from what I can tell, some of the visual text is included in the index but not all of it. The index suggests any and all topics that I could think of related to the book itself, and most of the entries have at least two or more page references. There is no glossary, but I think that it would not be necessary with this type of text. It is easy enough to look up people and place names in the index and refer to the cited page to make a determination where definitions outside of that are not really necessary. I also felt that the sidebars and inserted information were thoughtful and contributed to the text. When things were inserted they followed a natural and logical progression from the main text and answered related questions that arose as I was reading. I also thought that the titles of the sidebars -- the font and capital letters -- as well as the black box design were attractive and engaged me as a reader if I wanted to know more, but were also very clearly offset if I wanted to continue reading on without interruption and revisit them later. I loved all of the photographs that were included as well. I thought the author and the book's artists did a great job of showing unique photographs or laying them out in a way that was unique and interesting rather than the dull sort of insert that you find in a lot of nonfiction texts. The varied sizing and positions on the pages added visual variety and engagement in the content as well. The images that were chosen also felt very personal-- like really looking deeply into this life at this time. The author acknowledges that he consulted many hundreds of sources for the book and notes that he has included the most helpful in the bibliography- these are arranged by books, articles and web pages. The arrangement and inclusion is very clear and not overwhelming. There are also notes included after the bibliography with additional information and explanations ordered according to chapters and page numbers, but I did not initially realize they were there and then had to go back and re-read the earliest ones to see if I had missed anything that would influence or clarify my reading of the main text. The notes range widely in length and substance. I really appreciated that the author explained how he got his descriptions of people and places as on page 137 he describes how he got the description of Claudette's reactions during the court trial from interviews and additional primary sources. I thought overall this reflected a level of seriousness, dedication and transparency on the part of the author. I was slightly confused when I came to the end of the book and found separate sections for an epilogue, author's note, afterword, and acknowledgements. I realize that the epilogue is a continuation of the narrative itself, but I"m not sure why the author's note and acknowledgements were not put together or placed next to one another in the text?In the author's note he does go on to describe how he came to take on the book and research project and notes his relationship to Claudette Colvin during that time. Overall, I believe the author was very thorough in explaining his intent and approach to the content/ subject. The acknowledgements section adds to this and lists several people to whom he is indebted for the work, etc. I also read the afterword that was included in this paperback edition and it did shed some light on questions that I had as well about Claudette's life after she grew up and moved to New York. However, even after reading the 2005 afterword, I'm still feeling like something is missing from Claudette's narrative. It doesn't make sense to me that she dropped out of college because she didn't like the course offerings when she had been so committed to getting there and becoming a lawyer. It seems like she and the author are skirting some unspoken information that maybe Claudette didn't want included? There still seems to be some kind of disconnect or missing links in the narrative-- especially where it concerns Raymond, the fact that he never lived with her, his drug abuse and then early death. I kept wishing there was something more that would be revealed but I wonder if the way her life turned out was just a result of the realities of the Civil Rights leaders having turned their backs on her and being a teenage mother? I would've thought she would have rallied her spirits and gotten through college if she came that far. It just still seems strange to me that she was so reluctant to speak out later in life but I think I perhaps just can't imagine truly what that would have been like.
  • (5/5)
    I was impressed with this biography by Hoose. This was fascinating book about a woman I did not know anything about. I had studied the importance of Rosa Parks but did not know the story of Claudette Colvin. The book is organized by chapters and separated into 4 parts. The information is presented in chronological order and documents Colvin's life as well as the Civil Rights Movement. The chapter titles draw the reader into the story, and the use of quotes below each title causes the reader to reflect on the possible meaning and connection to the text. I especially liked the way the author intersperses interviews with Colvin throughout the book. I think students will connect with her story in a much more personal way because of these passages. It helps to tell her story, the way she saw the world as a young child, and how she tried to make sense of an unfair system. Her personal experiences with racism such as the fact blacks could not even try on clothes or shoes, really made an impression on me and, I am sure these personal stories would leave an indelible mark on a teenage reader. Although the author does not include a glossary, the chapters have informational text embedded to explain concepts to readers. There are excerpts about important people and ideas that readers need to know. The fact that these are presented on the pages makes it more accessible; you don't have to go searching through the glossary. There are many historical photographs from the time period which show the stark reality of this time of segregation in our history. There are also newspaper clippings, the police report from when Claudette was arrested and documents from the time such as a segregated movie ticket stub. It is obvious the author took great care to research his subject thoroughly. The "Author's Note" provides information about why he chose to write a book about Colvin. Instead of interviewing her just once for his research, he interviewed her fourteen times. He also includes an "Afterward" which serves as a follow up piece to the story. Once again, he interviewed her in 2010 and asked her some of the questions students and adults wanted to know about her life. I especially liked her quote: "The truth is the truth regardless of the color of the author." The "Bibliography" lists primary sources and secondary sources for students to explore. It also list newspaper and journal articles as well as selected websites. The "Notes" section is careful to document all pictures and writing sources used in the text. An "Acknowledgments" section is also included in which he thanks the numerous people and organizations that helped him in his research. The author's simple style of writing draws the reader in. His use of rhetorical questions in the text is appealing to students and adults. His ability to tell Claudette's story from her point of view while also telling the story of the fight for civil rights makes this a personal reading experience. The author serves as an observer and a mouthpiece for Claudette. By letting the descriptions of her mistreatment and her personal struggles tell the story, it creates a personal connection between the reader and the text. Students are learning about the history of the civil rights in an accessible manner.
  • (5/5)
    Phillip Hoose's Claudette Colvin: Twice Toward Justice is a comprehensive and impressive inquiry into a largely unknown teenage civil rights activist. The novel can be used in both language arts and social studies classrooms and is certain to become a favorite among students. Colvin is a truly accessible heroine of the Jim Crow south: she stood up for what she believed in when others wouldn't, but is also far from perfect.Structurally, the novel is arranged into two parts, with each part covering two very separate heroic acts of Colvin in her early life: first, her refusal to surrender her seat to a white woman on a Montgomery bus; second, her role as the star witness is the federal case surrounding the Montgomery bus laws, Browder v. Gayle. There are a total of ten numbered chapters, perhaps representing a liberation of the number ten from its detested association with the Jim Crow laws. Throughout the chapters are vitally important photographs and newspaper clippings depicting the life of Colvin and the setting of the civil rights movement within Jim Crow Alabama. Also interspersed are key events, people, and details associated with the civil rights movement and the Montgomery bus boycott. The photos, newspaper clippings, and background information really help place the reader in the era.Supplementing the traditional omnipotent narration is Colvin's own commentary and view of the events, taken directly from interviews Hoose conducted with Colvin. The personal narration coming from Colvin truly made it feel like the book was co-written by Colvin herself. In fact, in the author's notes in the back, Hoose describes how, even before publishing, he read the book to Colvin, who made corrections and changes even down to connotative details. Hoose supplemented Colvin's accounts with other primary sources still around, such as interviews with Fred Gray, Colvin's lawyer and the prosecuting attorney in Browder v. Gayle. Indeed, the accuracy of this book is hard to deny, and the awards it earned certainly seem warranted.To me, Hoose's biggest important accomplishment was the dignified manner he covered Colvin's teenage pregnancy out of wedlock. Indeed, this seems to be the reason Colvin is not better known, was not the face of the bus boycott, and virtually disappeared into obscurity. There is no doubt in my mind that civil rights leaders were, to some degree, ashamed of Colvin's pregnancy and turned their back on her, but it is also clear from the story that this was necessary, not malicious, and accepted as the right move by Colvin. The novel also does not vilify Colvin for getting pregnant. Instead Colvin and Hoose, while purposely not going into great detail about the ordeal, remind people that young girls were not educated about sex. Indeed, Hoose's handling of this aspect of the narrative not only provides necessary information about the Montgomery civil rights movement, but it also provides compelling insight as to why Colvin was almost all but forgotten about.This story has truly educated me fully in the events surrounding the Montgomery bus boycott, and also given me important insight into an unsung hero of the civil rights movement. Perhaps more importantly, it has caused me to ask lots of questions. Was the NAACP going to use Colvin to represent their cause before finding out she was pregnant? Did this revelation of her pregnancy to the public, which the novel points out happens just before Rosa Park's protest, actually spur Parks, who was a close associate of Colvin, to become the face of this movement? Did the NAACP have a hand at convincing Parks, an otherwise quiet woman, to protest on a bus to become the face of the movement after Colvin had let them down, a fact which the NAACP would have to hide since they didn't want it to seem like the leaders were inciting the people to revolt against the bus companies? Or did Parks, knowing that Colvin couldn't represent their movement anymore, take matters into her own hands when learning about her friend Colvin? Like any good novel, this novel gives great information, which only leads to more questions. This novel deserves all the praise it has already received, and more, and has proved to be an exciting, informative, and interesting read.
  • (5/5)
    This is truly an amazing addition to history. Claudette Colvin's story, together with Philip Hoose's historical portrayal, brings new life to the history of African American struggle against racial segregation. We are accustomed to hear the names of Rosa Parks and Martin Luther King Jr. whenever the Montgomery Bus Boycott comes up in discussions. This book makes us question why we have never heard of Claudette Colvin. I, for one, had never heard of her story before reading this book. As the story gradually unravels, we come to discover that it was her example, almost a year earlier than Rosa Parks' demonstration, that sparked the desire for the Boycott. We also learn that she was shunned publicly by the black leaders in the civil rights movement for being too young and for having a light-skinned baby. As the book presents various facets of the situation in Montgomery of which few today are aware, this book is excellent for young adult readers interested in the civil rights movement. Colvin is presented as an initiator of the spirit of revolt on the buses, while Hoose places her in a long line-up of African American bus rabble-rousers. When history books usually speak of Montgomery, there is usually no mention that there was constant unrest on the buses, or that the bus drivers were given police authority. As the story unfolds, Hoose shows how it was the court decision in Browder v. Gale that eventually ended the year long boycott, and how Colvin's testimony was perhaps the nail-clincher in the case. The case is also admired for its timing: at the moment that the leaders of boycott were arraigned in court to be sentenced for illegal carpooling, the ruling came from the Supreme Court in favor of the four women plaintiffs in the Browder case. Colvin and her attorney Fred Gray were the saving grace of the movement, which would have been a much wearier struggle without their involvement. Among the many virtues of this book, is having Colvin tell her story in her own words. Each chapter is an interweaving of her story alongside Hoose's historical account. The story highlights the insane violence against the leaders of the civil rights movement, both black and white. At the end of the books we also get Hoose's notes on how he first came across Colvin's story and his mission to bring it to a wider audience of readers. There is also an afterword where Hoose gives Colvin a short interview where he gets her answers to the most common questions she is usually asked by curious readers. This book makes us want to learn more about the Civil Rights movement, as it offers us a more intimate look at what is mostly taken for granted (that there were many involved in protesting the buses, not just the leaders of the civil rights movement).
  • (5/5)
    This was a really great book, though it was somewhat strangely organized. My own classes in high school never even mentioned Claudette Colvin. The civil rights era is generally covered in some detail in middle and high schools, but the focus tends to be on Dr. King and Rosa Parks more than anyone or anything else. This account of the Montgomery bus boycott felt different, and more personal than any I have ever read before. Furthermore, hearing about the struggles and trials of the girl who was arguably the catalyst for the bus boycott would likely engage many high school students more effectively than some more "objectively" situated narratives. This book will be added to my collection. Learning the history and some details of the community interactions surrounding the twenty one months of the boycott was enlightening, and it brought up a whole slew of questions and thoughts on the intricacies of the ever evolving social climate of the United States. For example, the way that Claudette Colvin was treated in the wake of her court appearance by virtue of the fact that she was an unwed mother with a light skinned baby could an excellent segue into discussions of gender and racial intersectionality and the ways that various factors play into our relationship with the hierarchical power structures upon which oppression is built. I did take some issue with the organization of the book. Yes, the chronological flow was good, and I appreciated the inclusion of segments from interviews with Ms. Colvin, but the picture and sidebars were somewhat disorganized and inconsistently useful. Furthermore, the sudden, jarring inclusion of and all-black page stating "PART TWO" is completely unnecessary and strange - to say the least. Right before part two is the transition into part two which is simply a logical continuation in the flow of the book. It would have felt like an out of place mile marker sign at the center of a trail if it weren't for the fact that it appears so near to the end of the book anyway. Why did the author suddenly need a break between two chapters which happen in logical continuity with one another and the rest of the book? I will admit that this one bit of strangeness probably bothered me more than it should, and that, on the whole, the book is of such good quality that I would still highly recommend it to anyone curious about this chapter in the civil rights movement.
  • (5/5)
    I'm not going to lie. Usually when the Civil Rights movement is covered in any of my English or Social Science courses, I feel discouraged and resigned. I did not always feel this way. Over the course of a LOT of years of formal schooling, I began to harbor these feelings not because I don't sympathize with the plight and struggle of African Americans, but rather because of all historical events that have been covered in my classes, Jim Crow was without a doubt studied the most. Honestly though, was it really "studied"? The same events with the same actors were covered over and over: Brown v. Board, Rosa Parks, the Bus Boycott, etc. Is that studying or is that beating a dead horse? Am I the only one who feels this way? Needless to say, I was intrigued when I picked up this book. I got a sense that its topic was the Civil Rights movement, but I had never before heard of Claudette Colvin. If someone had written this book's title only on a blank piece of paper and showed it to me, I may have guessed its topic correctly on the fifth try. That's how little I have heard of Claudette Colvin during my time in school. What a shame that is. After I read this book, I began to wonder why Rosa Parks gets all the attention. Her job was easy by comparison, a fact I didn't know until I had finished this book. The real sacrifice, the real dirty work, was performed by Ms. Colvin. For what this book revealed, I can honestly say that this is the best book pertaining to the Civil Rights movement I have ever read and it has by itself served to enhance my interest in the period. Phillip Hoose really did a lot of painstaking work to compile this information in a readable manner, and the fruits of his labor glisten. I like the way Hoose sprinkled his fourteen interviews with Ms. Colvin at random points throughout the book. He did it in such a way that the book's organization revolves around her words, which really in my view brings home how authoritative this book is. A lot of what Colvin had to say was anecdotal in that it dealt with her early life and how life was in Montgomery in general, while the rest of it dealt with her experiences in the context of the Civil Rights movement itself. Hoose organizes this information nicely, placing the anecdotal in the front and the historical and informational dialogue later on to fit the course of his narrative. I couldn't help but be reminded of my AP English Composition class as I was reading the first half of this book. We had studied the art of the Vignette, and I think this first half fits the bill of a Vignette nicely, or at least it served as a reminder to me of it. A story is told, then is interrupted by a contextual anecdote about daily life, the story resumes, is interrupted again, and the process repeats. The result is often a humorous yet poignantly humanizing account of life, a broad contextual portrayal of existence--I suppose for this course the closest parallel is the photographic essay. Organizing the book in this manner really did a good job exposing how brutally Ms. Colvin was treated and how shamefully Jim Crow influenced Alabama and the rest of the South during this time period (but especially Alabama). I also appreciated the manner in which the reader's unasked questions are answered by Hoose. Some authors seem to have a natural gift of perceiving which questions could arise from the words they write down. As Kelly Gallagher likes to say, the best readers are the best writers, and the best writers are the best readers. I have no doubt that Mr. Hoose is very well-read. Hoose makes sure to include several possible reasons why Ms. Colvin has been forgotten in the annals of history (e.g. her out-of-wedlock pregnancy, her teen-aged disposition, her lack of social stature even among the black community, etc.), and why Rosa Parks was seen as a better replacement for possessing virtually the opposite characteristics as Ms. Colvin (esteem that comes with age, occupational respect, etc.). Even during this time period, it seems that black familial and friendly relationships were communitarian in nature, and Hoose does a good job describing to the reader who is related to whom as well as outlining the interesting dynamics that existed between "ordinary" blacks and those who were seen as pioneers of the Civil Rights era (MLK, Rosa Parks, E.D. Nixon, Jo Ann Robinson, Fred Gray, etc.). I also appreciated how Hoose reminds us that Brown v. Board was important but that the Gayle v. Browder case has been overlooked in history. I completely agree with this. Brown v. Board only dealt with segregation in schools, but Gayle v. Browder seemed to be more broadly applicable to all public transportation. This book is just a fantastic read and a real page-turner, and the breadth of primary source content as well as the voluminous amount of citations at the end of the book really emphasizes the book's documentary nature and makes it authoritative. It seems to me that this book could have a broad range of appeal as well. I would definitely consider using this book in any social studies class, particularly in the lower grades of high school and possibly even the higher grades as well. I feel this way because the reading level seems more advanced compared with the books I have studied for this class thus far, and the picture illustrations, while relevant and interesting; seem less frequent. I think that's a good thing though. It's the content that's important here. We are talking about fundamental human rights, after all.
  • (4/5)
    Primary source information about a 15-year-old girl named Claudette Colvin and how she refused to give up her seat to a white person. This occurred several months before Rosa Parks refused to give up her seat, yet Claudette Colvin was shunned by her community and ignored by the law.
  • (4/5)
    I greatly enjoyed this book because it actually sought to portray a more human element to the Civil Rights Movement, particularly the Montgomery Bus Boycott. I found it very interesting because rather than showing the participants as pure figures acting purely upon ideals, I showed that there was a set plan of action to achieve the goals of their movement. While some may find their shrewdly setting aside Colvin in favor of their plan for Parks objectionable and apt to portray the leaders in a negative light, I felt that it actually provided the NAACP with far more agency. They were concious of how they would be precieved and worked within the social expectations to dismantle the oppressive injustices afflicting them. On the topic of agency, I also liked how Hoose's presentation of events credited the Blacks on the ground of the movement with effecting change rather than perpetuating the tired trope that the White Federal Government GAVE them their rights. It is a far better, and more accurate, tale to say that these were rights WON. Speaking about Colvin herself, there has been a trend in the study of History to place greater focus and emphasis on the faceless actors of History and their contributions to it, rather than the great figures credited with effecting massive changes. To this end, the book is no different and I appreciate that this author has written about someone that very few people have heard about, but who sparked a larger movement. Finally, I greatly enjoyed the format of the book in that there was a flow back and forth between the first person narrative of Ms. Colvin and the author's providing background information on the situation in Montgomery to place her testemony in a broader perspective
  • (5/5)
    A fantastic book consisting of a combination of both primary and secondary sources, Claudette Colvin tells the story of a young African American teenage girl who, one day, decides on a bus that enough is enough. Shadowed by larger public figures such as Rosa Parks and MLK, Ms. Colvin is no less significant to the Civil Rights Movement, and this book sheds light on her past actions that have been mostly overlooked in classrooms. I think this book would make a fine addition to any history/social studies/English class that is dealing with this particular period of time and looking to add some humanity to the politics. Since this book discusses a challenging topic with more words than pictures, I definitely think this would be more suited to older kids that are ready to delve further into what the Civil Rights Movement was about. I loved the picture and caption inserts throughout the text. I thought they really enhanced the reading experience, and helped put faces to some famous names. I also appreciated the easy flow of the chapters and the linear progression throughout the book on the events that led to the results of a lesser-known court case - Browder v. Gayle. Throughout the work, people and topics are mentioned (e.g. NAACP, MLK, Rosa Parks, church bombings) that allow room for students to go through the text and find something that interests them, which could lead to future research or presentation projects. Not only did I love the extensive list of books and articles listed in the bibliography, Hoose also provided us with an afterword where Ms. Colvin answers questions most commonly asked of her. Simply a great read - no wonder it received so many awards!
  • (4/5)
    Claudette Colvin: Twice Towards Justice is a strong book about the American Civil Rights Movement. It tells us about Claudette Colvin, a 15 year old African American girl who refused to give up her seat on the bus. The book contains many historical images and documents. From a content standpoint, these documents and images add a great deal of depth to the story. The narrative style shows how life was in segregated America. There are several information boxes scattered throughout the text which help support content. They give more information about important people and places. The book is further bolstered by Claudette Colvin's own words. She recounts the struggles of everyday life and the challenges he family faced. Colvin's arrest took place before Rosa Parks'. Browder v. Gayle was the monumental court case that ended the bus boycotts. This case overturned the doctrine of "separate but equal" facilities. This is an important book to have in the classroom. The reading level is a bit too advanced for younger children but this book is appropriate for fifth and sixth graders. It gives enough detail to interest students. The narrative style is clear and easy to follow. Colvin's own words add a great deal of depth and verify the accuracy of the story. The various documents, pictures and textual interludes add a strong sense of focus. This book supplements a lesson about the Civil Rights Movement and can show students that other individuals besides Rosa Parks were affected by the restrictive nature of segregation.