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Claudette Colvin: Twice Toward Justice

Claudette Colvin: Twice Toward Justice

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Claudette Colvin: Twice Toward Justice

valoraciones:
4.5/5 (98 valoraciones)
Longitud:
209 páginas
2 horas
Publicado:
Jan 20, 2009
ISBN:
9781429948210
Formato:
Libro

Descripción

From Scribd: About the Book

The first in-depth account of an important yet largely unknown figure, Phillip Hoose provides an opportunity for Claudette Colvin and many other overshadowed figures in the civil rights movement to share their experiences. Based on exclusive in-depth interviews, Claudette Colvin: Twice Toward Justice tells the dramatic story of a passionate young woman who refused to give up her seat on a segregated bus in Montgomery, Alabama.

Fifteen-year-old Claudette Colvin was shunned by classmates and community leaders for her audacious moves instead of being celebrated, like Rosa Parks was only nine months later for taking the same action. Colvin’s decisions had direct effects in the historic Montgomery bus boycott as did her engagement as the key plaintiff in landmark case Browder v. Gayle, which struck down the segregation laws of Montgomery and laid the legal groundwork for the dissipation of the Jim Crow Laws.

Claudette Colvin is the 2009 National Book Award Winner for Young People's Literature and a 2010 Newbery Honor Book.

Publicado:
Jan 20, 2009
ISBN:
9781429948210
Formato:
Libro

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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  • (4/5)
    Phillip Hoose’s “Claudette Colvin: Twice Towards Justice,” tells the story of a young pioneer who fought against racial segregation during one of the most turbulent periods in American history. In the American South, racial segregation divided citizens and created a social norm that allowed inequality that tipped in favor of whites. Blacks were not only socially inferior, but most were reduced to working laborious jobs, attending poorly funded schools, and remaining silent towards acts of unspeakable violence. In an act of defiance, Colvin, a black teenager, refused to give up her seat to a white bus passenger and sparked a movement that would end in the landmark case of Browder vs. Gayle. This case desegregated Montgomery’s buses and furthered the destruction of Jim Crow laws, but sadly Colvin remains an unspoken hero of the Civil Rights era. She stood up for her Constitutional rights nine months before Rosa Parks also refused to give up her seat, but Colvin was deemed an unworthy symbol of the movement since she was depicted as emotional and reckless. She was also charged with assaulting a police officer and found herself pregnant months later, which many in the movement thought made her an improper role model. However, her story deserves to be told, and Hoose’s book does an excellent job of sharing her story. Hoose’s biography on the back jacket flap does not divulge much regarding his qualifications for writing this book, but the many accolades he has garnered for his writing proves that he is more than qualified to write nonfiction. This work alone won the National Book Award for Young People’s Literature and was awarded a Newbery Honor. In terms of accuracy, I would argue that this work is extremely accurate in telling Colvin’s story since her words make up a major portion of the book. Hoose states that he spent many months interviewing Colvin, and allowed her to proofread his drafts. Since her words are a major presence in the work, I would claim that this book is a hybrid work that has features of a memoir and an autobiography while recreating life and introducing the important people who lived in segregated Montgomery. Hoose’s bibliography cites the many works he used to illustrate the horrendous injustices characterizing this period, and he has extensive notes to further specify where he got his information. In terms of content, the scope of the book is the Civil Rights movement, specifically the movement’s presence in Montgomery, Alabama. However, the focus of the book is Claudette Colvin’s life, specifically her traumatic experience on the bus and the proceeding court case that desegregated Montgomery’s buses. Hoose stays true to his purpose and keeps Colvin’s story at the heart of his narrative. But the depth of the narrative is complex since he discuses life at that time, laws specific to segregation, and people who where integral in the Civil Rights movement in Montgomery. His work is an all-encompassing work that truly recreates the harrowing experiences for blacks in the South.Hoose’s writing style is very clear. He is present in the connecting paragraphs between Colvin’s statements, and he recounts the atrocities faced by the black community with both compassion and strict attention to detail and verisimilitude. However, his tone is judgmental in terms of the inequality of segregation. Hoose is obviously very much against it, but he is not judgmental towards Colvin in the way that her contemporaries were. He does not pass judgment on her getting pregnant or being arrested. He is sympathetic to her cause and champions her importance to the movement. The vocabulary used is appropriate for the young audience the book is geared towards, and there are no instances of sensationalism or stereotyping. His book depicts how life really was, in all it’s disturbing and utterly upsetting truth. The books organization is predominantly chronological since it focuses on the story of Colvin. Her story begins at her birth and ends in the Epilogue, which states how she is alive and living in New York City. But the book also features elements of story narrative organization since Hoose begins the book with a harrowing scene from Colvin’s life in which she was slapped for simply touching a white boy. This anecdote engages the reader in a way that great novels do, and Hoose does this with flashbacks throughout. There are enumerated chapters with titles that allude to the happenings in the upcoming chapter, and there are great quotes that start each chapter as well. The book is divided into two sections with the first part talking about her childhood and her incident on the bus, and the second part featuring the Browder vs. Gayle trial. There is also an index, a table of contents, notes, picture credits, acknowledgments, a bibliography, epilogue, and author’s note.To delve deeper into the book’s format, the cover features a colored version of an image of Colvin at thirteen along with a collage of newspaper clippings that feature headlines regarding segregation. Right away, the cover jacket lets the reader know that this book will be dealing with the emotionally charged subject of racial segregation, and it made me wonder how a young black girl would find herself in the middle of this tumultuous movement. The book features an endpage that tells of the authors other critically acclaimed works. The table of contents separates the chapters into two parts highlighted in a bold font, and features the chapter titles, which are either quotes or subjects that will be covered in the chapter. Some of the chapter titles leave a lot to the imagination and draw readers in to figure out why some chapters would be called “Coot” or “Second Front, Second Chance.” Some readers know that specific chapters will be designated to historical information since two chapters are called “Jim Crow and the Detested Number Ten” and “Browder vs. Gayle.” The book does have a very detailed index, but it does not include visual materials. It just locates verbal text. The author’s note explains why Hoose choose her story to write about and explains the process he underwent to get her personal account. The moving epilogue features Colvin returning to her high school to give a speech about her life. It also explains why Colvin has kept such a low profile and brings readers up to date with her life. One of the book’s strongest features are the images that fill the text and the informational sidebars that provide clarification, background information, and historical context. Photos line almost every page giving the book a scrapbook feel, but their use in integral in showing life in the segregated South. The images bring a sense of humanity to a period that seems void of human compassion. The images of the arrested boycott leaders are particularly harrowing especially Dr. King’s image since he is looking at the camera head-on and someone must have eventually written the date of his death and the word “dead” on the image. The other image I found particularly disturbing was the image of Colvin’s police report directly opposite her account of the event. It is amazing to me how people whose job is to defend the helpless and uphold the law could lie about kicking a teenage girl. The many accounts of police brutality and terrorism during this period are particularity upsetting. But the photos also feature images of a spirited people who are courageous in their fight for equality. I personally found this book to be a very informative yet heartbreaking account of the shameful period of racial segregation in the South. The author’s note lets me know that Hoose has dedicated himself to championing those who have been marginalized in the annals of history, and I as a reader and a human being am better for it after reading this book. Whenever I read about this period, I can’t help but feel utterly depressed and void of hope. Perhaps we don’t have segregation in its old form, but there are still racial divides that cripple this nation. Mainly in my field of choice, education, but I think any American would agree that racism is alive and well. I think it is appalling that Colvin’s story has remained in the shadows when every instance of courage against injustice should be celebrated. Perhaps she was a victim of her time and her convictions and child out of wedlock kept her from being a celebrated figure in the Civil Rights movement, but she is a hero in my eyes and deserves recognition. As a future social studies teacher, I would undoubtedly use this book in my lessons to speak about this period. The way her life intersected with many of the more famous leaders of the Civil Rights era would definitely intrigue students who were more familiar with these people, but I think Colvin’s story would speak to my students because they are at the same age she was when she took a stand. I thoroughly enjoyed this book, and I am inspired to find out more about this courageous woman.
  • (4/5)
    "Claudette Colvin: Twice Toward Justice" is a biography of the often forgotten woman who took a stand against segregation as a teenager and sparked a movement of change. Phillip Hoose does a decent job of telling Claudette's story, but I found that the story could have been a bit more condensed. However, I understand that he may have simply wanted to stay as true to the facts of Claudette's life as he could by including several details. The pictures used throughout the book are excellent and give a readers a real sense of the times. I certainly think Hoose's book is valuable in terms of helping students re-discover black history (which is sometimes mistaught or untaught) and allowing students to make their own judgements or come to their own conclusions. Not to take any of this value away from the book, but I don't know if the book is a viable source in a time-constricted English class--only because I think the book can be summed up in a paragraph or two for students--but it is an interesting example of how truth in history can be nearly lost in time.
  • (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 is a thorough and insightful account of Claudette Colvin's contribution to the civil rights movement. Colvin's account is supported by in depth investigative reporting by Hoose. Colvin was a young and feisty girl of 15 when she rather impulsively yet courageously refused to give her seat on the bus to a white woman. The events and attitudes as well as Colvin's personal history add to the understanding of why her story has remained for decades in the shadow of the well known and celebrated Rosa Parks.
  • (3/5)
    When the Montgomery bus boycott began, Rosa Parks may have been at the center of the protest, but she was not the first African American to refuse to give up her seat on the bus for a white person. Nine months before that, teenager Claudette Colvin had done the same thing, and was arrested and treated brutally for her troubles. Though largely forgotten by history, her actions and the subsequent court case in which she testified were instrumental in changing the laws about where white and black people could sit on the bus.Drawing extensively on interviews with Claudette Colvin and quoting substantially from them, Philip Hoose does a nice job of shedding light on a nearly forgotten person in the civil rights movement. The narrator does a nice job with the sidebars and infusing Ms. Colvin's interviews with emotion. My rating on this one suffers a bit partially because it's for young readers and having the American court system's workings explained overmuch for me. There were elements I wish were explored more that just wouldn't have worked for a kid's book. Also, because I was listening to the audio before I fell asleep, it was sort of drawn out for me "reading" even though it was short and probably felt more repetitive than it was because I had to keep rewinding back to where I left off before falling asleep so that I didn't miss anything.
  • (5/5)
    This book is about a little known historical hero of the civil rights movement. Claudette Colvin was just a teenager when she decided to take a stand, or a seat as the case may be, for the equal rights of everyone. She was not hailed a hero at the time though. She struggled trying to do what she thought was right as she also struggled with life as a black girl in the 50's. She was shunned and feared repercussions because of her sticking to what she knew was right. Few people know that it was her refusing to give up her seat that paved the way for the Bus Boycott. Rosa Parks didn't stand her ground until months later after the wheels of injustice had turned and stirred unrest already. By the time Ms. Parks stood her ground, the south was ripe for a movement.This book is organized into 2 parts and then further divided into chapters. It is laid out in a chronological order and laced with insets that give background information on the civil rights movement and the treatment of blacks in that time. The author weaves the story together telling it through both 1st and 3rd person. This allows you to see what was happening at the time in the area as well as what was happening with Claudette personally. You can see the wheels of the movement as they progress to the breaking point.The book includes a table of contents at the beginning as well as endnotes, a bibliography, author's note, index, and epilogue. This makes confirming the reliability of the author clear. The information in the insets scattered throughout the book as well as the pictures really helps you to understand what the times were like. It is clear that the author used many primary sources such as an interview with Ms. Colvin herself, papers written by people were there and conversations with other witnesses.I really enjoyed this book. This was someone that I had not heard of until now. I feel sorry that she was overshadowed by Rosa Parks and seemed to be used as a pawn, although I do understand the need for a spokesperson with a more respectable reputation. Even though I knew how the story ended, I was still on the edge of my seat just hoping for her to catch a break.A couple of quotes that stood out to me were: "I'm not walking for myself, I am walking for my children and grandchildren," spoken by an older woman walking being offered a ride. "The bus boycott was not about sitting next to the white people. It was about sitting anywhere you please," spoken by a woman when asked why she passed up the front rows to sit in the back.I also found her changed attitude about her hair quite profound. She went from having the attitude of being more white which she pointed out as indicating that black people hated themselves to allowing her hair to be "African" after she had stood her ground. It was as if it was an indication that she had finally found and accepted herself.This book would be a great book to share during civil rights week at our school. It would be great to let students see how just one young person can make a difference.
  • (5/5)
    Claudette Colvin is biography of a courageous fifteen year-old who almost lost her rightful place in history because of the prejudices of the African American leaders behind the Montgomery Bus Boycott. Who started the revolution in Montgomery, Alabama? How did the bus boycott end? If you've only heard of Rosa Parks and Brown vs. the Board of Education, you only know part of the story. Hoose gives us a powerful story that is as much about how history is written by the winners as it is about the memory of an inspiring fight for social justice that helped define our nation.
  • (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.
  • (5/5)
    Claudette Colvin Twice Toward Justice was written by Phillip Hoose. The book won many awards, such as National Book Awards, Newberry Honor book, The Robert F. Sibert Honor Book, and was an Excellence in Young Adult Nonfiction Finalist book. Claudette Colvin, as a teenager, grew up when buses were segregated. The whites got to sit up-front, and the blacks had to sit in the back. However, if all the up front "white seats" were gone, the blacks in the back still were supposed to free their seats, too. One day Claudette refused to give up her seat. This occurred on March 2, 1955. She shouted, "It's my constitutional right!" She ended up being dragged off the bus by policeman and later went to trial. The only difference between her refusal to give up her seat, like Rosa Parks did later, she wasn't celebrated as much. Claudette was shunned by classmates and others in her community; they saw her as a bad role model. But, she didn't let it stop her. She continued to push on through life despite her troubled past. Will she survive? Will she be recognized for her stand? Did it help? This book is a must read!The first idea that I had with this book is for my students to do research on Claudette's Colvin refusal to give up her seat, and the similarities and differences of when Rosa Park took the same stand. In Claudette Colvin Twice Toward Justice, it spoke about how Rosa took the same stand 9 months, after Claudette, but yet Rosa was celebrated and is well known for it today, unlike Claudette. Most people may not even know who Claudette is or what she did. Therefore, my students can use this book as a source, a Rosa Parks book, and one internet source. The students' paper should be 4-5 pages. The paper should begin with an introduction of both Claudette & Rosa, brief child-life of Claudette before she refused to give up her seat, brief child-life of Rosa before she gave up her seat, the incidents that took place when Claudette and Rosa both gave up their seats, what happened to them after, and write a paragraph about why you think Rosa's story became more famous then Claudette's. Next, I want my students to do a project. We will create our own "museum walk through" in the class. It will be called 1955 Artifacts and History. The students will create/construct something (event, place) mentioned in the book and provide a description. For example, the book talks about bus boycotts, Rosa Parks, the trial, all white jury, Claudette, Booker T. Washington High, etc. The student can draw, paint, build, photograph, print, etc. to display their item in the museum. A student could draw a bus or create a 3D model and label "white" and "colored" on the bus. Thus, provide a description; therefore, we will learn some history throughout our museum walk. Just printing something off line and bringing it in will not work! You can use printed images to aid your model, but you cannot just use a picture you printed off line as your whole model. The item should have a stand or sit on top of something, i.e. cardboard box, etc., so that it can sit by itself. This project will count for 250 points. I really enjoyed this book. I rate it 5 stars. I think this book has now taken the place for my best read book for the semester! I really would recommend this book in middle school. It is not long, and it provides great detail. I loved the fact that it included real pictures, quotes, etc., from various events that took place in 1955. You can learn a lot about what was going on back then simply by reading this book. I definitely want to go buy the book! I encourage all teachers to add this book to their collection. It will really work well in a History classroom. Great book!
  • (4/5)
    I picked up Phillip House's "Claudette Colvin: Twice Toward Justice" at SuperPizzaBoy's book fair. Talk about a find! Claudette Colvin was a fifteen year old black teenager who was arrested for not giving up her seat on a city bus in Montgomery,Alabama on March 2, 1955 long before Rosa Parks was arrested for the same offense. Ms. Colvin was not celebrated like Rosa Parks was, Colvin was not considered a suitable representative for the cause because she was so young and was not perfect.She disappeared for a time until Phillip House heard about her story and convinced her to share it with the world. She was brutalized verbally by the policemen who arrested her and shunned by her community for causing trouble. She had other problems that made her less than the perfect representative for her people. She moved north and worked for years in obscurity, resentful of the attention that Parks got.It is a great book about the Civil Rights movement but more than that it's about life not being fair and perfect and how you have to persevere anyway.
  • (4/5)
    Claudette's story amazed and inspired me. I thought while reading this narrative, how bold this teenager must have been, how keen, spontaneous, and fearless she must have been, to stand up for herself against a society that uses fear-tactics and aggression to keep its people down.I found myself slightly angry at times that more people do not know about Claudette's story, and the fact that American history feasts on the archetype of heroic, legendary, mythic heroes like Rose Parks, instead of the down-to-earth, sobering reality that is Claudette's story.This historical narrative would be very effective in teaching this idea to young readers. The biography brings up many issues that young readers will face when reading non-fiction stories: not all non-fiction books capture a true reality, rather they are presented based on the author's motivation/intention and often what the public will buy/what sells. The fact that Claudette doesn't fit this "American hero" archetype--she doesn't get the recognition she deserves by other Black civil rights activists, she doesn't earn her place rightly in American history, she doesn't even achieve her own dreams to be a lawyer-- perhaps is reason why Claudette's story is invisible in American history. It is simply not what the American public wants to hear. It is not the tale that holds its own, the story that withstands the test of time in terms of teaching morals, values, and citizenship. As a result, the myth of Rosa Parks was born and manifested casting a dark shadow on Claudette's life.This book is filled with wonderful images and captions that entertain and delight the reader as well as inform. It is a great book for young readers and one that should be accessible in classroom and school libraries throughout the nation.
  • (5/5)
    I had never heard of Claudette Colvin and, until the publication of this book, probably a lot of other people hadn't either. Her role in the Civil Rights Movement has been relatively neglected, and I'm so glad that now we can learn about the antecedent role this remarkable fifteen-year-old girl played which led to the Montgomery Bus Boycott and the eventual integration of Montgomery's buses. Highly Recommended!
  • (5/5)
    Though text-heavy and most resourceful for older students, this book by Philip Hoose can be beneficial to any student interested in or being introduced to the civil rights movement in America. Hoose has made a lot of information easily accessible and his writing his easy to read and engaging. I recommend this book for older students (ages 13 and up) because it is fairly wordy and best read in a couple sittings, because the subject matter is intense. I would also recommend this is a group read because of how powerful the subject matter is.
  • (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)
    Claudette Colvin is a forgotten figure in the civil rights war, so it seems proper that her story be told. I was enjoying her story in a mild way until I got to the part where she was pregnant and everyone started to ignore her. Then this story of a teen who stood up for her right, not just in the face of an oppressive other, but in the face of her peers and her own people really grabbed hold of me. I was all teary at the modest ending.
  • (5/5)
    This is an inspiring book that will speak to young readers about a historical moment not known by many. Claudette Colvin's story will open the eyes of young students and show them that their actions can make a difference. I think this story along with Rosa Parks' story will show students the political aspect of why Parks was chosen as the model for the bus segregation. The incorporation of Colvin's words in the book gave it a personable voice - readers are able to understand what Colvin went through as a teenager and an adult.
  • (4/5)
    This is the story about a courageous 15 year old who refused to give up her seat on the bus to a white person during the civil rights movement. She was one of many who came before Rosa Parks’ famous refusal to give up her seat on a bus. It was people like Claudette Colvin that helped the movement towards desegregation. In the classroom: historical reference, children who challenged injustice in the world, research report, literary elements, author’s point of view, voice of a book
  • (5/5)
    All children and adults should read this important biography of a teenage girl that fought for justice by not giving up her seat on a segregated bus in Montgomery Alabama. This look into her life and what she was able to accomplish toward civil rights for African Americans continues to help break down racial barriers that exists today.
  • (5/5)
    I loved this book. We have heard stories about so many Civil Rights leaders and this was a story I had never heard before. Claudette's story was just as full of spirit and life as any of the others I have heard. She was so brave and kept going even after many around her abandoned her. Claudette made a difference in the the court case and in the Civil Rights movement for many people for years to come. This was a great story and I would love to use it in a future classroom.
  • (4/5)
    “Claudette Colvin: Twice Toward Freedom” is the historical account of a brave African-American teenager who refused to give up her seat to a white woman on a segregated bus. The act helped lay the groundwork for the Montgomery Bus Boycott, and later, aided in bringing an end to public transportation segregation in Montgomery, Alabama. Like most people, prior to opening this book I was certain that Rosa Parks was originally responsible for this act of defiance. “Twice Toward Freedom” brings to light a fascinating, and lesser-known story and delves into the history and politics that surrounded Claudette Colvin’s heroic action and the role it played in the movement that followed. As I’ve experience with a few other books I’ve read this semester, I found myself hardly able to comprehend some of the details I was reading. Not for lack of accuracy, by any means, but more just a feeling of incredulousness about human capacity for hate. This was fueled further by the fact that the voice of the story was that of a fifteen-year-old. When the book describes the deaths of Jeremiah Reeves and Emmett Till, one can hardly image how a young girl of the same age might have responded. I was equally appalled by many of the book’s other accounts: Claudette’s mom needing to trace the bottoms of her feet in order to get the right shoe size, her father needing to stay up all night with a shotgun in fear of the KKK, the all-white juries, etc. Once Rosa Parks entered into the picture, the book took another fascinating turn. I had no idea how seemingly premeditated her actions were (although, brave, nonetheless). The whole notion of the NAACP potentially restaging Claudette’s act with the “right” person gave me mixed feelings, especially when, as Claudette describes, she was shunned by those initially set out to help her. I suppose there was justice in the end when Claudette served as a witness in Browder v. Gayle trial and helped deliver the final blow to the segregated bus system; however, I sensed a bit of frustration in Claudette’s tone overall. As far as accuracy is concerned, the book is stellar. The main body of the text is filled with primary source photos, supporting documents and a well-researched narrative. I also appreciated that the book provided balance by clarifying that the oppressive opinions of Montgomery were not held by all white residents. The back of the book provides a wealth information about the genesis of the book as well as the process in which it was written. Here we learn that the author conducted over fourteen hours of interviews with Claudette herself (which was used as the basis for the “Claudette” section), and also conducted four direct interviews with her attorney Fred Gray. Additionally, the back of the book features an extended Q&A section with Claudette, a selected bibliography (which includes multiple primary sources), an expansive section citing all quotations, a photo credit source listing, and a thorough index. The author, Phillip Hoose, has won many distinguished awards and also written other books within the genre of historical nonfiction. In looking at style, the language of the book is both partisan and precise. The content is carefully organized and highly readable -- even for a younger audience. The descriptions of the events are both vivid and passionate, and while I could sense Claudette’s frustration and desperation throughout the biography, I did not feel that emotional nature of her “voice” was a distraction from the facts. Initially, while reading the “Claudette” parts I was confused about the author’s usage of first person narrative, since I did not see her listed as an author, but the “Notes” section offers clarification by stating that her account was derived from the interviews. The author also clearly identifies in the “Notes” section any point where he added elaborations based on personal research (i.e.: details of the neighborhood or the courthouse he visited). Finally, the book was well-organized and easy to follow. It flowed chronologically, and supplemental features were scattered throughout to provide additional historical context. The sections in the back were clearly labeled and easy to navigate, and narrative itself evolved logically and wrapped up neatly, leaving most of my questions answered or redirected to the additional sections.
  • (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.
  • (5/5)
    Before Rosa Parks, there was Claudette Colvin. A fabulous, inspiring biography.
  • (5/5)
    Claudette Colvin: Twice Toward Justice by Phillip Hoose is an excellent biography about the first African American girl to refuse to give up her seat on a public bus. Claudette Colvin was fifteen years old when she refused to give her seat to a white woman, having no idea that it would spark the Montgomery bus boycott, and actually inspire Rosa Parks and Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Many people, including myself, did not know her story and Phillip Hoose does an excellent job of telling it through multiple interviews he completed with Colvin and others involved in her life. He also uses many primary sources and excellent photographs throughout the book to reinforce the social injustices that he describes. After completing this book I spent about twenty extra minutes looking at all of the pictures and artifacts again. Hoose's bibliography and notes are impeccable, leaving little room for accuracy questioning and his writing style had me on the edge of my seat, wondering how her story played out. He switches from writing in third person, telling her story from the facts he’s gathered, to first person where Colvin is actually speaking in first person. I was left with many questions after reading this book, like why I had never heard of Colvin before. In my opinion, she ranks as one of the greatest civil rights activists and students should know her story. I enjoyed this book very much and would recommend it for any fifth grade through high school civil rights study. I would certainly consider finding her story written on a elementary level to share with primary grade students as well.
  • (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)
    An African American teenage girl stands up for her right to equality. Claudette Colvin was the star witness in the Browder v. Gayle trial, which mandated that buses in Montgomery, AL be integrated.
  • (4/5)
    I was so interested in this story of a teen girl who had refused to give up her seat on a bus in Montgomery, Alabama and proved to be the predecessor to Rosa Parks and the whole bus boycott. Largely forgotten in the retelling of Civil Rights history, Hoose incorporates Claudette Colvin's story with the larger civil rights movement. Fascinating stuff and really engaging nonfiction!
  • (4/5)
    Claudette Colvin is a young, African American girl in the 1950s. She has always dreamed of becoming a lawyer and standing up for the people of her race. Claudette knows they are treated badly and is determined to do something about it. Everybody has heard of Rosa Parks refusing to give up her bus seat, but most people do not know that Claudette was actually the first person to do this. As a young child, she refuses to move and stands up for herself. African Americans boycott the buses and Rosa Parks does the same thing because they felt that people might think that Claudette was just a rowdy teenager.This book would be great in a history class. It actually tells a story instead of just presenting a bunch of facts. I would definitely have students read this story when learning about segregation. I would then have students how they would feel if they were treated poorly based on the color of their skin. I would also ask students to write about: if they were in Claudette’s shoes would they or would they not stand up for their rights like she did.I really enjoyed this book compared to a history textbook. I felt that it was very beneficial to read about a specific person’s life instead of memorizing facts. I especially liked how the book explained what Claudette was going through and how she truly felt. It really showed how segregation impacted so many peoples daily lives.
  • (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.
  • (5/5)
    This book is a story of Claudette Colvin's life. It was set in a time period where blacks were not treated equally. It is about a young girl who stands up for what she believes is right. She is taken to jail for not moving her seat for a white person. She did not feel like what she did was wrong because there were laws set that a person did not have to move seats if there were none left. She became a criminal simply for standing up for what she thought was right. This book could be taught in a history classroom. It could teach kids about how times were from the perspective of a young girl. They can learn about laws and court cases of that time. They can also see how the law is not always fair. The book also had pictures in it where they can get a visual of what things were like. I liked this book a lot. I learned more about times back then and how unfair it was. The pictures helped me a lot by showing me a more accurate representation of what Claudette went through during this time. I like how it was not just told from her point of view but from the point of view of someone else as well.
  • (4/5)
    In this 2009 National Book Award Winner, the author moves back and forth between the personal life story of Colvin and the historical happenings of the time, especially in regards to the bus boycotts—a very unique and engaging form of non-fiction. Contains many historic photos, documents, artifacts, and text boxes to enhance the information, plus many details are provided by Colvin herself. (Jane Addams Honor Book)