Claudette Colvin: Twice Toward Justice

Recommended by Ellsworth, Young Adult Division, MLK

book cover Claudette ColvinAs a teen, Claudette Colvin sparked the protest that led to the Montgomery Bus Boycott and desegregation of public facilities by refusing to relinquish her seat to a white woman. Phillip Hoose has written a compelling account of a teenager who stood up and spoke out for her beliefs, leading the way for more familiar bus boycott leaders such as Martin Luther King Jr. and Rosa Parks. 

Hoose’s inspired writing and Colvin's dynamic words, quoted directly from interviews, have real power and will engage any reader lucky enough to experience this text. While readers will be outraged at the injustices people experienced during the struggle for civil rights, they will also recognize that historic accounts such as Claudette’s have parallels to present-day injustices that people experience in the US and all over the world. 

Hoose demonstrates effective use of primary source material by integrating interview with narrative, with the immediacy of a current event. The page layout, including photos, newspaper headlines and insets of historic commentary, place Claudette's story within its larger context. This book is a powerful contribution not just to young adult literature, but all literature about the civil rights movement. Claudette Colvin has the potential to change people's understanding of society and inspire them to stand up for their beliefs with courage.

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