Reviews for Rosa's Bus

Booklist Reviews 2010 November #2
In an inventive approach, this handsome picture book frames the biography of Rosa Parks with the story of the bus on which she famously refused to give up her seat to a white passenger. Beginning with where the bus was built and first driven, the free-verse narrative and dramatic oil paintings tell the larger story of discrimination in daily life: That's just the way things were is a frequent refrain, and one double-page view of the bus' interior shows a Colored sign marking the seats. After Parks' refusal and arrest, there is the drama of the boycott: Bus #2857 rode down the street / with plenty of empty seats. . . . / They walked for 382 days. A climactic picture shows the bus full again, blacks and whites sitting together. With the final long note about the history and the museum where the bus is on display, kids will connect with the unsentimental, contemporary message: Imagine where it has been / and where we have yet to go. Copyright 2010 Booklist Reviews.

Horn Book Guide Reviews 2011 Spring
Lyrical prose describes the journey of bus #2857, from the assembly line in Michigan, to service in Montgomery, Alabama (before, during, and after Rosa Parks's famous stand), to the vehicle's final destination, Detroit's Ford Museum. Expansive oil illustrations consistently reflect the bus as the book's central focus; it's an interesting and well-presented perspective. Reading list, websites. Bib. Copyright 2011 Horn Book Guide Reviews.

Kirkus Reviews 2010 September #2

The story of Rosa Parks's historic 1955 bus ride has been told many times. In an odd but intriguing perspective, this book tells the tale of the bus itself, as a symbol of the Jim Crow South. Originally riding the streets of Terre Haute, Ind., bus #2857 did not get its painted sign separating white people from their "colored" neighbors until it arrived in Montgomery. For young readers, that time and place and "the way things were" may seem like ancient history. Kittinger carefully describes the system by which African Americans had to obey the dictates that controlled every aspect of their lives, especially the complicated rules of public transportation. Employing direct, accessible, relentless language arranged in free-verse stanzas, the author brings to life the drama of Parks's act (neither busting myths nor exploiting them) and the events it sparked. Walker's double-page, large-scale oils evoke the emotions of a determined people and perfectly complement the text. The author's note contextualizes the boycott and names Claudette Colvin and Mary Louise Smith as Parks's forerunners. Powerful. (sources) (Informational picture book. 6-10)


Copyright Kirkus 2010 Kirkus/BPI Communications.All rights reserved.

School Library Journal Reviews 2010 December

Gr 1-4--Unlike Faith Ringgold's If a Bus Could Talk: The Story of Rosa Parks (S & S, 1999), Rosa's Bus is a factual history in picture-book format of Bus #2837 itself and its role in the larger Civil Rights Movement. No fantasy elements are present. The story starts with the bus rolling off the factory assembly line in 1948 and ends with the restored vehicle becoming an exhibit at the Henry Ford Museum in Michigan. After a few scenes showing Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., explaining the protest, the empty bus rolls by with walkers shown through its windows. The solid, heavy lines of Walker's oil paintings match the massive quality of the bus. The saturated colors convey strength and determination. Some prior knowledge is assumed because words such as boycott and Jim Crow are not explained in the text. Although there are already several high-quality picture books about Dr. King and Rosa Parks, this distinctive work is an excellent addition.--Lucinda Snyder Whitehurst, St. Christopher's School, Richmond, VA

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