I am so happy the story of this brave woman is finally out there for young people to read. Claudette Colvin was a teenager during the Bus Boycott in Montgomery. She refused to give up her seat just months before Rosa Parks. She was dragged off the bus, humiliated and abused. The civil rights leaders did not want to use her as the face of the movement for several different reasons. She bravely became part of the lawsuit, Browder v. Gayle. This case ended bus segregation. Colvin became a forgotten figure in civil rights history. She knew Dr. King and remembered Rosa Parks as the secretary of the local N.A.A.C.P. Author, Phillip Hoose couples her fascinating story with plenty of pictures, making this a quick and inspiring read.
Awards: National Book Award, Newbery Honor Book, Amazon.com Top 10 Editor’s Picks: Teens, Booklist Top 10 Biographies for Youth; Publishers Robert F. Sibert Award – Honor
Some ideas for discussing with teens:
Would you have been brave enough to do Claudette did?
Why do you think the civil rights leaders felt she was unsuitable for their cause?
How do you think history would have changed had the bus boycott not taken place?
How do you think Claudette’s bravery would be seen today?
How would the civil rights movement have been different with today’s technology, cable TV, facebook or Twitter?