Friday, May 25, 2018

Fact Friday: Twelve Days in May: Freedom Ride 1961 by Larry Dane Brimner

Twelve Days in May: Freedom Ride 1961 by Larry Dane Brimner. 111 p. Calkins Creek/ Highlights, October, 2017. 9781629795867. (Own)

Fact Friday features Twelve Days in May: Freedom Ride 1961 by Larry Dane Brimner. This is a riveting account of the stunning bravery of thirteen Civil Rights activists, young and old, and black and white, who board a Greyhound bus in Washington D.C. then headed south to challenge the Jim Crow laws that separated whites from blacks on buses, in waiting rooms, at lunch counters and just about everywhere. The deeper south they got, the more perilous their journey became until, just outside of Birmingham, Alabama, the police looked the other way while an angry mob stopped the bus and set fire to it with people inside. They blocked the door and when people jumped out the window to escape they were brutally beaten. 

The book is profusely illustrated with black and white photos, some quite shocking. The design is somber and absorbing with its stark black pages and white font sprinkle with white backgrounds and black font. There is a post-script of sorts that relates the story of how college students from Nashville, Tennessee, led by Diane Nash complete the journey. Backmatter includes mini-biographies of the thirteen activists  as well as an extensive bibliography, which includes books for both adult and young readers, videos and websites. Three pages of source notes are followed by an index.

Twelve Days in May is the 2018 winner of the Sibert Medal and belongs on every library shelf along with Mr. Brimner's other Civil Rights titles, Black and White and Birmingham Sunday.

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